OCTOBER EXCURSION – ZEDFEST (DAMFEST)

On the morning of 20th October, John W, Darrelle and Brad would have been having the same thoughts as all Z Car Club members who have planned excursion events in the past – will those members who committed to attending actually turn up and on time? Will the event go smoothly? How many things will go wrong?

Fortunately, the meticulous planning and effort by all three ensured that this significant event progressed exactly to plan.

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The convoy was formed at Greendale Rd, Wallacia from 7:30am. There was an almost endless stream of Datsun/Nissan Z vehicles arriving at the venue, from 240Zs to the latest 370Zs. As the numbers steadily increased, the Z cars were taking up large sections of the main thoroughfare as well as the side streets. Crowds of members, their families and guests were swelling across the footpaths to several people deep. A very impressive sight to the elated organisers of the event.

John W welcomed those in attendance and thanked Darrelle and Brad for their support and their significant efforts in helping him to organise the event. Craig introduced himself and the Executive Committee of the Z Car Club of Sydney and also welcomed members , their families and guests.

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As the event had specific deadlines, the Z cars were then organised into different categories prior to attendance at the main Warragamba Dam venue.

All of the 240Zs were organised into a specific group, together with specific groups for 260Zs, 280Zs, 300Zs, 350Zs and 370Zs. The plan was to lead off with the 350Zs and 370Zs, and this group would be followed by the other categories at short intervals. This was to facilitate parking within the Warragamba Dam display area.

The convoy left Wallacia at just after 8.00am and headed towards Warragamba Dam. With the significant number of vehicles involved – parking of the Z cars in their specific categories took some considerable time at the Warragamba Dam site. Some cars had to be reparked to ensure sufficient room for those last to enter the parking area.

What a sight! There were 47 Z cars in total – all groomed to an exceptional standard of presentation. It was going to make the selection process for the presentation of awards by the judges very difficult indeed!

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A specific stall had been set up to enable the sale of 50th anniversary and Z car club badges as well as other memorabilia. This was staffed by members of the Z Car Club of Sydney on a rotational basis.

The 50th Anniversary Z Car display was the most prominent and easily filled its role as the feature presentation. Also noted was a number of vintage hotrods, some FX Holdens and a few Fords and other scattered marques. There was also a collection of motorcycles, in a separate display close to the entrance of the parking area.

A number of stalls within the grounds were selling good quality hot foods, while others were selling a range of drinks including freshly squeezed juices (these were greatly appreciated as the weather had morphed into a rather humid day). There were also a few stalls selling memorabilia and car parts.

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Judging of the various categories of Z cars took place using separate judges for each particular category. The outstanding presentation of the various cars made the judges job extremely difficult (this in some instances literally came down to a grease mark or a few bits of dust in the interior).

At this time John W gave a brief speech to thank all those attending as well as a special thanks to Darrelle and Brad for all their efforts in making the event so successful. Craig followed this up with a special thanks to John W (with the able assistance of Kaye) for the overall co-ordination of the event.

It was now time to cut a Z Car anniversary cake that had been baked by Kaye especially for the event. This was rather unique in having a banana flavoured end and a coconut end to cater for individual tastes.

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Following this it was time to present The Z Car Club awards. Craig presented the individual car awards while Jamie was responsible (as Point Score Officer) in presenting the Z Car Club’s point score awards.

The results were as follows:

240Z Standard                        Brad Twyman

240Z Modified                         David Browne

260Z Standard                        Brad Twyman

260Z Modified                         Andrew Rogers

260Z 2+2 Standard                 Kevin Parker

280Z Standard                        Jamie Gigg

280ZX modified                      Brian Haines

Z31 300ZX Standard              Barry Godfrey

Z32 300ZX Standard              Eddy Fleita

Z32 300ZX Modified               Brett Haines

350Z Standard                        Ian Cager

350Z Modified                         Ruth Downing

370Z Standard                        Des Neville

370Z Modified                         Craig Tebbet

Point Score Awards

Z Car Club Champion 2019    Ray Marsh

Distinction Pennant                 Robyn Marsh

Credit Pennant                        Barbara Haines

Merit Pennant                          Craig Tebbet

During the day principals from “Unique Cars” had visited, and John W, Brad and Craig were interviewed as well as a selected group of members. While John W and Brad will have their cars featured in the magazine, other members will have details of their unique experiences with the Z Car Club of Sydney detailed.

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It was difficult to get overall attendance figures on the day as there were so many people of different categories present. This included Z Car Club members, their families as well as a substantial number of guests and visitors. A rough estimate would be around 60.

Overall an extremely well planned and organised excursion which thoroughly deserved to be as successful as it turned out to be – attracting record numbers of people and a vast array of various categories of Z cars which enunciated the importance of the 50th anniversary of the Z car.

SEPTEMBER EXCURSION – BEROWRA WATERS

A muddy sky and a few light showers of rain heralded the dawn – but we Zedders are made of sterner stuff!  As with previous northern excursions, members would be coming from all points of the compass. A South Western convoy and a North Western convoy would be complemented by some “direct entry” stragglers with an ETA of 11.00am at the Berowra Waters venue.

After an intense study of the provided Google maps it was noted that the South Western convoy could avoid the ferry trip entirely. With the ferry’s rather limited capacity, the “sea voyage” could be avoided and time could be optimised. With previous memories of very narrow winding roads, peppered with bicycles, and a long wait for the ferry – this wouldn’t be a bad thing!

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Des’s newly acquired 370Z’s satnav was being temperamental and would not accept the street address for the Berowra Waters venue (we later found out that Bay Street had been inputted rather than Bay Rd). However, he bravely volunteered to be the chief navigator for the South Western convoy sans satnav.

The South Western convoy left Big Daddy’s (Casula) at around 9.30am. From Camden Valley Way there was a bit of a scramble getting all the Zedders into the correct lane for the M7 take off point. However, the journey proceeded smoothly after this.

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At the Norwest Boulevarde exit, Windsor Rd and Showground Rd the provided Google maps proved to be entirely accurate. There are numerous exits to right and left within short distances on this journey, and without reliable maps or satnav – it can become a little tricky.

However, Des did an impeccable job of navigation and the convoy arrived safely at the Berowra Waters Fish Café at around 10.50am. The South Western convoy members found parking spaces on the large raised concrete platform to the left of the ground level parking area.

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As the South Western convoy members proceeded onto the balcony of the Fish Café, Andrew (from the North Western convoy) was noted cobbling a number of tables together to cater for the envisaged numbers of members and guests.

This was fortunate, as a large number of Zedders were started to flood into the eatery. Although the weather was still a little overcast, the fantastic views over the bay with its vast numbers of moored boats was rather spectacular.

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Members had brought wives and family members, and the numbers had swelled to an excellent twenty five, complemented by fourteen cars. Amongst the guests, a hairy-chested individual was noted. This was “Rox, the wonder dog” (sponsored by Anthony and Emily) – a rather large German shepherd.

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Because of the large numbers of people, there was a wait for meals to be served. But the reputation of the Fish Café proved to be correct -the meals were not only reasonably priced but were also of an excellent standard.

Some members who owned 240Zs had managed to secure spots in the limited parking area on the roof of the restaurant and created a “mini display” to further advertise October’s “Zedfest”. Andrew displayed his newly acquired immaculate white 240Z, along with John W’s two 240Zs and Michael and Brad’s 240Zs amongst the group. Andrew commented to Ray that when he purchased the 240Z he hadn’t realised that it had a hand throttle. This had provided a very interesting moment when he tried to pull up with the hand throttle half engaged!

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Because of the early start, members and guests were in no hurry to leave and conversations continued for some hours. This was complimented by the excellent views and occasional visits to the bottle shop at the corner of the Fish Café.  The Berowra Waters Fish Café provides a very pleasant environment with magnificent views and an excellent cuisine.

With the great turnout of enthusiastic members and guests the excursion proved to be extremely successful –  and the feedback indicated that everyone who attended enjoyed the day.

– Ray

AUGUST EXCURSION – SHANNONS, EASTERN CREEK

Pre-bookings ensured that we had twenty vehicles lining up on Liberty Road at Huntingwood. The only difference this time was that we had managed to negotiate four highly sought after spots on pitlane for three lucky owners of 240Zs to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the 240Z. John W supplying a standard 240Z and a rally version of the 240Z, Vince, a standard 240Z and Brad/Darrelle with their newly rebuilt 240Z.

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With all present and accounted for and tickets secured, the convoy started moving off at approximately 8.30am , heading towards Gate A to ensure that the “pitlane cars” were in place on time.

Approaching Gate A, there was the inevitable traffic jam comprising numerous vehicles constituting a variety of different marques, trying to get through the gateway from different directions. Ultimately, the Z car convoy made it through the gate (albeit with a bit of cross-pollination with other marques as they intersected with the convoy).

The main body of the Z car convoy peeled off to Area E, while the cars designated for the pitlane continued on through the tunnel to be guided to their pitlane positions.

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Area E being the smallest designated area meant that vehicles had to be parked with a little more precision. Ray found himself in the “Jowett camp” and had to shift.  After all the Z cars had been “bedded in”, it was noted that the main display area was a considerable distance away – not so great for the “walking wounded” amongst the group. However, there were some facilities close by – including a toilet block and coffee.

After perusing the available vehicles in Area E, it was time for the more adventurous to commence the trek to the main display areas. This consisted of the second wave as some members had already disappeared. With Robyn (of the Spanish Camino 800kms walk fame) leading the way – albeit very quickly, a small knot of members were in pursuit – heading towards the distant tunnel and ultimately the main display areas.

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However, on exiting the gate to Area E, a sign was noted indicating that a bus was available. After waiting for about ten minutes the group was about to take off, when the bus suddenly arrived. Clambering aboard, the Zedders made their way to the unoccupied seats. The bus lurched to a start prematurely (as all bus drivers manage to do), throwing the unseated Zedders backwards – shaken but not stirred!

On arrival at the main display area, the group split to view the different marques – some gravitating towards the Ferrari exhibition – others to the Lotus stand as well as the numerous other vehicles on display.

Those reaching the pitlane were treated to a wonderful display of some of Australia’s finest vehicles. To the far right was the Z Car Club of Sydney’s offering of the four chosen 240Zs to further enhance the 50th anniversary of the 240Z. John W was observed busily handing out flyers to any interested observers.

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After a considerable time of circling around the different displays of numerous marques, some of the group decided to return to Area E as the time for the “run on the track” was approaching.

Mmm, no bus! Oh well – start walking! The narrow path back necessitated climbing up the rise to allow access to people coming the other way, which made the return journey a little tiresome. With some people stopping dead in their tracks to answer their mobile phones and hence blocking travel in both directions – also didn’t help.

However, safely back to Area E – the Zedders prepared for the highlight of the day – the run on the racetrack! Sitting in a queue to enter the track area for twenty five minutes didn’t quite dampen the enthusiasm.

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However, it was all downhill from there. With the glorious memories of the scintillating run on the track in 2018 still fresh in the minds of the passionate Zedders, the Zedders were presented with a “bog slow” run with mind boggling speeds of 60-70kms/hr (occasionally) and traffic jams – necessitating more braking than accelerating!

It was now early afternoon, and some of the Zedders started heading towards the exit. It had been an interesting day with members able to observe the numerous and rare vehicles on display and enjoy the general good natured camaraderie of our group. There will be further recognition and enhancement of the 50th anniversary of the 240Z in the activities planned for October and November this year.

– Ray

JULY EXCURSION – FLEET AIR ARM, NOWRA

A chilly morning saw R&R arrive at Big Daddy’s at Casula about half an hour before the departure time. A bit of “rubber necking” indicated that they were the only ones present. A few anxious minutes elapsed before the void started to fill.

Okay! Des and Eileen, Barry, Cory, John, Joe, Vanessa and Darko progressively filtered in. “We are not alone in the universe!” However, there were a number of members proceeding directly to McDonalds at Albion Park Rail (the first jumping off point). Some members opted for coffee and light snacks to help keep up the spirits in the cold conditions.

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Just after 9.00am it was time to move. The “world’s worst navigator” would lead the first leg of the journey to Albion Park Rail. General Desmond offered to lead the second leg to the Fleet Air Arm at Nowra (and no, there was no arm twisting involved).

The convoy took off. After the roundabout on Beech Rd, the group hit the Hume Motorway heading towards Wollongong. The Picton Rd came up sooner than expected and the convoy took the slip road heading towards the Princes Highway.

Progressing along Mount Ousley Rd, the Princes Highway was ultimately reached and soon after the Albion Park Rail McDonalds hove into view.

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None of the members hung around too long outside – not only was the weather cold, but a strong wind was becoming very pronounced. Inside McDonalds there was a catching up with the “direct entry” members. More coffee and light snacks followed. The “boys” clumped in the middle table of the room, while the girls had an exclusive table in the corner.

A head and vehicle count indicated that the numbers had swelled to 16 members and thirteen cars – which in view of the cold weather and a number of last minute cancellations, wasn’t a bad result.

Around 10.30am, General Desmond strode to his 370Z and the “troops” mustered behind him as the convoy headed towards the Fleet Air Arm at Nowra.

The “tail enders” were a bit strung out along the Princes Highway, due to very heavy traffic and kamikaze drivers who refused to give way And so, it came to pass, lost track of the General . Falling back onto the original supplied maps of the excursion, sat nav systems or “follow the guy in front” methodology the “tail enders” made it to the Fleet Air Arm museum intact. However, along the way, with minimal traffic, it had allowed the “tail enders” to open up their Z mobiles which resulted in a very stimulating drive.

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The Fleet Air Arm Museum is an impressive place to be. The displays are excellent, supported by numerous video documentaries staged all around the museum. There is a substantial number of different aircraft, including fighters, bombers, transport planes, naval aircraft and numerous helicopters. The documentation is detailed and provides a wealth of interesting information.

Nearly two hours had elapsed before the group started thinking about lunch.

Terry attempted to stimulate one of the interactive “flying” units on the way out – which didn’t respond – no matter how many buttons or sequences he tried. This was in contrast to Captain Bazza (3 years ago) who with the “magic laser fingers” of his right hand had the display humming. Mmm, power failure perhaps?

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It was now time to head off to lunch at the Bomaderry Bowling Club.

The last leg of the excursion was up to the “world’s worst navigator”. A silent prayer was made to the Gods of Garmin as the convoy hit the road again.

“Oops, was I supposed to turn here? this doesn’t look familiar! Are we heading back to Sydney?” were some of the thoughts in the cerebellum of the “leader” Grit teeth and follow the sat nav instructions! “Yes – there is a signpost (and a God) – we are heading in the right direction!”

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Although crawling through slow moving traffic – some of the convoy members still became “detached” “Okay, the Bomaderry Bowling Club – we are here!”

Inside the previous booking had resulted in two well placed round tables for the “Z” group. Meals were of a good standard and along with the liquid refreshments – reasonably priced. The club was nicely laid out and had a great ambience – a very pleasant place to be.

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The excursion had provided a very interesting tour of the Fleet Air Arm Museum, a stimulating drive, great lunch in a pleasant environment and excellent company. Overall, a great day!

– Ray

JUNE 2019 EXCURSION – AUSTRALIAN PIONEER VILLAGE

A cool morning saw the arrival of club members and guests at Big Daddy’s Burger Bar at Casula. This formed the basis of the South Western convoy. Because of the individual locations of members – there was also to be a North Western convoy as well as a separate, disparate group of individuals – all descending on the Australian Pioneer Village at or near to a predetermined ETA.

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Hot chocolate or cappuccinos stimulated the South Western group to ignore the nine degree environment (it has to get warmer!). A small amount of early rain had raised some initial concerns but the weather was mellowing with clear blue skies becoming more pronounced. Time to saddle up and hit the road!

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The “world’s worst navigator” led the charge in his non Z white sedan (smug in the knowledge that he had successfully uploaded all the latest software updates into his Garmin Nuvi). What could possibly go wrong?

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Smooth transition onto the M7. A glance in the rear view mirror indicated that most of the convoy were stuck behind at a red traffic light on Camden Valley Way. Slow to a piddling 70kms/hr – with irate motorists hurtling past in the right hand lane giving you death stares (if you drive a Toyota Camry you will empathise). Note: this particular vehicle is not a Camry.

At last, the elements of the convoy appeared in the rear vision mirror – time to get back to 100kms/hr. Now, pray the Sat Nav does the right thing!

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Sliding off onto the slip road to Blacktown, Rooty Hill Rd, Richmond Rd and Blacktown Rd – still no dramas! George St, Bridge St and finally Rose St – yes! – love you Garmin! The convoy slid into the Australian Pioneer Village, paid the $5 surcharge and headed towards the car park.

There were around ten cars at this point in time comprising the South Western convoy and the direct arrivals. Then the North Western convoy arrived.

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Z Car Club members had brought family members and friends which swelled the numbers considerably. There was an excellent final count of 33 members and guests and 18 cars.

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There was a convenient coffee van alongside where the club members had parked. After more coffee and a catchup – it was time to inspect the buildings of the Pioneer Village. The village had recently expanded with a substantial increase in the displayed buildings (all historically accurate). Staff were dressed in “period” costumes and there were some interesting side exhibitions – including knitting and weaving demonstrations , hay rides and a miniature railway (ride – on for children).

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To fully inspect all the exhibits can take some time (and some walking!). Hot food is also readily available along with sweets etc.

It was after 12.30pm and time to progress to the Windsor RSL Club for lunch. This was only a short ten minute drive away. The club provided a pleasant, relaxing environment after the rawness of the Pioneer Village. Ray had some concerns as he had only booked for 20 people.

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The restaurant staff were going to seat the remaining members in another room , but the members took the initiative and bundled a number of spare tables and chairs together – solving the problem. As members had noted (from previous e-mails) meals at the Windsor RSL were very well priced, and, as it turned out were also of an excellent standard.

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Around 2.30pm, members and guests began to give their farewells and start to leave. It had proven to be a very interesting and relaxing day, with the usual good company, good quality meals and an exceptional turnout of members, families and guests.

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– Ray

MAY EXCURSION – BLUE MOUNTAINS AND MEGALONG TEA ROOMS

Members and guests started congregating at the Hydro Majestic at Medlow Bath between 10.30am and 11.00am.

The members and guests split into smaller groups and chatted over coffee and other drinks.

Around 11.30am Craig rounded up the masses and all headed towards their Z vehicles and other transport.

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The first stop was the Logan Brae Orchards at Blackheath. After a stimulating drive the group arrived at the orchards. The Logan Brae Orchards is renowned for its apple orchards , fantastic scenery and additionally for its superb apple pies.

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As the time progressed, it was reluctantly time to leave the Orchards and head off to lunch. The next stop was the Megalong Tea Rooms which is situated in the Megalong Valley.

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This involved an invigorating drive through pretty forest scenery , and, together with additional breathtaking native scenery made the journey extremely enjoyable.

On arrival at the Megalong Tea Rooms, the group relaxed to enjoy the beautiful views while waiting for their meals to be served.

The meals were excellent and reasonably priced and waiting times were minimal. After lunch, some of the group wandered around the grounds to get a better view of the magnificent scenery, while others chatted in various groups.

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Later in the afternoon, the group members began to head for home as some were facing some lengthy travel times.

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Overall, the excursion proved to be very successful with a good attendance, a very pleasant environment, good food and good company.

Many thanks to Craig for organising this excursion.

NDN19

Fellow Zdrs,

A group of your fellow members attended the gathering in Victoria for an event called NDN19. This event is held each 2 years between the states forming the East Coast of Australia. The Z Car Club of Sydney was represented by five Z’ds of various vintages from 260 through to 370. Another of our far flung members fronted a Hako from his stable. The flag was flown semi proudly. Sadly the flag was still in the back of the 2+2 in Balmain! First event was a “get together” on the Friday evening at the Brownstone Brewery at Dandenong. This also included the distribution of the goodies and event tickets that had been ordered prior to arrival. Day 2 was a “Show & Shine” held on the vast lawn fronting Nissan Headquarters in Dandenong. A warm day and the only shade available was the tall Nissan sign which was conveniently close to our parking spot, along with a couple of trees. Day 3 had optional choice. Entry to some laps of Sandown as a race event or a cruiZe of the outlying areas to the Southern capital. The latter also included a couple of demo laps of Sandown before and after the cruiZe. Photos were taken of the vehicle to bolster the right to brag! One member having sighted his photograohs suggested a hit with Photoshop to get air under a wheel just to indicate how hard he tried during the “cruise” lap. The end of frivolities on the road and track led to an evening at a boutique brewery, the Bricklane Brewery at Dandenong South, for the presentation of trophies and the final gathering with friends and new acquaintance’s found. An announcement was made that another state is to be included in the roster for NDN. In 2021, South Australia is to be slotted in as a regular in the schedule. The Queensland club would normally be next event but they have allowed SA to “push-in”. SA say that organisation is well under way. Enthusiasm!!!! Overall, considering the organisation of such huge events not being an easy task, the weekend seemed to go well. With Andrew attempting to steam clean his engine bay while on the move, a Brian not in top form due to illness, I am under the impression that a good time was had by the majority. Congrats to Peter on the trophy for his well presented Hako.  Weather was terrific and the host club did well! If the image below left is zoomed, to the left of the image in front of the Nissan sign are four of the vehicles representing Z Car Club. Standing away and to the front of Andrews 260 is Brian beside yours truly admiring the presented vehicles. El Presidente’s vehicle being the far end of the row in front. The other image being the Hako that is in the care and custody of Peter. Not a bad pic!

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Barry Godfrey Images from facebook page relating to NDN19.

APRIL EXCURSION – ROBERTSON HERITAGE CAR SHOW

Similar to last year, it was decided to eliminate the convoy and for the Zedders to individually travel to Robertson because of the early starting time. It was a pleasant enough trip and most of the members arrived well under the opening time limit.

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Bazza was the first to arrive and had single handedly held off all entrepreneurs to secure an excellent parking area adjacent to the main entrance. This ensured the Zedders an optimal spot (unlike 2018 – where it was necessary to drive around until you could find an available parking spot).

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It was obvious that attendance was down overall for the event, although there was still a fairly substantial number of display vehicles from a variety of marques. This was also reflected in the Z Car Club attendees. Fortunately some friends of Barry’s turned up – which extrapolated our numbers to 11. Z cars were less than ten. This was unfortunate as the Robertson Heritage Car Show displays some very unique and rare vehicles which are not common to most motor shows.

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Because of the lack of Z vehicles – Ray signaled to some sportscar owners to share the parking space and there soon appeared a sprinkling of other marques among the group including an immaculate Austin Healey 3000.

The weather was a little humid, but still pleasant and more tolerable than 2018 – where it became very hot as the day progressed. The group relaxed with cups of coffee and either talked in groups or circled around the exhibited vehicles on display.

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Some of the more unique vehicles consisted of a Buick Eight station wagon and other modified American iron. Again, for 2019, the Robertson Car Show hosted numerous rare and unusual vintage vehicles. There was a tiny (original shape) Mini Minor nearby whose stereo system was almost the same size of the car.

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Robyn and Eileen took off – to do what girls do best – heading towards the nearby market to do some “essential” shopping. Brad and Darrelle had found a shady spot away from the crowds and were completely relaxed. Brad flipped through his “mobile” to show Ray his latest automotive project he was working on – the restoration of a 240Z. The original rusted shell was being progressively transformed into something very special with original fitments such as the radio saved as part of the restoration process.

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It was getting close to lunch time. Des had noticed a small hotel on the entrance road a short distance from the Heritage Park and decided to try it out. The group split – some going with Des and some going to the nearby Robertson Bowling Club for lunch.

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Despite the reduced numbers of members and guests attending, it had been an enjoyable day with many things to see – including the unique automotive exhibits and the other nearby attractions which included the antiquated machinery, various stalls, refreshment facilities and the markets.

 – Ray

MARCH EXCURSION – NSW RAIL MUSEUM, THIRLMERE

On arrival at Big Daddy’s Burger Bar at Casula, there was a good number of members assembling for the start of the excursion (some members had gone on ahead and opted to meet at the Rail Museum venue). Just time for a bit of a catchup and a quick cup of coffee. We were on a bit of a deadline as morning tea, the train ride and museum tour had been booked for 10.00am, 11.00am and 12.00 midday respectively – as well as the restaurant at 1.15pm.

This meant a start as close to 9.00am as possible. Members filed out to their cars and climbed aboard. General Desmond Neville, in his newly acquired steed – the dark blue 370Z led the charge (much to the relief of the world’s worst navigator).

As the Z’s filtered out of Big Daddy’s, a red 300zx appeared heading the wrong way. A signal was given to the driver, and he joined at the rear of the convoy. The driver was later identified as Eddy, our latest member. Welcome aboard!

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Maneuvering around the backstreets behind “Big Daddy’s” the convoy ultimately reached the Hume Motorway. It was a smooth run then to Wilton and the Picton turnoff some 36.0 kms away with the convoy maintaining a steady clip.

The convoy was travelling in an arc towards Thirlmere – this route is a 45 minute journey compared to Menangle Road which is quicker. However it was worthwhile to take the longer journey to “blow out the cobwebs” from the Zeds. As the convoy approached the NSW Rail Museum there was a bit of “twisty stuff” via Thirlmere Way which allowed some sporty driving, which added to the enjoyment of the trip.

Barbour Rd at Thirlmere (outside the Museum) is always a bit crowded as a number of car clubs are attracted to this venue. However all members of the convoy secured parking close by the Museum.

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The Zedders caught up with the members that had gone on ahead. Despite a few cancellations the numbers totaled nineteen members and guests and fifteen cars. (this included the infamous “Medlow Bath Tractor”).

Members were given a 10% discount on the entrance fee to the museum due to the prior group booking. Morning tea consisted of tea or coffee (dispensed yourself) and cream biscuits, which were individually packaged.

One of the staff whispered that there had been a double booking with the Mini Car Club, but this wouldn’t create much difficulty. The only variation would be that the “museum” tour would commence on the station.

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After morning tea, the Zedders headed towards the station and the steam locomotive 2705. Originally purchased from the Hunslet Engine Co in Leeds, England in 1913, it was completely refurbished by the NSW Rail Museum in the 1990s. It was a very relaxing and comfortable trip to Buxton and was thoroughly enjoyed by all the members and guests. The entire round trip takes approximately 45 minutes.

On arrival back at the Thirlmere Station, visitors were invited into the cab of the locomotive (two at a time) and the controls described by Allen, the tour guide. Some of our members (including Maddy) took the opportunity to inspect the cab’s hardware.

The group then returned to the Rail Museum where Allen explained the use of signaling/operational levers (which controlled aligning specific train tracks) and their “fail safe” operations. However, he did note that there had been disasters in the past when there had been failures of equipment and/or operational procedures. On a raised dais there was an example of a very early locomotive, which Allen explained had experienced catastrophic boiler explosions at times in the past, resulting in injury or death to its operators.

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At the front of the museum there was a medium sized locomotive which had been built entirely of spare parts. Allen explained that because of the distances and times to ship locomotive parts from England – two million parts had been ordered in advance. This meant that an entire train could be built from the available parts – ensuring that the entire train was new and therefore reliable.

It was getting towards the time to leave for lunch. Ray thanked Allen for his informative tour of the museum and the group concurred with a short round of applause. There’s not a great deal of visibility on Barbour Rd (outside the Rail Museum) so seated in the low slung Zeds with limited visibility – it takes a bit of concentration to get back onto “the main drag”. However, all exited safely. Now onto the nearby Picton Bowling Club.

The two large pre-booked tables were a welcome sight for the somewhat jaded Zedders. The meals were very reasonably priced and of good quality. The service was generally fairly expedient, although a small number of members had a bit of a wait for their meals. Ray was astonished at getting a 750ml bottle of Merlot for under $12.00. The quality was also quite good.

The excursion had proven to be very successful. Everyone enjoyed the relaxing journey on the steam train to Buxton , the informative and interesting information provided by Allen ( the Museum tour guide) and the good quality , reasonably priced meals provided by the Picton Bowling Club, which made it a very pleasant day.

– Ray

The Southern Highlands Fling – Sunday 24th February, 2019

Organised by Jamie & Joanne Gigg, 11 Zeds, 2 Moderns & 21 People.

Driving along the m5 freeway toward the starting point, I was having all the nervous thoughts you get when organising a run. Will anyone show up? Will they miss the entry to the starting point? Is it too far away? Is it too many kms in one day? As we drove into the Seven Eleven fashionably late, I was even more anxious as I couldn’t see a single Z. That was until I drove around the back. And Then, Zeds everywhere!! 11 in fact and 2 moderns to top it off. This was looking like a great day.

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After many of the Zedders got their morning coffee fix, 10 o’clock soon came and we were off. A short sprint to the Bargo exit and we were off the boring freeway and now flinging along the old Hume Hwy southbound for the upper highland towns of Yanderra, Yerrinbool and Alpine. Weaving our way through the viaduct bridges which cross under the freeway we were soon climbing up the back of Mittagong. They don’t call it the Highlands for nothing!!

Range Road, narrow in parts but what a spectacular road. Green grass, livestock and beautiful peaceful homes, that was until 11 Zeds roll past! Roads more like Country Lanes You could be forgiven for thinking you were in the English countryside. We then turned into Tourist Road. Approximately 30 kms of great driving from Glenquarry to Macquarie Pass. A great chance to safely open the throttle and blow out the cobwebs since the last Zed outing.

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A quick comfort stop at ‘Chilly’ Robertson and off again using some beautiful country roads to get to the Fitzroy Falls information Centre. A short walk to see a spectacular gorge. Lack of recent rainfall meant that the falls were reduced to a trickle! I heard Barry say “I had more water coming out of the shower head this morning”. Sorry for the false advertising regarding the pictures of the falls I used to promote my Run! It was an act of nature. I can’t control that.

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It was time to get on the road again to get to our Moss vale Lunch destination but first a detour along some more country lanes to show everyone a little gem of a place called Burrawang. For those of you who have never been there, it’s a great day run. If you are planning to eat there you can choose either the Burrawang Hotel with spectacular views from the rear of the property or the Burrawang General Store which looks like a little shop at the front but once inside you will be impressed with the size, décor and food. You can even book the loft area for groups of up to 30 people. (they happened to be closed for a short break at the time of our run).

The Porterhouse Bistro at The Moss Vale Hotel did an amazing job to get all 21 of us fed quickly. It seemed that everyone was happy with the meals and service, even though they had us booked as the ‘VET’ car club, when they look after us that well they can call us what they like! I don’t know if they thought we were the ‘Vet’ as in The Corvette club or just a bunch of Veteran geriatrics who go out driving in their old cars on Sundays. Come to think of it the latter is probably a close description!

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Thank you all for your participation in the day and for making it so enjoyable. We covered quite a bit of ground on the day, around 120klms from our starting point at Pheasants Nest to our Lunch destination, not including your distance to the starting point and back to your home from Moss Vale. For some it was a 250km + day, so special thanks to you all for making the effort. We have these cars for the pleasure of driving so why not get as much in as possible once a month when we all get together to celebrate the Z car.

Thanks, Jamie Gigg