President's Report - March 2005

Greetings All,

We had an excellent range of models, ranging from 203 to 206CC, on display at the recent Shannon's Wheels Exhibition on the lawns of Old Parliament House.  The weather was a perfect, sunny early autumn day, if a touch on the hot side for some, and the event attracted a good crowd, including three new club members. As usual, Bob Edwards' immaculate 403 panel van was a star attraction, but all our vehicles drew plenty of admirers. Arranged in chronological order, we had 203 sedan, 403 sedan, 403 van, 404 sedan, 504 sedan, 504 wagon, 505 sedan, 405 Mi16, 406 sedan, 206CC, with a Bugatti open wheeler on the end.  Former member, Ian Booth, happened to have his lovely red 205 cabriolet out for a run, so we persuaded him to add it to the line-up as well. All in all, one of the best displays we've had at Wheels.

With Renault registering a one-three finish in the Melbourne Formula 1 Grand Prix, and Peugeot leading the manufacturers points in the World Rally Championship after three rounds, French car makers are enjoying a great start to 2005 in motor sport. After a forgettable 2004, the Peugeot 307 WRC cars and drivers (Marcus Gronholm and Markko Martin) are looking like genuine contenders in 2005.

There's no doubt that Gronholm is one of the quickest and most talented drivers in the WRC, but he had a lot of trouble finishing last year. Meanwhile, Martin (ex-Ford) has added some real talent to the Peugeot team, and has actually scored more points than Gronholm so far. I said very little about the WRC in this column last year, but I fully expect to able to brag a bit more this year. Speaking of motor sport, the club is set to revive its local activities by holding a motorkhana event in the not too distant future, probably jointly with another club - more news in next month's column.

Tyres are continually in the spotlight in motor sport, with Michelin always among the leading brands of choice. So too on road cars, of course. Indeed, my pugs have rarely been fitted with anything else, although I did fit Continentals to a 404 in New Zealand in the mid 1980s when Michelins were much more expensive and actually not as good as the Continentals in the wet.

How good are Michelin tyres?  Dennis Backhouse from Woden Tyre & Exhaust will tell us at our next club meeting. It's been two years since Dennis last spoke to the club, and Michelin tyres have changed quite a lot in that time. So come along to get the latest goss from an entertaining expert. You can also hear about the latest club activities, read magazines from other pug clubs or talk technical stuff with our club mechanic, Bill McNamee.

Keep on Pugging,

Brad Pillans

Picture of Brad