JANUARY 2021 EXCURSION – PIZZA NIGHT RUN

As we normally don’t have excursions in January due to the number of public holidays and members on annual leave this was a bit of a “rush job”. Ray was requested to organise this excursion expediently so that members could be given reasonable notice and, particularly as it was to be held in the evening.

The venue was Talotta’s Pizzeria at Kurnell. Tony, the proprietor is a mad car enthusiast who has named his pizza offerings after different car makes and there is a huge choice of different pizzas on the menu.

Similar to other members, except those that live locally, Ray last visited Kurnell as a kid to play in the sandhills. Because of the timeframe and location there was to be no convoy and members were to make their own travel route arrangements. This was to be an extended journey for most members except for a few “locals”.

Joe was the first to arrive at Talotta’s and Robyn and Ray joined him some time later and waited for the arrival of the other members. The weather still looked a bit “iffy” and fortunately the booking had been made for indoors just in case.

The inside of the restaurant was adorned with all sorts of car memorabilia from pictures to car “bits”. The inside area is fairly limited and Ray was a little concerned about adequate seating as there had been thirteen verified attendees.

John, Kaye, Jamie, John Hewett, Des and Eileen filtered in initially and as time progressed more members arrived until there was nineteen in total – a great total for a quickly planned night time run. There was a total of twelve cars in the Talotta’s car park belonging to members.

Members grabbed the available seats which consisted of benches and outlying pouffes – it was crowded but everyone fitted. Although the restaurant is unlicensed members availed themselves of the bottle shop next door.

Before too long the meals started to arrive and members enjoyed the high quality pizzas on offer. For those that ordered ribs – this consisted of delicious meat on one side only – which made it easier to eat with a knife and fork, rather than have to eat with your fingers and make a mess!

Someone was celebrating a birthday at a nearby table as music suddenly exploded and everybody stopped talking at once – whaddyaknow, live entertainment!

Conversations continued for some hours before the first of the members started to leave. It had been a pleasant, enjoyable evening with a good turnout of members, in spite of January being a busy holiday month and the excursion being held in the evening.

NOVEMBER 2020 EXCURSION – SHOW & SHINE AT THE ARENA SPORTS CLUB, YAGOONA

After the axing of the East Hills venue for the Z Club’s Show & Shine , it was necessary to find an alternative venue – and rather quickly.

Ray negotiated over a couple of weeks with the management of the Arena Sports Club, and it was finally resolved that their car park could be utilised for the event. However, because of Covid-19 restrictions numbers would have to be constrained and it was agreed that attendance would be limited to club members and their immediate families.

It was necessary to correlate the event so that the car display and judging would lead into the booked lunch time as the weather was predicted to be rather hot, and members wouldn’t want to be hanging around outside the club waiting for lunch.

The event officially started at 11.ooam and by this time a total of nineteen “Z” cars had assembled. These ranged from 240Zs to 370Zs with standard, modified and highly modified versions on display.

Andrew, unable to get his multi coloured 260Z registered in time had borrowed his mate’s trailer and towed it from the North Shore.

Sunglasses were almost mandatory to view Sam’s stunning maroon 300ZX TT with fully chromed engine! The only vehicles not represented were unmodified 280Zs and 350Zs.

With judging completed and the temperature continuing to rise it was thankfully time to enter the air conditioned Club Arena for lunch.

Ray had made arrangements with Bea, the Catering/Events Manager to streamline the entrance of members into the club by providing a list of those attending (with him being nominated as the contact person).

This saved considerable time and allowed members to be seated in an expedient manner. At this point in time a head count indicated a total of twenty five members and guests. Which, when considering the problems caused by Covid-19 was a good turnout.

Because of the number of members present it was going to take some time for meals to be prepared – so this would be a good opportunity to make the presentations for both the different categories of “Z” cars and the point score awards.

Craig, Terry and Ray combined to present trophies to the owners of the Z cars in the various categories as well as the Z Car point score recipients. Meals were now being served, so official proceedings ended to allow members to enjoy their dinners.

Overall, the Show & Shine proved to be very successful with a good attendance of enthusiastic members whose passion for Z vehicles showed in the excellent presentation of all vehicles on display.

The winners of the various Z car categories and point score award recipients are listed below.

Z Car Categories

1st Place 240 Z standard – Darrelle Twyman 

1st Place 240 Z modified – John Hewett

1st Place 260 Z standard _ Brad Twyman

1st Place 260 Z modified – Andrew Rogers

1st Place 260 Z 2+2 standard – Eamonn Donohoe

1st Place 280 Z modified – Brian Haines

1st Place Z 31 standard – Barry Godfrey

1st Place Z32 300 ZX Standard – Josh Lewis

1st Place Z32 300 ZX Twin Turbo – John Stevanovski 

1st Place Z32 300 ZX Twin Turbo modified – Sam Raihan

1st Place 370 Z standard – John Wakeling

1st Place 370 Z modified – Craig Tebbet

1st Place People Choice – Sam Raihan

2020 CLUB CHAMPION

Ray Marsh

Point Score Pennants

Distinction – Robyn Marsh

Credit – Terry Stevens

Merit – Vince Rivers

  • Ray

OCTOBER EXCURSION – GRAND PACIFIC DRIVE AND CLUB THIRROUL

The day started well with optimistic weather forecasts – but the great unknown is always the consideration of who will turn up for the cruise. Not to worry! By the time Robyn and Ray arrived there was already a good number of cars parked outside Big Daddy’s. As coffee and extras were being consumed, numbers started to swell. There was a mixed bag of vehicles amongst the Z mobiles including the bright red Jensen Healey and the Austin Healey 3000. Michael (potential member) had brought his rather interesting two tone 370Z roadster which he had recently purchased. Ray had decided (with the tyre issues of his 370Z on the last excursion) to bring his non Z white sedan while awaiting the purchase of a new set of tyres for the “Z”.

Coffee and small talk (suspended for now) it was time to hit the road. The excursion maps had been planned in two parts in order that the Grand Pacific Drive with its superb views could be part of the journey. Merely inputting Club Thirroul into the GPS would result in a direct route to Club Thirroul bypassing the more scenic route.

There was a bit of a scramble to get out of the Big Daddy’s environs with its narrow street access. This resulted in the Zedders having to queue up for several minutes. Ray (who was supposed to be leading the convoy) got swallowed up in the traffic jam and was second last in the queue. Des, fortunately, leading the convoy, pulled over on Parkers Farm Pl and allowed Ray to resume the lead. Turning onto the Camden Valley Way the convoy hit the tricky M5 turnoff within a few hundred metres, and, inevitably the vast majority of the convoy didn’t manage to get through. Slow to 70kms/hr and hope the convoy catches up on the M5 before the Heathcote Rd slip road. Not happening! Despite Ray slowing up there was no sign of the convoy. Ray finally managed to find a safe spot to pull over on Heathcote Rd. He, Robyn and Barry then patiently waited for the convoy to catch up. There they are! Flashing lights and horns had no effect – the convoy didn’t slow down and went storming past leaving Ray and Barry far behind. That went well!! Ultimately the convoy was sighted some time later perched on the cliff overlooking Thirroul taking photos and admiring the view. Ray and Robyn decided to continue down Grand Pacific Drive ahead of the convoy to ensure that Club Thirroul had made all the necessary booking arrangements for the Z Car Club. They slowed to take photos on the way down and take in the great scenery.

Arriving at Club Thirroul, Ray spoke to the Manager and was taken to the conference room. A bit of reorganisation of the furniture would ensure that everyone was seated comfortably and comply with Covd-19 restrictions. All done. Now wait for the Zedders to arrive. The conference room was quickly filled with Z car club members – head count was 31 with 20 cars belonging to our members in the car park. The Z car members fortunately had the conference room to themselves. Club Thirroul did a great job of getting meals to members expediently, in spite of the large numbers present. Prices were considerably cheaper than most clubs and the food was of a good standard. The Club Thirroul photographer asked if he could take photos of our group for the Club Thirroul Facebook page. Members filed outside and were photographed with their cars.

This was a fitting end to a very enjoyable, successful and well attended excursion.

SEPTEMBER EXCURSION – ST ALBANS & THE SETTLERS ARMS INN

Like the previous aborted St Albans excursion earlier in 2020, weather was not entirely promising. Frequent showers were apparent from early morning and the grey skies looked a bit menacing.

However, life is all about challenges, so ignore the conditions and head off to McDonalds at Thornleigh – the first stopping point.

The Z car group were coming from all directions of the compass, but those using the M7 would have found it quite a good run with free flowing traffic and no apparent gendarmerie present.

Right! There it is, the ubiquitous Pennant Hills Road -always cluttered with narrow lanes barely wide enough for the vehicular traffic. Although driving at a moderate rate, Ray and Robyn arrived very early at McDonalds at around 8.20am. They were the first to arrive, and after about forty minutes were still the only Z car people present.

However, people started trickling in after 9.00am and things started to look a bit brighter. David with his unpretentious bright red 370Z roadster plastered with Bridgestone decals from Kurri Kurri, Jake with his very rare 200ZR turbo (which is a variant of the Z31), Emily (potential member) with her Z32 NA and Jordan riding shotgun. Chris and Margo were also welcomed, along with Andrew, Esther and others.

Right! Coffee to energize the group, and then a quick perusal of the aforementioned vehicles. After a catchup and some technical discussions it was time to hit the road. Chris being a native of the Northwest“volunteered” to lead the convoy to the Settlers Arms Inn at St Albans. Winding around the back streets, the cars piled up waiting for the lights on Pennant Hills Road to change. After an inordinate amount of time the lights finally changed but only allowed a few cars through. So much for trying to keep the convoy intact!

Fortunately, Chris managed to pull over on Boundary Road and the convoy was able to reform. The convoy was able to pick up speed and the journey became a bit more enjoyable. However, along the way there was a bit of drama. Ray managed to pick up part of an oil slick and with the water and the oil the 370Z was fishtailing all over the road even at low speeds. The traction control light was continually being illuminated and he was forced into a “granny mode”.

Chris was doing an excellent job of keeping the convoy together but traffic and the ever present “clown drivers” were not making it easy – so the convoy was becoming disjointed. At Galston, Chris decided to pull over in a large cleared space and allow the rest of the convoy to catch up. This gave the Zedders time for a photo shoot and a chance to stretch their legs.

Ultimately, the convoy reformed and took off heading towards Wisemans Ferry. This now allowed the convoy to get up to speed and enjoy the scenery and enjoy the challenge of the twisty bends.

Chris’s part of the convoy surged ahead and correctly arrived at the Webb St Ferry. However, the second group of straggling Zedders took the wrong turn and ended up at the dreaded Wisemans Ferry ( where a perilous dirt road awaited on the other side of the river).Fortunately, realising their mistake they moved out and re-joined the convoy for the correct ferry .

After a short ferry trip, the Zedders entered “boy racer territory” in the form of the St Albans Rd. This is a fantastic 20kms of twisty bends with speeds of 80-100kms/hr which demands concentration and driving skill. With eye-catching scenery thrown in – it is a memorable drive!

Catching up with the “direct drive” members at the Settlers Arms Inn – there was a pleasing total of nineteen people and fourteen cars – which was an excellent result taking the showery weather into the equation. The manager had generously provided the club members with two private rooms which were quickly filled. After ordering, food was served promptly to the Zedders and the meals proved to be of a good standard.

Conversations continued for a number of hours as members were introduced to new members and potential members. Lots of smiles all round proved those attending had really enjoyed the day. The Zedders then straggled out and got in their cars to start the journey (in some cases a long journey) home.

Another successful excursion in spite of the pandemic and its restrictions.

AUGUST EXCURSION – KIAMA DOWNS

Before we start on the details of the cruise, let’s just say this:

Covid – 19 0

Z Car Club of Sydney 3 

We have now had three successful excursions in 2020 despite the pandemic!

The filtering of members arriving at Big Daddy’s at Casula started turning into a flood. The crowd consisted primarily of long standing and new members, previous members and friends and relatives. A sight to behold!

Among the assembled vehicles was Sam’s 300ZX Z32 twin turbo with thoroughly chromed engine bay and spectacular red duco over customised bodywork. Members braved the strong cold winds for a closer look. There was a lot of catching up to do, so members ordered light snacks washed down by various drinks.

Although route maps had previously been E mailed to members, Ray had got a phone call from Willy and Graham B suggesting a variation on the route. As both these members lived in Dapto – they would be more expert on the area and its environs. Willy and Graham B suggested that they would meet the convoy at Yallah. Lots of wrinkled brows, until one brave member, Des (of Harley Davidson fame – and yes, he does have the jacket!) admitted that he knew where Yallah was (never volunteer, Des!!).

Seizing the opportunity, the “world’s worst navigator” seconded Des to lead the convoy. OK time to move out! Sixteen vehicles snaked out of Big Daddy’s following the blue 370Z. The destination was the Kiama Golf Club situated in Kiama Downs. Hitting the Hume Motorway the vehicles became a bit strung out as cars in a convoy are always prone to –convoy members drive at different speeds and have to manoeuvre around highway traffic. Des did a good job of keeping convoy members in sight despite the prevailing traffic conditions. Yep, there’s the Picton turnoff – did everyone get around safely? No strays! Head towards the M1. What’s that showing on the GPS? Good heavens it’s Yallah! Yallah is situated near Albion Park Rail.

A silver 350Z piloted by Willy, deftly zoomed in front of the lead car of the Z Car convoy to complete the journey to the Kiama Golf Club -.our lunch venue. After a few twists and turns through the back streets of Kiama the golf club in Oxley Ave hove into view. After all the vehicles had been safely parked the club members entered the club to be seated at one booked table and other tables nearby. At this stage a head count indicated 27 people – an excellent turnout. The car park was also filled with 17 vehicles belonging to members.

Service at the Kiama Golf Club was of a high standard where a waitress took drink orders and delivered them back to the tables. Meals were also of a good standard and competitively priced. Conversations at the various tables continued for some hours before members started to give their farewells and depart.

Overall a very enjoyable and successful excursion with an excellent number of interested members and guests in attendance.

Ray

JULY EXCURSION – LITHGOW SMALL ARMS MUSEUM

With the Covid-19 pandemic destroying the club’s plans for proposed excursions in 2020, it has been “a long time between drinks!” And of course, to add to the drama was the forecast of heavy rain. Nevertheless some hardy elements of the Z Car Club membership were determined to press ahead with the excursion plans.

Individual members coming from different locations had to fight their way along the A32 with sleeting rain, fog, slippery roads and speed limits changing almost every km as they progressed towards the Hydro Majestic Hotel at Medlow Bath, the first point of call. Stumbling out of their vehicles into the cold and wet environment – the Hydro Majestic stood like a beacon of hope, even if it was a long walk from the carpark.

Once inside, hot coffee and the camaraderie of other members stiffened the resolve to ensure the success of the excursion. New members, Diana and Josh were welcomed and congratulated on their perseverance to attend in the trying conditions. It was now time to undertake the second leg of the journey to the Lithgow Small Arms Museum. Craig, being a native of these parts offered to lead the convoy and suggested that we try a route where Emus might be observed. The convoy bravely headed out into the fog and rain again with members trying to keep track of the car ahead (which was almost invisible in the conditions). After about half an hour’s drive the convoy approached Methven Street where the Museum was located. It was noted that the building opposite the museum still had numerous broken windows (as was the case on our last visit 2 years ago). Not sure what is happening there – ready for demolition perhaps?

The trip to the museum could be rated as Fog 10, Rain 10, and Emus 0

Once inside the foyer of the museum Ray managed to secure the minimal $7 entrance fee for the group (as had previously been negotiated). The museum had been newly renovated with a few new exhibits including golf clubs and spanners!! Huh!! There were a number of different firearms evident on the ground floor (from our previous visit in 2018). Gravitating to the first floor the group observed a wonderful display of rifles, machine guns and hand guns of various calibres. Craig found a .50 calibre revolver which would put the “Dirty Harry .44 magnum” to shame by its huge presence. There were so many interesting and different exhibits that the group spent some time observing and photographing a variety of firearms.

It was now time to move to the next leg of the excursion; lunch at the Lithgow Workmen’s Club (or Workies). It was still raining outside as the members headed off to Tank Street, Lithgow. The Workies club turned out to be a very pleasant environment with a nice ambience and friendly staff. Because of the Covid-19 restrictions the original booking had been pared to a maximum of ten – but members were able to find additional seating. The quality of the meals was of a good standard and reasonably priced. The final total for the day was twelve members and nine cars – which was an exceptional result with the atrocious prevailing weather conditions. And those that had made the effort to attend, really enjoyed the day.

Ray