203 stuff

A somber start to this collection
 

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A couple of 203's above in need of grilles. Here's some of the options on offer. Used to be a few special grilles around but you don't see them now. The African ute in 706 above seems to have a hand made grille.
 

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My files are not well organized. You'll have to forgive if I repeat myself.
 

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You could put a sunroof on a car with a great deal of work. There was a large back window sunroof wreck in Tassie a while back. Could have been an import, we'll never know.
 

harrisonati

New member
This ad took two of the comparative weaknesses of the 203 head on.
Hill climbing was not a strength. In most circumstances like climbing the Pentlands the car would pull well but a laden 203 would get winded on longer hills while six cylinder Holdens whizzed past. The very first cars had a high second gear. There were situations where the revs weren't kept up and a restart in the non-syncro first became necessary. The 1951 cars had a lower second and the problem was largely gone. The 203 was rated to climb a one in three hill and would wind up any look- out in first.
The 203 was designed and geared as a long distance tourer. It never gave the impression of being slow at traffic lights but its figures were inferior not only to the Holden but to its British opposition. The early cars took 22 seconds to reach 50 mph compared to under 14 for a Holden. Its figures were inferior to the Austin A 40, Morris Minor and even the Morris Oxford (only just). Fortunately most people didn't take much notice of figures and anyone who tested one didn't find it a slug. Although one publication suggested the body was too heavy for the engine. On the contrary the perception of the 203 was of a fast, even sporting saloon that could put in good point to point times.
Just a few thoughts:
1 - If you want to find slow road test times for a French car, just look in a British magazine!
2 - By any reasonable analysis, you could cruise a 203 flat out all day. People seem to have an aversion to cruising flat out, not that it's viable these days, but think of it this way. Let's say that you do a 'port and polish' and a few other changes so that you increase the top speed by 5 or 10 mph. You then feel justified in cruising the car at the original top speed. The power required for that is still the same, so by running with the throttle partly closed, you're restricting the flow of air/fuel mixture to about what it was before the modifications. Why would the wearing parts of the engine know the difference?
3 - 203s seem to have a heavy flywheel, which reduces acceleration in the lower gears, but has little affect in the overdrive fourth ratio.
4 - At higher speeds, the relative aerodynamic efficiency of the 203 body helps it accelerate better and climb hills better than many of it's competitors.
5 - Radial tyres, if fitted, reduced rolling resistance and had a beneficial effect on performance.
 

ianrobbo

Member
Then if you fitted a Sydney Speed shop 1600 sleeve up with a Bert Jones cam and a nice set of Extractors and maybe a twin carb manifold you had a lovely wolf in sheeps clothing loved my one in its day
 
Performance figures for the 203 are consistent between Autocar and La Vie Automobile. Peugeot and Tom Knowles were well treated by Autocar and some of the journalists owned Peugeots. Acceleration of the 203C with different gearing and slightly more power took 0-80 down to 19.5 seconds but 100k still took just over 30 seconds, 110 took 60 seconds and 120 seconds to reach maximum 116k.
Theoretically a 203 could cruise flat out with a piston speed below Ricardo's 2500 ft/min limit but fuel consumption was alarming, over 11 litres per 100k at 110 kph and rising. Contemporary mechanics expressed the opinion they had a higher wear rate when driven flat out. A cruising speed of 60 mph was considered suitable by many with some driving at 65mph.
The design change that would have increased 203 performance would have been to fit the 403 head which with a slightly higher compression gave the 403 Sept 56 bhp gross.
In an early 1950's buying guide in Australia of ten four cylinder cars the 203 was second slowest in acceleration to 50 mph and from 20 to 40 mph. But to drive them didn't give an impression they were below average on acceleration.
A cruising speed of 60 mph plus was extremely good and the 203 was a fast car on country roads.
 
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harrisonati

New member
Performance figures for the 203 are consistent between Autocar and La Vie Automobile. Peugeot and Tom Knowles were well treated by Autocar and some of the journalists owned Peugeots. Acceleration of the 203C with different gearing and slightly more power took 0-80 down to 19.5 seconds but 100k still took just over 30 seconds, 110 took 60 seconds and 120 seconds to reach maximum 116k.
Theoretically a 203 could cruise flat out with a piston speed below Ricardo's 2500 ft/min limit but fuel consumption was alarming, over 11 litres per 100k at 110 kph and rising. Contemporary mechanics expressed the opinion they had a higher wear rate when driven flat out. A cruising speed of 60 mph was considered suitable by many with some driving at 65mph.
The design change that would have increased 203 performance would have been to fit the 403 head which with a slightly higher compression gave the 403 Sept 56 bhp gross.
In an early 1950's buying guide in Australia of ten four cylinder cars the 203 was second slowest in acceleration to 50 mph and from 20 to 40 mph. But to drive them didn't give an impression they were below average on acceleration.
A cruising speed of 60 mph plus was extremely good and the 203 was a fast car on country roads.
The attached road test from October 1953 Wheels magazine nominates better figures!
 

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alpine

Member
Angle grinder job , the section between windscreen and roof hole is too large . Not such a great amount of work to do the job properly , welding in all the reinforcing and using a complete donor to start with.
i have a complete 203 sunroof in good order that is surplus to requirements in Queanbeyan, should anyone be embarking on that road
 
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