President's Report - March 2014

Greetings All,

In last month’s column, I related the saga of getting our 306 repaired after a rear end accident. A month later, and the saga is still not complete – I have the car back from the panel beater, who did a lovely job on repairing the bumper, but the car still has no towbar or spare wheel basket, both of which were damaged in the accident. Towbars for the 306 are no longer available from Peugeot, so the panel beater has had to repair our broken one. That has been done, but the spare wheel basket has taken some time to get, after which both will be fitted. Another minor problem occurred with the 306 – after I picked it up from the panel beater, all the indicators and one brake light were not working, and the electric wing mirrors were also not operating. A quick inspection revealed a bunch of exposed wires, from the trailer wiring, hanging, loose from the back of the car. I taped them up, replaced two blown fuses, and all was well again. [The indicators and the wing mirrors are connected to the same fuse].

On Sunday 16th March the annual Shannon’s Wheels exhibition was held in Kings Park, near the Canberra Carillon, on the eastern foreshore of Lake Burley Griffin. It was a cool, windy day, quite unpleasant, at times, but the cars made up for the weather to some extent.

The French cars on display included 7 Peugeots, 3 Renaults, 2 Citroëns and a Bugatti. One of the Citroëns was the SM, belonging to Paul James, which was a star attraction at last year’s French Car Day. Lisa Molvig also had a Peugeot bike in the back of her Renault 12 wagon.

Colin Handley and I had a long chat with an enthusiastic young guy, and his girlfriend, who had recently acquired a 1957 403 for restoration – it was free, but he had to pick it up in Tamworth! Hopefully, we will see that car among our club ranks in the not too distant future.

I also spoke to Tony Watson, who has been doing a bare-metal restoration of a 203 wagon for the past 2 years. Tony said that he expected to have it ready for Wheels next year!

Our French cars, at Wheels, were adjacent to a very impressive line-up of Rolls-Royce Silver Ghosts, doing what seemed to be a world tour. I’d never seen so many Ghosts in one place and they were certainly much admired by all who saw them. However, at 12- 13 miles to the gallon, you’d need a lot of petrol for a world tour! Nearly 8,000 Ghosts were made between 1906 and 1926, including about 1700 vehicles that were manufactured in the USA.

Kings Park was far from an ideal location for the Wheels event – the undulating site, rough in places, was not nearly as nice as the lawns of Parliament House, for such a display, and much more exposed to the wind. Even the Mercedes Club, who organised the event, seemed not to have mounted their usual military-style, but invariably impressive, line-up of cars. Personally, I hope that the organisers of the 2015 event will choose another site.

Our next club meeting will be held, as usual, at 8pm on Tuesday 25th March at the Weston Club, with dinner and drinks from 7pm. See you there.

Keep on Pugging,

Brad Pillans

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