President's Report - September 2004
It was winter when I left Canberra for Florence last month. Now spring has well and truly sprung: rain, Floriade and footy grand finals, not to mention an up-coming federal election and the (much more interesting) Sydney Motor Show, where the new 407 models will be displayed. More on the latter two items next month.
Looking over the log-book for my 505 GTi Executive recently, I see it is nearly six years since I bought it in Queanbeyan early in 1999. At that time, the car was looking a little the worse for wear, having sat un-driven in a back garden for more than a year, with a broken cam-belt and (as a consequence) very bent valves. The black paintwork was also badly oxidised which added to the general aura of decrepitude. However, Bill McNamee inspected the car, and declared it to be probably in good mechanical health apart from needing a head-job. As Bill noted at the time, it had 217,000 km on the clock, which meant that the engine was "only half worn". I duly bought the car and had it towed to Bill's where he did the necessary repairs. After a couple of new tyres and an exhaust leak repair it went straight through ACT rego inspection. Total cost, registered and on the road was under $4,000. So, nearly 6 years and 100,000 km later, was it a good buy? Absolutely! Mechanically, it has been utterly reliable - harder to stop than a proverbial "Bondi tram".
The 505 is the first Pug I've owned with an auto gearbox, and I love it. Not so terrific going down long steep roads like the Clyde mountain, because being a heavy car it needs a lot of braking and I've experienced quite noticeable brake fade a couple of times. On the other hand the auto box is great around town, and the gearbox itself has given absolutely no trouble. Surprisingly, for an Executive model, the ride is quite hard, courtesy of the GTi suspension. However, it handles beautifully, cornering with much less body roll than any other Pug I have owned. For a 20 year old car, the specs are still quite impressive in the GTi executive - central locking, power windows, sun roof, leather trim, limited slip diff, fuel injection, etc., not to mention great body styling.
Speaking of fuel injection, Michael Blumenfeld of M-Ject Automotive is the speaker at this month's meeting on Tuesday 28 September at the Italo-Australian Club. Michael saw my car in the car park at work earlier this year, and asked if the injection system had been gas-analysed. I said it hadn't, and Michael commented that it would be very beneficial to have it done so that the injection system could be set for optimal performance. Michael also cautioned me on the use of unleaded petrol. Despite the general consensus among club members that the 505 GTi will run perfectly well on premium unleaded, Michael advises the use of a Prozone in-line fuel filter. So, come along and hear what should be a very informative talk.
I also draw your attention to this month's club plate run on Sunday 26th, to Binalong car museum, organised by the Renault club. The Pug club visited the museum several years back and had a great day. I'm sure this visit will be just as great.
Keep on Pugging,