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Friends for life

Lachlan Wall is 18 years old and comes from the Australian town of Mudgee. He has been the proud owner of a Peugeot 504 for 2 years now. He really had to conquer that car because the previous owner had set high standards for a good home for his beloved 504. Lachlan has recently exchanged his residence for Mui Né in Vietnam for work. That doesn’t stop him from making big plans to travel the world with his beloved 504. He likes to tell his story for Peugeot Vintage.

“I’ve always wanted an exotic car for as long as I could remember. A car that would distinguish itself from the monotony of the Australian street scene. When I got my driver’s license when I was 16, my parents agreed that I could buy my own car and for months I spent all my free time looking for a suitable classic car. I wanted a car with vintage aesthetics, put in flawless capable and reliable. There are many kilometers of unpaved roads around our farm and an Italian sports car would therefore not make it. It soon became clear that Peugeot could handle this landscape very well. So a 504 became my first choice. If a 504 can excel in the soft sand of Africa then the gravel roads in Australian should be a breeze for a 504.”

“I found one. It was parked so pitifully between the Australian tin that I couldn’t leave the car. Moreover, the car fully met my criteria. It was a Diesel, had a 5-speed gearbox, impeccable paintwork, an immaculate interior, a recently overhauled engine and the price was, against my expectations, attractive too! The owner lived 14 hours away from me, so a test drive was not an option. I immediately messaged the owner. I had already fallen in love.”

“The next day was a school day and I got a call at the start of a 2 hour history lesson. I asked the teacher if I could take the call because it was an important message. I ran out the door and quickly took the call. More than 2 hours later I came back to class, very nervous. The car was exactly what I wanted and I knew it would take a long time for such a chance. But the seller had an appointment with another buyer the next day.”

“For the 24 hours that followed, I couldn’t get the 504 out of my mind. An eternity later, I received a call from the salesperson. As it turned out, the other buyer wanted the car and already had the money ready. However, the owner ultimately refused to sell him the car. The owner did not believe that this interested person would take good care of it and refused to sell it. I was happy at first and then shocked, especially when he said the car was no longer on the market. He was so discouraged by the various people who had wanted to buy the car until then but didn’t show the passion for the car. He had therefore decided to send the 504 to a classic car museum. After all, he didn’t need the money, he was looking for someone who wanted to take good care of his car.”

“In the weeks that followed, I spent endless phone calls convincing the owner to sell the car to me. I couldn’t afford to tell him I was only sixteen, especially after he said statements like, ‘Go there. talk to your wife about it.‘

I could still buy it two months after the car was taken off the market. But if he realized I was 16, he would have a heart attack. So I called in a mechanic to check the car. This mechanic was a friend from the area and he told me the 504 was in good working order. And so the 504 was loaded onto a trailer and shipped to Mudgee. Before it arrived, I had already created an Instagram account for my car and immediately started posting.”

“The first time I drove that car, I looked at my mom in the passenger seat and said to her, ‘If I ever try to sell that car, stop me.’ The car was then christened ‘Pierre’ and nothing has changed since then.”

“Until I moved to Vietnam, I drove daily with Pierre without any defects. The seats in Pierre are the most comfortable seats I’ve ever experienced. More comfortable than the lounge, more comfortable than a massage chair, more comfortable than lying in bed, I ride on the roads of Australia with an easy music.”

“1 year ago, on April 16 (Pierre’s 39th birthday), I went on my biggest Peugeot adventure to date. I drove from Mudgee to the Gold Coast, 14 hours away and back on a weekend. No one could believe it, especially my mom, who got the shock of her life when I called her from the Gold Coast beach. My original plan was to go camping on the weekend, as I told my mom as I jumped in the car. But on the way, I was so happy that I didn’t want to stop. So I didn’t until I got to the Gold Coast and swapped camping for a swim. Then I jumped back in the car and drove home in a hurry.“

“I am an adventure-loving person, so I moved to Vietnam and have big plans for my next adventure. I plan to drive with Pierre from Sydney to London via Singapore in a 6 month journey. I have a passion for photography and want to capture the journey in photo. A report in which the cultures and people I encounter are summarized in a beautiful book. The goal is to continue to live in the UK for the time being. With Pierre in the driveway, of course.”

Maarten van der Velden

Na mijn opleiding aan de Frederik Muller Academie ben ik jaren werkzaam geweest voor verschillende uitgeverijen zoals Elsevier en NRC Handelsblad. Daarvoor heb ik zelfstandig en met heel veel plezier het kwartaaltijdschrift Peugeot Expo Magazine uitgegeven. In mijn vrije tijd rijd ik graag in een Peugeot 403, ik Twitter graag over auto's en ik houd van hardlopen. Ik vind het leuk om mensen met elkaar te verbinden.

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