President's Report - September 2005

Greetings All,

On a recent trip to Belgium I saw some 1007s on the road, but had no chance to see them up-close-and-personal. Shame, because they looked quite good. Double shame, because there is still no word on when (if ever) they might be available in Australia. I also spotted several other models not sold here, including 106 sedan, 807, 206 touring, Expert van etc.

Though there were plenty of Pugs to be seen, the oldest model I saw was the 205. Getting to Belgium involved the usual long flights - Sydney to Bangkok is about 9 hours, and Bangkok to London is about 12 hours. Not much fun in Qantas "cattle class" for someone as tall as me (192 cm). However, I managed to get seating in exit-rows, which at least provided some leg-room.

Earlier in the year I was upgraded to business class on a Sydney-Hong Kong flight which was a very pleasant experience - the new Qantas Skybed was wonderful, but the experience has only served to make the discomfort of economy class that much more unpalatable. If only I could afford to travel business class! Or maybe Qantas could provide more space between the seats in economy class. Or.....pigs might fly..... 

Once in London I met a friend who was driving to Brussels, and had my first experience of the "Chunnel" train. You drive your car onto a train which holds several vehicles in each double deck carriage. You stay with your vehicle on the train, and less than an hour later you emerge, via the channel tunnel, in France. No-one even bothered to check our passports on arrival. Meanwhile, back in Canberra, we are clocking up the miles in our 306 HDI. Mostly city driving has returned an average fuel economy of 6.4 litres/100 km, or slightly under 16 km/litre over a total distance of 1700 km on less than two tanks of fuel.

Unfortunately someone ran into my 505 a few weeks ago, and it's been sitting at a panel shop awaiting repairs. Damage was minor (left front door and guard), and because the accident was not my fault (the other driver tried to do a U-turn without indicating), my insurance company (and that of the other driver) is footing the bill. Nevertheless, it's a pain not having the car, even if it means we are saving on fuel costs by doing more miles in the 306.

Don't forget that next month is the club AGM. Not only will we be holding the usual election of office-bearers, but we may have Sean Patterson, Peugeot salesperson from Melrose Automobiles, to give us an update on the latest industry news, including the Sydney Motor Show. This month's meeting will be a video night at the usual time and place - 8 pm Tuesday 27th at the Italo-Australian Club.

Keep on Pugging,

Brad Pillans

Picture of Brad


"The Milkman"

Has anyone seen the locally-made film "The Milkman" which had its world premiere at Electric Shadows in Canberra last month? This 15 minute film is about growing up in Canberra in the 1980s, when (according to the Canberra Times, August 31, page 4)

...milk was delivered to the door in glass bottles and Holden Toranas ruled the streets.

Well, not quite.... The automotive star of the film is actually a red Peugeot 203 ute (playing the part of the milk truck), which is owned by local club member, Alan Johnson.

Smelling a story, I recently quizzed Alan about his experience. Alas, the story was a bit anticlimactic. Alan said he had lent the car for filming, and then added "But I didn't want anything to do with them. They stuck a plastic sign on it [the 203]." I was mystified. "You don't get it do you?" said Alan. "No", I said doubtfully. 'A milko would have painted a sign on the truck!" explained Alan. The club will investigate whether we can obtain a copy of the film.