The French Car Page



Our family's first Peugeot was a 403, purchased by my father in France and then shipped to Australia. Unfortunately it got stuck in the Suez Canal during the 1956 crisis. The first photo here is of a blue 403 that we used while waiting for the import to get out of the canal.

My first car, a "family hand me down" 1964 Peugeot 403B, is in the second photo, somewhere in the bush near Gloucester Tops, NSW in about 1969. Just behind the camp in the second photo was a creek full of leeches and the air was full of mosquitos. Nice bush though.


I bought another 403 for $325 after rolling the grey one on a wet night very soon afterwards.. Sorry about the hair and the flares, but hey, it was the early 70's!




I'm afraid I haven't found a photo of the 404 which came next yet.



The Dunkerton / Watson / Peugeot 504 refuelling in Alice Springs during the 1977 London to Sydney rally while I was living in Alice Springs


Ever had to change the crankshaft under a gum tree? Back in the early 70's a good friend of mine broke down at Wagga Wagga, NSW on a trip to the Flinders Ranges in his Peugeot 403B. I went down with a new set of bearings for him. (The front main bearing on late model 403's frequently died at about 70,000 miles. A modification to the oil grooves in the bearing fixed the problem, but most people didn't find out about the need for until it died) When we pulled out the engine, using a gum tree as a crane jib, we found the crankshaft was fractured right through. Despite this the car, in typical 403 fashion, was still driveable when we pulled the motor out.. Fairly amazingly, and for reasons totally unrelated to the breakdown, I just happened to have a spare crank in the boot!



Today we have a 406 D8, a 306 XSi and a 505 SLi Wagon (the "workhorse") as well as what's left of the Citroen DS (a perennial restoration project that somehow never gets done)



When we were back in England in the early 1960's my father toyed with the idea of buying a Citroën DS Safari and a folding camp trailer for a trip around Europe. We ended up with a VW Kombi van, but I fell in love with the Goddess. It wasn't until 1986, after another 24 years, that I owned one however - a 1975 D Special. (Your Last Chance ! - Nov 1975 Australian ad for D Special )

In the late 60's I was taught the basics of car mechanics by a wonderful Sydney Uni psychology lecturer, Norm Holt, who owned a couple of Traction Avant "Big 6's" and a Light 15. He later graduated to an early model ID19 and then - quelle horreur - a brand new GS club wagon. Such modernity!

My own DS, in one of those quirks of co-incidence, had spent its first ten years in Wagga Wagga (where Eric's 403 crankshaft broke).


On the way to Sydney in the D Special in 1986

Arriving home, 1986


This old blue canoe, made by an old Hungarian (Kantek?) for my 113th birthday, has travelled on just about all of our cars.

When the London to Sydney Rally came through Alice Springs in 1977 I saw my first Citroen CX. It was a car with character, but I must confess that it has never had the same appeal for me as the D series. Still, I know that there are CX fans out there who might find the following pictures interesting. Those Cibie Super Oscars could sure put out a healthy dose of light!

1977 London to Sydney Rally CX

Under the Bonnet - 1977 Rally CX at an Alice Springs petrol station - love that alfoil carby heat shield!


Happy motoring




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