Idle Torque: the French Connection

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Barry Mouritz has driven his 1960 403 wagon more than 80,000km in Australia and New Zealand.
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Peugeot cars made their mark in Australia when a 203 won the first Redex Trial in 1953.

A second win came in 1956, when a Peugeot 403 won the event, cementing the brand's reputation in Australia for supreme endurance.

All that toughness continues to inspire owners of 1950s and 60s Peugeots to take their cars far beyond the black stump.

One of those owners is Barry Mouritz, who has driven his 1960 403 wagon more than 80,000km throughout Australia and New Zealand during the past 11 years.

Mr Mouritz said he grew up in Mt Isa in Queensland and fondly remembered participants in the Redex Trial going through the remote mining town during the 1950s.

The event left quite an impression on the young Mr Mouritz, so much so that in 2002, he bought his Peugeot 403 specifically to participate in the Redex Trial 50th anniversary event in 2003.

Since then, he's taken it all over the country.

Mr Mouritz said this week his next trip in his 403 wagon, scheduled for May 2015, would take him and a small band of other Peugeot enthusiasts from Perth to Paris.

He said the first leg of the journey would be shipping the cars from Fremantle to Kuala Lumpur. "We will travel north to cross into China from Laos then on to Mongolia, Russia, Kazakhstan, Russia and into Europe to finish in France."

Currently, three vehicles are committed to the epic trek. The group is looking for at least two more cars to join them, which will help reduce the per-car cost of the trip.

One of Mr Mouritz's fellow Peugeot travellers, a Melbourne owner of a 1957 Peugeot 203 wagon, is looking for a co-driver to join him.

"We are looking for one more co-driver for this four-month trip and also a couple of early-model cars wanting to participate," Mr Mouritz said.

For further details, Mr Mouritz can be reached on 0408 958 784.

* * *

Next month will mark the 50th anniversary of the Donald Campbell’s land speed record-breaking run at Lake Eye in South Australia.

At the wheel of his Bluebird CN7, Campbell set a new British Land Speed Record of 648.7km/h.

The year 1964 was very special for Campbell, because it was when he took both the the world land and water speed records in the same year, a feat that has never been equalled.

Importantly for Western Australia, Campbell claimed the other half of this achievement, the water speed record, at Lake Dumbleyung, about 280km south east of Perth.

That was on December 31, 1964. Campbell died in January 1967, when his Bluebird K7 hydroplane overturned during a water speed record attempt.

Motor Moments update:
June 14-15
WA Hot Rod and Street Machine Spectacular, Claremont Showgrounds. Admission $20 adults. See
July 6
York Motor Show. Presented by the Veteran Car Club. Email or phone 9641 1741.
American Independence Day Run. Start 9.30am, Kingsway Shopping Centre, Madeley. Phone 0418 943 567 or see
July 13
Super Model Car Sunday. 9am – 4pm. 12 Cusack Rd, Malaga. Admission $5 adults, kids under 17 free. Phone 0419 192 904 or email
July 20
Veteran Car Club Winter Autojumble. Ranford Road, Southern River. Gates open 6.30am. Phone 0419 276 411.

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