President's Report - April 2013

Greetings All,

This year’s Easter Pageant was held in Wodonga and hosted by the Victorian Club. Sue and I drove down in our 508 on Easter Friday, covering the distance in about 4 hours of easy driving at an average fuel consumption of 5.0 litres/100km. On arrival we booked into the Stagecoach Motel, adjacent to the Wodonga Cabin and Caravan Park, with both venues offering a range of good accommodation choices to suit all needs. There was a flurry of car washing and polishing, in preparation for Saturday’s concours, followed by a welcome dinner at a local café in the evening.

The concours was held on Saturday morning in the carpark of the Howlong Golf Club, which was a 20 minute drive from Wodonga. Morning tea and lunch were in the golf club. After lunch, participants (I think I counted about 40 cars) were offered the choice of a motorkhana or an observation run. Sue and I chose the latter and we enjoyed a pleasant country drive while trying to answer a range of easy and not so easy questions. In the late afternoon, everyone gathered for what was called 504s (aka drinks) in the cabin park back in Wodonga, before dinner at another local café.

On Sunday, the main observation run was held, involving another country drive to Yackandandah for morning tea, before making our way to Tallangatta for lunch at the local hotel. After lunch, the route was through the hills with an optional break at Mt Granya (the cloud was low so Sue and I skipped Mt Granya, which in fine weather would have offered excellent views) and back to Wodonga around Hume Weir. Again 504s were held in the late afternoon, followed by a presentation dinner at the Birallee Tavern. This year, the overall winning club was Victoria, so Sue and I had to hand back the trophy we had won last year for the ACT club. The Victorian Club also won the concourse (Allan Horsley’s lovely 404 cabriolet was a standout) and the motorkhana.

Monday Morning saw us gather for a farewell breakfast before going our separate ways, but not before Sue and I bought some nice plants at a large local nursery (Peards) who were fortuitously having an autumn sale. My thanks to Murray Knight, and the Victorian Club, for organising a very well-run and successful pageant.

Next year’s pageant will be hosted by the Queensland Club and will be held at in the country town of Boonah, about 80km from Brisbane and the Gold Coast. Meanwhile, back in Canberra, colder weather is approaching, and right on cue, the battery in our 306 HDi died recently. Being a Sunday, I called the NRMA, who turned up within about 15 minutes of my call, and fitted a new battery in about another 15 minutes. The 306 is 12 years old, and this is only the 3rd battery the car has had. The first, factory-fitted battery lasted an astonishing 8 years, but the second one only lasted 4 years. The NRMA battery, just fitted, comes with a 3 year warranty – we shall see.

Once again, I have had to postpone the promised comparison between the Toyota Aurion and the 508. I will do my best to complete that for the May edition of Roar.

Our next regular club meeting will be at 8pm on Tuesday 23 April at the Weston Club, with dinner from 7pm.

Keep on Pugging,

Brad Pillans

Picture of Brad