President’s Ramble – October 2020

For the first time in many years I didn’t attend the AGM. I had a temperature, headaches etc on the day of the event and given the current medical environment we have, I threw John Cooney in at the deep end to run it.  Despite this endeavour to enable a coup without resistance, I find myself still writing this Ramble so I guess either I am popular or no-one else is stupid enough to take on the role, I like to think the former.

The latest levels also have once again led to a disruption of our lives, with many many events being cancelled or significantly altered.  I for one have never seen such small crowds at the rugby at Eden Park, where we were limited to “pods” of 100 but I suspect I saw none larger than 35, such was either the fear or the complacency about going under such conditions.  Through car club contacts I have seen numerous swap meets, drives and other meetings cancelled when numbers were to surpass 100, but out of Auckland midweek or weekend drives still went on for many car clubs up and down the country, but not Auckland.

We have just had the Pride of Ownership. It was good to see some people that I hadn’t managed to see since before the initial lockdown, and am now looking forward to going away to a football tournament in Taupo. They had all sorts of scenarios awaiting government announcements ranging from “it’s all on”, to “it’s all off” to “if Auckland still has limits of 100 or less it’s on but without Auckland teams who have to travel with their conditions.”  This last Monday it was a welcome relief to be back to Level 1.

Also on will be the tour in Taranaki, now all based around New Plymouth as we are about to lose Nick Watson, ex- committee member and King Country host to a number of events over the last few years.  He is off to be in charge of a rural firefighting area in New South Wales, and will now be based in Bourke. Very much an outback location.  Nick informs me he will be in charge of a rural “area” that is larger than New Zealand and have 10 staff and 4000 Volunteers reporting to him. Huge, but also a huge loss to us.

Sven has been rapidly reworking the rally behind the scenes, call him 027 769 5919 or email him and join in for the tour.

I have literally just got off the phone with him to get a few details to write here and this is what you need to know.

  • Although it is the 404 Anniversary Rally it is open to all Peugeots or even admirers if you are having Peugeot mechanical issues. For instance – expect to see me there in my
  • It officially starts Saturday 24 October but…..
  • It unofficially starts Friday 23 October when Sven will arrange an informal get together the night before for those who are staying and assembling the night before.
  • The Rally proper will begin at 8.30am Saturday morning for an initial briefing and get on the road at 9am. It will head off, largely not using the main State Highways, towards Hawera.
  • The rally will return to New Plymouth on Saturday. If you want to travel on Saturday and join on Sunday and just do one day – that is OK.
  • Saturday night is free but no doubt most of us will go to dinner together.Starting times will be similar on Sunday morning with a drive from New Plymouth deep into the King Country, again returning to New Plymouth.
  • Dinner on Sunday night will be a BBQ hosted by Sven at his house.
  • Monday will be a morning drive with dispersal to your part of the country around midday.

As you can see from the pointers above there is no need to have a 404, but if you do have one do try and bring it, the more of that model the better. Get hold of Sven – and Sven has told me more the merrier. If you can’t do the whole event, turn up for part of it, enjoy part of the Island you may have little touring knowledge of and get there before you get lockdowned out of it! Not to mention enjoying our company.

Please join me and others this Labour Weekend, and let Sven know!


President’s Ramble – September 2020

Pencil November 8th in for the prize giving, to be held at the Vintage Car Club rooms in Penrose, I say pencil as the committee is yet to confirm it, as is the government, hopefully no more restrictions then!  This will be a social event and normally is the second half of the AGM, we will hold the traditional AGM prizegiving, raffle and afternoon tea.  The trophy winners have been publicised, if you are a winner it would be good if you can make that date.

As “recreation” and coming to realisation I am unlikely to be heading overseas anytime soon I have resorted to internet “shopping” classic Peugeots.  It is quite interesting seeing what is out there, among my finds have been a 205 GTI that has 15000 original kms, a 505 STI that had 8500 original miles.

Apparently it had been involved in some kind of financial dispute and was parked up not long after being purchased, apparently in a good location as it appeared totally rust free, all number of pre-1950s Peugeots, some having been in and out of museum collections, registered for the road and back to museums again.  My favourite that I wanted most is a 505 Hearse for sale in Spain, it has very unique bodywork.  The length of it suggests it has been built on a station wagon chassis, however the tailgate is definitely custom, it incorporates saloon taillights!  All this and more, price 4, 400 Euro, a lot cheaper than the 50, 000 Euro I saw one of the 205GTIs advertised for and so much more unique.

Anyway I am going to leave the Ramble to this very short version this time, and hope that Jeanette has room to fit in a photo of the 505 hearse, just because I like it.



President’s Ramble – August 2020

It is with a certain combination of relief, embarrassment and frustration that I must report to you all that our previously reported loss of shirts from the Club Shop was incorrect.  This last weekend we had our accounts audited and discovered that the figures matched. It turns out that the treasurer had a technical issue with his computer that was making it print out the wrong data.  So no loss, except a bit of my time, the previous club shop holders’ and Jeanette Grant’s as well in checking if she had any unaccounted for boxes!

With the mention of accounts, it is an appropriate time to remind you all that we will have the AGM at the Vintage Car Club rooms on the 30th of this month. The rooms are situated at 39 Fairfax Avenue, Penrose.  Please come and help make up the quorum. We need those numbers to ensure that the club can continue.  Please also consider if you can add your name to the committee; many hands make light work!

As for rambling, my regular rambles these days are Thursday nights on the streets of Ellerslie to take up the hour between dropping my youngest, Jessica, at her football practice and picking her up again.  Being the person that I am (a hunter gatherer at heart) I have discovered where there are Grapefruit trees in one of the parks (and they are very sweet!), where if the time of year is right I can pick Feijoas from the footpath and spotted, but as yet not tested, the odd Mandarin tree that hangs over the footpath too.  One of my favourite finds however has been a Peugeot 307, spotted outside a hairdressers one night (though they may have been visiting the Thai takeaway that was also open), which just happens to have the number plate ‘Feb14’ – what more could you want to give to your Valentine sweetheart than a Peugeot?

My happy place is my garden. It’s where I feel relaxed, usually without a care in the world.  The peaceful part of me enjoys nurturing my trees, shrubs, flowers and vegetables, and the stressed part enjoys ripping out the weeds, preferably roots and all! Unfortunately, I can’t usually find enough time to keep it weed free so weeding is sporadic a virtual blitz confined to sections of the garden at a time. This time of year I get particular enjoyment from the daffodils that I have strategically planted along our driveway and a couple of other spots.  I also get great enjoyment from observing other daffodils, such as those found in the Domain, Ohinerau/Mount Hobson and in Cornwall Park.  Those of you that are Facebook friends with me will have seen me post pictures of both my own and Cornwall Park’s.  This last weekend I posted a picture and a friend of mine commented

“I wandered lonely as a cloud…”. This was a phrase with which I was unacquainted so I immediately interweb searched it. To my delight I found it is a poem by William Wordsworth, apparently written in 1804, first published in 1807 and revised in 1815.  I can think of no better description of the delight that daffodils are and will leave you with his fantastic descriptive poetry, I hope it impresses your “inward eye.”

Hope you enjoy it,

Brent. 


I wandered lonely as a cloud

That floats on high o’er vales and hills,

When all at once I saw a crowd,

A host, of golden daffodils;

Beside the lake, beneath the trees,

Fluttering and dancing in the breeze.


Continuous as the stars that shine

And twinkle on the milky way,

They stretched in never-ending line

Along the margin of a bay:

Ten thousand saw I at a glance,

Tossing their heads in sprightly dance.


The waves beside them danced; but they

Out-did the sparkling waves in glee:

A poet could not but be gay,

In such a jocund company:

I gazed—and gazed—but little thought

What wealth the show to me had brought:


For oft, when on my couch I lie

In vacant or in pensive mood,

They flash upon that inward eye

Which is the bliss of solitude;

And then my heart with pleasure fills,

And dances with the daffodils.

President’s Ramble – July 2020

Don Howarth has been good enough to respond to the call out to assist someone with the navigation trial. The assistance Don has offered is the access to a number of pre-made routes that Don has been on with the Vintage Car Club (plus possibly other clubs too – but I didn’t press him on that so it may only be speculation) and to give those routes to anyone that will organise the Navigation Trial.  However as yet no-one has responded to my email asking for a volunteer to organise one…to put some perspective on this I don’t want to do it.  I would like to compete. I have set at least two – but I suspect three up myself in the past. Last time Don Hadfield did it and I have competed on an earlier one of his too. I know John and Jeanette Grant have set them in the past as have Greg Winkley and Don Howarth, and Nick Watson in Taumaranui and there may be others in the club that as I write this I have forgotten or simply forgotten who organised the routes for a couple of runs up in Northland.  In short a volunteer is still wanted and we have a support crew to assist anyone new to the task – see if you can step up to the challenge!

 On a more sombre note I feel compelled, embarrassed and a bit miffed to report that somehow we have lost part of the club stock, circa a dozen shirts.  I won’t go into the facts in any great depth – partly because they are a bit cloudy, i.e. it is a mystery how they disappeared, but in both short form, which is very close to the long form, this is what we know.

  • Don Howarth was the Club Shop holder and took the shop to our last AGM held at Southern Autos last year, to hand over the boxes it was contained in as he had resigned from the position.
  • As we rushed out of the show-room it was thought that they hurriedly got loaded into my car, however I only bought 1 of the 2 boxes home to my place.
  • Other boxes (containing trophies, remains of the afternoon tea etc) got loaded in other peoples’ cars rather rapidly as well.
  • The box has sat in my garage doing nothing all year, nobody has approached or even looked like approaching me to purchase anything.
  • In preparation for the Annual Accounts Steve Cornwall our Treasurer sent me a list of the stock as per last year’s accounts. It was at this point that it was discovered that we are short a number of shirts. All other stock (pens, stickers and 404 postcards are accounted for).
  • I called Don to seek direction in case I was overlooking something. It was at this point I learned that there should have been two boxes, not just the one I have.
  • Since then Don, Jeanette Grant (her car was one of those that things got loaded into rapidly) and myself have all searched our garages, underneath the house, on the sun porch, the spare bedroom, storage spaces in ceilings as appropriate to each of our individual houses in case the missing box has been inadvertently put there, all to no avail except I know that at least two of us three have discovered items we had either forgotten about or not seen for some time that we personally owned!
  • At the time of writing I have one more lead to follow up but frankly have little hope of a positive outcome.
  • Other possible outcomes include that the box was put in someone else’s vehicle as we left the AGM in a bit of a rush and those of us at the centre of the mystery are unaware of who has it. Therefore can I ask that if you were at the AGM last year and have ended up with the box please let me know.

From a realistic point of view you (as members) can expect to see a write down of stock in the club financials this year.  However in many ways it is also possibly a realistic outcome, whether the items are lost or not, as many of the shirts were/are old and outdated.  In particular, there are/were a number of shirts that date from the early 2000s that came out for the WRC 307. In reality, who other than a particularly keen rally fan, would want a “new” shirt of a 15year old rally car?  It is realistic to suggest that even the club shirts aren’t that popular with the Auckland Peugeot Car Club logo, most of us that are likely to want one already have one, while the rest of you who don’t have one probably don’t want one anyway! Certainly since last year’s AGM there have been no enquiries made of the club shop.  The question must be asked does our club stock have any value anyway other than its typical use of one shirt being a giveaway at the AGM raffle?

I am going to leave it at that, you have been warned about our missing stock and the financial implications, I do not foresee them being found, but do hold a minor amount of hope.  If you just happen to know where the missing box is we would love to know.  I admit possibly one of the reasons for no enquiries is a lack of knowledge of what the club shop has, in next month’s Ramble, or possibly as a separate article I will let you know what we actually have – with or without the missing shirts.

That’s it for now, I know I will be seeing some of you at the upcoming dinner (as I write this, gone as you read it most likely!) with Citroen and I hope a good number of you make it to our AGM at the Auckland Vintage Car Club rooms – 39 Fairfax Ave, Penrose – 1pm on August 30th.

Nga mihi nui,


PS– Have you returned your 2019 trophy yet?


Navigation Trial 2020

The Annual Navigation Trial with Citroen will be taking place on
Sunday November 15th starting at 1.30pm.

Many thanks to Don Hadfield for organising this event.
Starting location is the Z Service Station in Clevedon Rd, Papakura.

Any enquires contact Don