Classic Peugeots gather for UK event

(July 11, 2014) SOUTHAMPTON, England — One of the rarest collections of Peugeots ever assembled in the UK proved that "Motion and Emotion" doesn’t just apply to the latest models. Last month, more than 120 classic Peugeots met up for the annual International Peugeot Meeting, held this year in the UK, near Southampton. With a theme of "Best of British" international guests were treated to fine fare from across the UK throughout the weekend.

The cars all belonged to members of l’Aventure Peugeot, the Brand’s heritage arm with a museum in Sochaux near Mulhouse, France. As well as Britain, owners and vehicles came from France, Belgium, Holland, Germany, Austria, Switzerland, Luxembourg and Italy.

After gathering at the Macdonald Botley Park Hotel, Southampton, owners enjoyed chatting about, showing and sharing the huge variety of cars in the afternoon sun whilst enjoying a very traditional British cream tea.

The following day, they drove through the scenic New Forest to the National Motor Museum at Beaulieu. Here they displayed their cars to the general public whilst enjoying the varied exhibits on offer followed by a picnic in the grounds of the Museum.

Xavier Peugeot, director of product for the Peugeot Brand and President of l’Aventure Peugeot, believes classic models are a vital part of ensuring the Brand remains true to its heritage. He said: “I like looking backwards but only if we can use it for the future. The 402 Eclipse is a good example. It was very innovative when it was launched. It proved that Peugeot had a vision for the future very early on. I don’t know why it took us such a long time between doing the 402 Eclipse and the 206 Coupé Cabriolet! What I do know is that looking at our heritage can make us more credible and stronger.”

The huge variety of cars included some real rarities. The oldest was a 1922 Peugeot Type 173S. Owner Christian Bottero said: “This is a unique model with roadster bodywork by a coach-builder in Marseille. Even so I still do around 500 miles a year in it. It would be impossible to restore if it got damaged but I like driving it because it puts a smile on people’s faces.”

As with many of the owners, Bottero has several Peugeots in his stable. It was the same with Piet Kostelijk; the 80-year-old from Amsterdam, Holland, had brought his rare 1934 601 Roadster to the UK. He also owns a 202 Cabriolet, 302, 304, 404 and 504 Cabriolet. He said: “Only 109 of the 601 Roadsters were built and there are just five left in the world. When I got mine 17 years ago, it wasn’t a runner. But this was always my dream car so there was never any question whether I would get it working again.”

Ken Broughton has owned his 403 since 1964. “I’ve never seen so many 403s in one place,” he said. “I don’t have a problem finding parts for my car because whenever I heard that a Peugeot Dealership had any parts, I would buy them for my car. I’ve still got a garage full!”

Philippe Boulay meanwhile spent two years restoring his rare 402 Darl’Mat. He explained: “It was taken to the USA by an American soldier after the war. When I bought it in 1989 in Seattle it was complete but in very poor condition. I brought it back to France, restored it and now drive around 1300 miles a year. It’s got cable brakes and very heavy steering but they’re worth putting up with for such a beautiful car.”

Club Peugeot UK Chairman Ian Kirkwood who with Peugeot UK organized the event added: “It was fantastic bringing together so many people who have such a vast knowledge of the product. I was talking to a guy from France I’d never met before and we quickly established that we were looking at the same cars for sale on the Internet and even had bought vehicles from the same guy in France! It really is an incredibly close-knit community.”