President's Report - May 2004

Greetings All,

A loud crash and the sound of breaking glass disturbed my early Saturday morning intention to write this column.  I quickly located the would-be house burglar - a large bronze wing (native pigeon) had flown through a lounge room window and lay stunned on the floor amid the glass fragments. I carefully put the bird in a basket, and made a phone call to my insurance company. Within two hours the window was replaced and the bird had flown! More family dramas.

The heater core in the 405 failed catastrophically again recently, flooding the floor in the front of the car with coolant. Having replaced the core less than two years ago, this was neither welcome nor expected. Since I was away in New Zealand at the time, Sue was able to peddle around in the (indestructible) 505 until I returned. The 405 was then duly delivered to Bill McNamee for further diagnosis and treatment.

According to Bill, a small number of Series 2 405s suffer this chronic problem, with no known cause or cure. Not good news. However, as a stop-gap (or should that be stop-leak) solution, Bill has put an additive in the cooling system that seals leaks and, happily for us, keeps the car on the road until a long-term solution can be found. Corrosion of the heater core seems to be the problem, but just what causes it is unknown.  My son, John, a second year engineering student at ANU, has offered his services (and by implication, the services of a whole bunch of engineers and their diagnostic tools) in an attempt to solve the mystery. Stay tuned for further developments.

Back to club activities - our recent Sunday drive in the country was a great success, with about 20 members enjoying a sunny afternoon and a fine pizza lunch at the Cork Street Cafe in Gundaroo. Heading up the Sutton Road to Gundaroo in my 404, sitting sedately on 60 mph, I was amused to be passed by Chris Reid, going hell-for-leather (as usual) in his 404. Good I thought, I'll see Chris at Gundaroo. However, he obviously didn't stop, and was unseen for the rest of the day - another time, Chris! My thanks to Graham Thompson for organising the event on the day. The consensus was that we will do more club meetings in this form.

This month, we return to the Italo-Australian Club on Wednesday 26h of May (note change of date), where we will be entertained by Peter Rees as he tells us about his new book, "Killing Juanita", which has just been short-listed for the Ned Kelly true crime award for 2004. The book details Peter's own long investigation of the murder, in Kings Cross in 1975, of Juanita Nielsen, who was an anti-development campaigner and heiress to a considerable part of the Mark Foys retailing fortune. There's a Peugeot story too, according to Peter. Bring your own copies of the book, and have them signed by the author himself!

Keep on Pugging,

Brad Pillans

Picture of Brad