President's Report - October 2012

Greetings All,

This month’s club meeting is our Annual General Meeting, to be held at the Weston Club on Tuesday 23 October at 8pm, with dinner and drinks, as usual, from 7pm. The AGM is an important event on the club calendar – we will review the past year, elect the new committee members and discuss activities for the coming year – so please come along and have your say.

Melrose Peugeot had a launch of the 208 in their showroom on 11 October. I had been contemplating going to see the 208 at the Sydney Motor Show but decided that a local showing was more cost- and time-effective. It’s much better than the 207 in all visual respects (looks, finish and accoutrements), but I haven’t driven it yet, so can’t comment on ride, handling, performance etc. However, the 208 is not a car that I will be buying – it’s a bit on the small side for a tall bloke like me. When I adjusted the drivers’ seat for comfort, I found myself looking straight at the door pillar when I turned to look out the window.

In last month’s column, I wrote about being delayed by floods on the Bruce Highway, north of Rockhampton, in 1978, as I drove north to Townsville in my 404 and that I had spent a few days, trapped by floodwaters, in Maryborough. However, as Kay and Richard Marken, from the Peugeot Car Club of Queensland, were quick to point out, Maryborough is south of Rockhampton and the place I was stranded in, north of Rocky, would have been the small town of Marlborough. Quite right, too. (Oops! Editor’s mistake, not Brad’s.) After I left Marlborough the highway was still not open all the way to Townsville. I slept in my car the next night at the Connors River, where the water was still way over a low bridge, and then drove through the next morning when the floodwaters had dropped to a safe level – still over the bridge but below door level on my 404. One idiot tried to cross on a motorbike, not long before me, and was swept off the bridge – he swam ashore, but the bike disappeared downstream.

The night before, one enterprising truckie had been selling slabs of beer from his refrigerated truck while we waited. From the Connors River I drove straight through to Townsville. With floodwater and debris still across the highway in places, I managed to hole my fuel tank. A bikie, following me, noticed it before I did and ranged up beside me, motioning to pull over. The fuel was ‘pissing out’ and there was no way to repair it, so we agreed that I should keep going (Townsville was still 30km away) and that he would follow and give me a ride into town if the fuel ran out – it didn’t and I found a servo still open on a late Sunday arvo. The attendant sold me some filler and we repaired the hole nicely. Then he turned to me and said,

I see from your number plate that you’re from Canberra. You’re also a tall bloke – do you play Aussie rules?

I said I did, and his reply was:

Right, see you at footy training on Tuesday night.

And so I became a star recruit for the worst team in town!

To finish, a quick reminder about French Car Day which will be held on Saturday 3 November from 2.30pm to 7pm at Telopea Park School, in conjunction with the school fete. As in previous years, there will be trophies, donated by Shannons, for best Peugeot, best Renault, best Citröen and best French car. All club members are encouraged to attend this popular event.

Keep on Pugging,

Brad Pillans

Picture of Brad