Ex Casterton 203

Russell Hall

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Basil Moran's old 1951 model 203 is for sale again. This vehicle has gone through a number of owners. Basil acquired it from Faroes and restored it in the late 1980's with Jim O'Brien doing the mechanical work. The car had a genuine low mileage and known history. It had new pistons and sleeves fitted but the white metal bearings weren't touched. I don't know what has happened to it over the last twenty years but is was a good original car. For some reason Basil registered it as a 1950 model but it isn't.
https://www.ebay.com.au/itm/1950-Pe...rentrq:3d2116321700ad4eb1866ffdffdf7668|iid:1
Basil sold it around 20 years ago for about $10000. It's $11500 firm on JustCars. Mileage 62,000 which is probably genuine.
 
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hurricane

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Thanks for putting this post up Russell. I was interested to know about the lineage of this car.
 

Russell Hall

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Bill Faroe was the Peugeot dealer in Casterton from 1950. The car was sold to a relative and ended up coming back to Casterton. The daughter in law used to drive it. It blew the top off a piston at around 35000 miles. Bill blamed the daughter in law for not retarding the ignition going up the hill in town. It sat in a shed with a brand new genuine piston and sleeve set waiting for repair for many years and was sold with faded blue paint and rusty bumpers for $700 around 1985. Jim O'Brien was an old 203 rally driver and did the mechanical restoration. The chrome came up very well from Portland, a roof lining was done in Port MacDonnell and the painting done by Carlin and Gazzard Mount Gambier as a personal project by the shop manager. The car drove and rode well although at this stage who knows who has done what to it. I was always envious of the perfect four spoke steering wheel.
 

Steven King

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Sour grapes maybe but it’s had some mirrors added since the last sale (Gippsland) which I fear are not clamped on but screwed. I think it was in Tewantin before that. IMG_1716 copy.JPG
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Russell Hall

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Yes, a few changes - a choke knob for a starter, can't see the blinker arm that worked the semaphores, carpeting has been added - but considering how many 203's have disappeared in the last 20 years it's good it's survived without being extensively "improved". I wonder what tyres he put it on. Basil ran it on the tyres that had sat flat for decades.
 

luthier

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Peter Dobe owned it for awhile, bought from Ken ? from Toowoomba Qld, of Tassie Targa fame with his rare Lancia. Pete was going on the 2013 Redex but firstly had a generator problem and then a headgasket blew, so after the delay he went the wrong way round and caught up with the crew at Narioopta. He fitted retro 16inch tyres before the rally which are probably still on it. The car went well in normal standard trim and was exceptionally neat with great interior and beautiful external two pack paintwork. He sold it a while after the rally and it has changed hands again at least once, maybe twice.
 

Russell Hall

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No bids. But he wasn't offering a roadworthy either. The 203 market is not strong.
 

hurricane

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I'd buy it in a heartbeat, but I don't have anywhere to put it. Apparently the roof linings and carpets were damaged (sunroof leaking?) and hence the replacement of both of those in the last few years. I assume it would need to be kept undercover. I hope my 203 dream comes true. I'm no expert, but in NSW a roadworthy is not required, and you can't transfer historic rego.
 

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Early 203 sunroofs had a reputation for leaking. I suspect that a factory mod for later versions as fitted to 203 C was to overcome the problem. Originally the assembly under the roof that provided the track for the moving panel had cut out sections , later versions did not have those bits cut out , thus preventing wind blown rain from entering above the head lining. I have installed an early roof in a 203 C , filling in the cut out bits to get around the issue. Carpet damp is usually from other leaks , eg leaking screen or back window.
 

Peter C

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No bids. But he wasn't offering a roadworthy either. The 203 market is not strong.

This is one of the problems with old Pugs, and possibly other French cars. As someone said recently, the young are not interested and among the older enthusiasts, interest is waning - and they are dying.

I wonder if it will get to the situation down the track of will there be anyone interested at any price?
 
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Russell Hall

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When the drains are kept clear with compressed air and the roof is very firmly shut it doesn't leak. That said, nearly all sunroof cars have headlining staining. The car in question never had new roof rubbers fitted.
 

Steven King

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Early 203 sunroofs had a reputation for leaking. I suspect that a factory mod for later versions as fitted to 203 C was to overcome the problem. Originally the assembly under the roof that provided the track for the moving panel had cut out sections , later versions did not have those bits cut out , thus preventing wind blown rain from entering above the head lining. I have installed an early roof in a 203 C , filling in the cut out bits to get around the issue....
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3E1B91FF-BA82-4C0D-8635-CDF3430E7F55.jpeg

if i understand you correctly and by what drawings i can find those cutouts would seem to be almost half a square metre of sheet metal?
 

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Russell Hall

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As I recall the early car has wide channels either side taking the water to the rear drains. The only time I had a problem at the rear was with a blocked drain. At 60 mph in heavy rain I have no concern so long as the roof is slammed shut. The rubber pipes deteriorate with time and dump everything on the front floor when one goes. I have no concern about leaving the car out in rain. The front floor ends up damp at the end of winter but a 203 did that anyway.
The sunroof on Basil's car was never taken out. I suspected the side felts had rust under them.
I should add I fitted new rubbers from Scotts to mine. The original rear rubber was quite flat. The new rubber hasn't flattened over time which makes the sunroof more difficult to fully close. You have to slam it. It probably lets very little past.
 
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GRAHAM WALLIS

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Peter Dobe owned it for awhile, bought from Ken ? from Toowoomba Qld, of Tassie Targa fame with his rare Lancia. Pete was going on the 2013 Redex but firstly had a generator problem and then a headgasket blew, so after the delay he went the wrong way round and caught up with the crew at Narioopta. He fitted retro 16inch tyres before the rally which are probably still on it. The car went well in normal standard trim and was exceptionally neat with great interior and beautiful external two pack paintwork. He sold it a while after the rally and it has changed hands again at least once, maybe twice.

It did go well, climbed the last pinch of the road to the lookout near Cooma in 2nd gear while on the rerun. Others in supposedly more powerful cars had to change to first.
 

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Yes fnqumuch it is a fair amount of metal cut out , in your parts sheet it is grey colour . I suspect that at some stage the factory decided not to save that weight , with the cut out wind blown rain could make its way past at the sides . There is a very good rubber seal across the moving part when it is closed but the issue appears to be at the ends of that seal . I am not talking of very large amounts of water but a fine mist could stain the headlining , replacing the cut out will prevent any of this so long as the drain pipes do their job.
 

Russell Hall

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It did go well, climbed the last pinch of the road to the lookout near Cooma in 2nd gear while on the rerun. Others in supposedly more powerful cars had to change to first.

That car pulled well because it was much lower geared than the earlier ones. Always puzzled over it but it was a great hill climber.
 

Russell Hall

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Basil Moran's Redex Re-Run car is advertised in Torque with the price reduced from $10000 to $7500. It's a white 1954 203A (large back window) with reco 403 motor and 505 seats. Used to be Jim O'Briens green car. It had substantial rust repairs. Michelins on 15" 403 rims. No mention of RWC. The last time I introduced a frogger to this seller he wasn't happy with the result so this is info not recommendation. 0355824233
 

lo203404

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Basil Moran's old 1951 model 203 is for sale again. This vehicle has gone through a number of owners. Basil acquired it from Faroes and restored it in the late 1980's with Jim O'Brien doing the mechanical work. The car had a genuine low mileage and known history. It had new pistons and sleeves fitted but the white metal bearings weren't touched. I don't know what has happened to it over the last twenty years but is was a good original car. For some reason Basil registered it as a 1950 model but it isn't.
https://www.ebay.com.au/itm/1950-Pe...rentrq:3d2116321700ad4eb1866ffdffdf7668|iid:1
Basil sold it around 20 years ago for about $10000. It's $11500 firm on JustCars. Mileage 62,000 which is probably genuine.
Just came across a Rego. No. (Q546-738), for this car dating back to 1989, under the name of a Maurie Kelly, found on the list of the first '03 Register of '89.. As the images show, it's been around the traps, another 4 different Rego plates on the car over the years. It's number (203 1186575) puts it around the first thousand of the 2nd. series which started in Apr. '51. Image of car 203 1130039 shows same same nice type of hubcap! Maybe being from the same distributor when sold new?
 

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Russell Hall

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That gets me thinking. The car was definitely unregistered in Bill Faroe's garage before Basil bought it mid to late 1980's. When he registered it the number was BP 203. I thought early 1990's but I may be wrong. I drove it to Vaggs in 1998 to show it to Gordon Miller. Basil sold it maybe 2001 to a bloke from Queensland who flew down and drove it back. It left on a set of 403 wheels I provided with the 16's in the back.
My 203 spare (late1950) has the domed hubs with large reverse P.
The car was restored on the basis of if it doesn't need doing don't disturb it. The plus was the 30,000 miles which was close to genuine. Basil ran it on the old cross plies that had sat flat for years. It's lasting well and must soon find a better home.
Just noticed - it seems to have seat belts fitted.
 
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