President's Report - September 2011

Greetings All,

I finally drove my new 508 out of the Peugeot showroom a few weeks ago, knowing that as soon as I did so, it was no longer new! Furthermore, black is not an ideal car colour in Canberra in September, with plant pollen in the air - within a few hours the 508 looked a touch "dusty" despite not going off the bitumen. Imagine my mood when I backed the 508 out of our garage, after only 24 hours of ownership, to discover a flat tyre, with the head of a large screw clearly visible in the tread and dangerously close to the sidewall. Having not had a puncture in any of my cars for several years, this was something of a novelty.

Two things stick out in my mind about changing the punctured tyre on the 508:

  1. The spare wheel is not an alloy - it's an ugly steel wheel, with a sticker on it saying it should be driven at less than 80 km/hour; and
  2. The jack and jack handle are not designed for comfort, speed or looks! The jacking process is tedious and uncomfortable.

The punctured tyre was duly repaired and a few days later we did a weekend trip to Newcastle. Needless to say, the 508 was beautiful to drive on the freeway and the 5 hour trip passed easily. In last month's column I reported the sale of my 407 to a next door neighbour. However, a few days after that report, my neighbour went back on his agreement to buy the car - he had reassured me on 3 separate occasions that he would buy the car and, being a neighbour, I didn't think to get anything in writing or take a deposit.

Not to worry, I thought - I had another interested buyer, a farmer from up near Forbes, so I arranged to meet him in Yass. He seemed to like the car, and said he would let me know a decision within a few days. Days turned into a couple of weeks, with intermittent but noncommittal phone conversations, ultimately ending in a very low offer and then silence. I have now decided to sell it to a dealer - the price is low, but at least I will have a guaranteed sale.

As if the 407 saga was not enough, another friend recently offered to buy my 203 wagon, which had been sitting in a shed for a few years. I told him that he could have it for $2,700, to which he responded that $2,700 was too low and he would pay $3,000, promptly handing me $1,500 cash with a promise of the rest by bank transfer. I allowed him drive the car home but two days later there was no sign of the other $1,500. Then he rang to say he had "made a big mistake" and the car was not as good as he'd hoped! As I write this column, we are still negotiating some sort of compromise. The above car-selling tales are a timely reminder that any sale should include a written contract with an agreed price and money up front!

Once again I have travel commitments that will prevent me from attending this month's club meeting. However, as usual, I encourage members to attend the meeting which will be held at the Irish Club in Weston at 8pm, Tuesday 27 September, with dinner from 7pm. Also a reminder that next month's meeting will be the AGM and I promise to be there.

Keep on Pugging,

Brad Pillans

Picture of Brad