Heels & Horsepower Magazine

Peugeot has a notable legacy in producing pick-up trucks

When it comes to building pick-up trucks, Peugeot is a veteran with decades of experience under its belt. 

One of the oldest car brands in the world, Peugeot entered the pick-up market in 1938 with the introduction of the Peugeot 202 U Camionnette / Bâchée. A small number of these 202 pick-ups were imported to South Africa after World War II, most of them being redundant former French military stock. They were not even re-painted, but made their debut in matt army green colouring. Only one of these vintage 202s still exists in South Africa, where it forms part of a lucky owner’s private collection. 

Peugeot 202 U Camionnette
Image: Orlando Auto Museum

Following the imported 202, Peugeot released car models of the locally manufactured 203. National Motor Assemblers, part of the Stanley Motors Group, started assembling 203 cars at Natalspruit industrial site in Alberton, south of Johannesburg in 1950. Although there was a 203 pick-up manufactured in France until 1960, they were not for sale in South Africa

Peugeot 403 Pick-Up
Image Wikipedia

The 403 model followed in 1956 and was the next Peugeot pick-up to appear on the market. Only a handful of these models are reportedly left in the country today, in the collections of classic car enthusiasts. Comfort, economy and durability coupled with superb road holding, precise steering and excellent brakes were the hallmarks of these 403 pick-ups and they built up a tremendous reputation in South Africa, especially in the country districts.

Further north in Africa, Peugeot’s success story in Nigeria supposedly began with a hundred privately-imported Peugeot 403s back in the late 1950s, firmly establishing the brand and its suitability for the rigours of the continent. 

When its successor, the 404 pick-up appeared, Peugeot pick-ups began making deep tracks in Africa. It was hugely popular in South Africa and throughout the rest of the continent where it became a faithful workhorse on farms, at small business and across various industries. It was not uncommon to see large industrial projects, like the building of the Sishen–Saldanha iron ore railway line and export harbour, to solely run on Peugeot 404 wheels. 

Peugeot 404 Sedan
Image: Pixabay

In its heyday, the 404 pick-up was found from Cape Town to Cairo and everywhere in between, because of its ability to go anywhere in Africa. The 404 series was also locally assembled at Natalspruit industrial site in Alberton.

Although a total of 2,885,374 Peugeot 404 units were produced worldwide, “only” 794 760 of those were pick-ups / châssis cabine. While the 404 cars were manufactured until 1978 in South Africa, the 404 pick-ups stuck around for longer, being produced in Kenya until 1991. As the saying goes: “unstoppable, unless you forget to top it up!”

The legendary Peugeot 504 was also available in a pick-up model, but never came to the South African market. Described as the “King of the African road”, it was produced in Kenya until 2004 and Nigeria until 2006. So tough were these 504 pick-ups that they could be entered, with minimal mechanical adjustment, into the notorious African off-road rallies, winning the 1984 African Rally Championship and, at the same time, writing the Peugeot 504 pick-up into the rally rankings forever.

And you thought a Peugeot double cab will be a first in history for Peugeot. But long before it became fashionable, Peugeot built a four-door double cab 504 pick-up in China and Argentina. 

With such an impressive pedigree of pick-ups in its ancestry, Peugeot’s next generation pick-up has big tyres to fill.  

Meet the Winners of Honda Quest 2021

Press Release: Honda Motor Southern Africa

Congratulations to the winners of Honda Quest 2021: Ruan Ueckermann & Neil Rieck.

The winners were announced at a victory ceremony held on November 10, 2021 at Kaleo Guest Farm.  The champions were ‘crowned’ by Yuishi Fukuda, President of Honda Motor Southern Africa.

This year’s pairs were particularly strong and the 7 teams got a taste of some of the most breathtakingly beautiful landscapes in South Africa whilst putting their riding skills to the test. 

Just 9 days before the final event, the 14 contestants were strangers; polite and formal around each other. But within a very short period of time, no one would have believed that they had just met. It wasn’t the dust and travel grime that made them gel so well; rather, it was the adventure journey that had irrevocably changed them. 

The final tally of the adventure was very close amongst the heroic group; however, Ruan and Neil’s infectious energy, ability to approach every challenge with a smile and unwavering consistency both on and off the bike saw them richly deserving of their grand prize the Honda Africa Twin motorcycles which they competed on.

Types of Car Filters and Their Purpose: A Quick Look at the Humble Fuel Filter

by H&h Admin

There are four main types of filters in every car; the cabin filter, fuel filter, oil filter and air filter. In this article, we talk about the importance of the fuel filter.

When fuel comes out of a refinery, it’s clean but when it is poured into fuel carriers as well as the pumps at the fuel stations, it may become contaminated.  What this means is that there is a very high probability that the fuel poured into your tank contains a few contaminantes.  

So, what is a fuel filter and what does it do?

Think of the fuel filter (and other filters) like a sieve, similar to the one in your kitchen.  Imagine you are straining pulp after squeezing the juice from an orange juice. All the debris remains in the sieve and only the pure orange juice flows through the sieve. Similarly, a fuel filter works in the same way.

Located within the fuel line, a fuel filter is a cartridge with a screen within it.  The screen catches the dirt and other debris which may pour into your fuel tank along with the fuel.  As in the example of the orange juice, the fuel filter ensures that only the fuel passes through the filter and enters the car’s fuel line. 

Thanks to the correct fitment of a good quality fuel filter, the fuel going through your car’s fuel line is generally free of dirt and other pollutants which would otherwise damage your fuel system.

Signs your fuel filter needs replacement

Let’s go back to the orange juice example. After pouring pulp through the sieve for a while, the sieve gets clogged up, making it more difficult for the orange juice to pass through it.  In the same way, the fuel filter also gets clogged up over time and needs to be replaced.  Failure to change a blocked fuel filter can lead to noticeable problems to your otherwise smooth driving experience.  

Image: AutoZone

Here are two common problems you may notice when your fuel filter is taking strain: 

1. Poor engine performance

A blocked fuel filter causes the engine to sputter or hesitate randomly. This can happen at any time but is more prominent when accelerating or when traveling up a steep incline.  A clogged fuel filter limits the amount of fuel going through the fuel line, drastically reducing the car’s ability to perform optimally.

2. Stalling or misfiring 

An engine that repeatedly stalls while driving could be a sign of a dirty fuel filter.  Depending on the severity of the blockage, your car may start right back up without any noticeable loss of power.  However, as the clog worsens and fuel delivery becomes more sporadic, stalling will become more excessive or worsen upon acceleration.  Worst case scenario, your engine will stall and fail to start up altogether.

Keeping up with fuel filter maintenance

Following the recommended change intervals in your owner’s manual is key to maintain optimal vehicle health, and in this case, the health of your fuel system. Waiting until you are starting to experience issues with your fuel filter may cause bigger fuel delivery issues to deal with beyond a clogged filter. 

Impurities that pass through the fuel filter can cause a fuel injector to leak which in turn can lead to a myriad of drivability problems.  Replacing a dirty fuel filter is a relatively inexpensive and easy fix and once attended to, you should be back on the road in no time!

Car Tip of the Week: How to know when your tyres need wheel alignment

Wheel alignment helps your tyres last longer and to perform efficiently.  It also improves handling as well as prevents your car from pulling to one side. 

Here are a few signs that your wheels need realignment:

  1. Vehicle pulling to the left or right
  2. Steering wheel vibration
  3. Off-centre steering wheel (when driving straight)
  4. Uneven tread wear