President's Report - April 2005

Greetings All,

First reports from Tasmania suggest that this year's Easter Pageant was a great success. Next year we will be hosting the event in Canberra, and a sub-committee, comprising Peter Rees, Graham Taylor, John Bower, Christopher Lang and myself, has been formed to oversee the planning. Naturally, other members are welcome to assist at any time!

Sue and I were unable to go to Tasmania, but we did do a bit of touring to Sydney and back - up in a Subaru Liberty, and back in a 405. My brother, in Sydney, had wanted to get a few thousand more km on his leased Subaru, before the end of March, and we had swapped cars three weeks previously in order to help him out. Needless to say, the Liberty was pleasant to drive, but lacked any real character. En-route we called at Allan Mackay Autos, the Peugeot dealership in Moss Vale, and enquired about upgrading from 405SRI to 306 HDi at some time in the near future.

Sales Manager, Lindsay Felton, immediately suggested we ring local resident, Wal Glading, who had one for sale, but it transpired that Wal had gone to Tasmania (in the 306), and by the time I could arrange to see the car it had been sold. Close, but no cigar, as they say. So, we remain on the look-out for a 306HDi, and would welcome hearing from anyone with one for sale.

At last month's club meeting Dennis Backhouse from Woden Tyre & Exhaust gave us an excellent update on Michelin tyres, and a bit of plug for Pirelli as an alternative. The good news for older Pugs is that the much loved Michelin XZX 165x15 is still available. Not that I need any in the foreseeable future - my 404 and 203 wagon, were treated to new tyres a few years ago, but because I only travel a few hundred km a year in these Historic-registered vehicles, the tyres will probably last as along as I will (longer, I suspect!).

Dennis also reminded everyone to make sure their tyres are not under-inflated, which leads to faster, often uneven wear, and lower fuel economy. He also emphasised the safety aspect of putting your best tyres on the back wheels, even on front-wheel drive cars - better to lose traction at the front than the back, according to Dennis.

At this month's meeting, we are organising a round-table discussion on the many weird and wonderful ways that people have used to make worm drive Pugs go faster, with particular emphasis on 203, 403 and 404 models. It's common to put a 403 engine in a 203 for extra performance, but what about a 404 with a Mazda rotary engine? If you have a go-fast story to tell, then come along and join the fun on Tuesday 26 May in the Italo-Australian club at 8 pm.

I also draw your attention to two other upcoming events, both on Sunday 1 May. Temora Aviation Museum "Flying Day" with the Renault and Citroen clubs, and a motorkhana in conjunction with the MG car club. A tough choice!

Keep on Pugging,

Brad Pillans

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