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Rare Peugeots gather in the UK

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MORE than 120 classic Peugeots met up for the annual International Peugeot Meeting, held this year in the UK, near Southampton.

The cars all belonged to members of l’Aventure Peugeot, the brand’s heritage arm with a fabulous 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 showing and sharing the huge variety of cars in the afternoon. The following day, they drove to the National Motor Museum at Beaulieu where they displayed their cars to the public.

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 coachbuilder 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, Christian has several Peugeot in his stable. It was the same with Piet Kostelijk; the 80-year-old from Amsterdam, 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.”

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