President's Report - March 2001

Greetings All,

Well, we had an excellent turnout for the club BBQ in Lennox Gardens last month. Some 30 people were lured to the scenic late afternoon setting, and were treated to the sight, sound and smell of sizzling meat being expertly cooked by the club's own wannabe chefs, Mike Garrett and Andrew Davies.

Gathering storm clouds soon delivered a drenching downpour, as we retreated to nearby shelter, leaving the deputy chef (yours truly, who had the biggest umbrella) to finish the soggy job. The rain duly cleared, the food was enthusiastically consumed, and we enjoyed the wonderful late afternoon light, followed by slowly enveloping darkness.

This month, we return to the Italo-Australian Club for our monthly club meeting on Tuesday the 27th, when we will be showing a couple of short videos, and finalising the design for the club's new car badge.

Allan Lance has produced a wonderful array of computer-generated images to choose from (some of which featured in the December magazine), any of which would make an attractive addition to the front (or rear) of members cars. Andy Russo, who chased up quotes, last year, for producing the enamel-on-metal badges, will doubtless be pleased to see his efforts finally come to fruition!

Looking ahead a little, April club activities will center on the Easter Peugeot Pageant in Dubbo, while in May we are arranging for the club meeting to be held in the showroom of Melrose Peugeot. With more and more club members trading up to newer models, club links with the local dealership are likely to strengthen, to the benefit of all concerned.

Did anyone reply to the ad for ACT number plate 206 for sale in the Canberra Times on Saturday March 12? I didn't, because it wouldn't look quite right on my 505, but anyone with a 206 would surely be tempted.

Still on the 206 theme, Peugeot has given the other teams and drivers a big start in the World Rally Championship after three rounds. Marcus Gronholm finally opened his 2001 points tally by finishing 3rd in the rally of Portugal, but was beaten home by Tommi Makkinen (Mitsubishi Lancer) and Carlos Sainz (Ford Focus).

A similar slow start last year did not prevent Gronholm from winning the drivers' championship, but the competition looks very tough this year. It would be nice to think that rally success would translate into more sales of the 206, just as it did for the world-beating 205 rally car in the 1980s. However, with supply of 206GTIs to Australia still very tight, it may mean that the GTI, at least, will not be seen on the road as often as it might.

On the other hand, short supply usually means that people will take more notice when they spy one - could this be another cult car in the making?

Keep on Pugging,

Brad Pillans

Picture of Brad