President's Report - September 2012

Greetings All,

I recently received a letter, from Peugeot Automobiles Australia, headed 'ZGC SERVICE CAMPAIGN' in which I am instructed to return my vehicle (508 sedan) to an Authorised Peugeot Dealership to have the electronic stability (ESP) software upgraded to a later version. The letter goes on to say:

This upgrade is designed to eliminate the possibility of the electric parking brake malfunctioning under certain conditions of use

The letter also says that should it not be convenient for me to return the car to my service dealer (Melrose Automobiles), it can be returned to any Authorised Peugeot Dealer for the work to be done – a helpful list of all such dealers was attached. Amongst the list of authorised dealers and locations, I recognised a place I have not been for many years – Mundingburra. For those who don’t recognise the name, Mundingburra is a suburb of Townsville where I lived in 1978/79.

In those days, I was driving a 1968 404, which made the trip up and down from Canberra a couple of times, including being stranded, in floods, on the infamous Bruce Highway, in early 1978. At one point, north of Rockhampton, I tried to drive through water a bit too deep and managed to get water in the spark plugs and a holed radiator (flood debris tangled in the fan). After being unceremoniously towed back to the nearest town (Maryborough), the necessary repairs were easily made, but I spent the next three days in the local pub, waiting for the Bruce Highway to be reopened. Can’t imagine that the local bush mechanic could have dealt with an ESP software upgrade!

Anyway, I can confidently predict that I will be taking my 508 in to Melrose Automobiles for the software upgrade, and not Motoco Euro in Mundingburra. Last week, for the first time, I took the 508 down to the coast – up and down the Clyde and along a few back roads. One of the back roads was into Pigeon House Mountain from the Princes Highway just north of Termeil.

Pigeon House was named by Captain Cook in 1770 because, as Cook describes, it

...resembled a square dovehouse with a dome on top and for that reason I called it Pigeon House

The local Aboriginal people apparently called it Didthol, a word meaning "woman's breast", but the name Pigeon House has stuck. There had been rain the day before, and the signs on the Pigeon House road warned that while it was a 2WD road in dry weather, a 4WD or AWD vehicle was recommended after rain. The morning was cloudless and there hadn’t been a lot of rain the previous day, so I pressed on and easily reached the Pigeon House carpark, despite a few muddy patches.

An hour and a half later I was on top of the mountain (720m) with spectacular views in all directions, having thoroughly enjoyed the walk up through forest with many spring flowers. At the top I recalled that it had been some 45 years since I last stood there! The only down side to the Pigeon House trip was that I hurriedly wiped mud from the car and managed to scratch the duco in a number of places. Hopefully a cut and polish will remedy that oversight as soon as possible.

Our next club meeting will at the Weston Club on Tuesday 25 September, at 8pm, with dinner and drinks, as usual, from 7pm. I hope to see a number of you there…

Keep on Pugging,

Brad Pillans

Picture of Brad