MAY EXCURSION – WINGS OVER ILLAWARRA

Last minute notification from the WOI officials (e-mail received Friday evening) that the display vehicles had to be inside the grounds by 8.30AM and more importantly that the gates would be locked (for display vehicles) until 5.00PM – didn’t create much enthusiasm amongst the Z Car Club of Sydney members. As the members had to be informed of the changed hours before the event the return E Mails showed a number of cancellations.

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A hardy nucleus of members descended on the meeting place – McDonalds at Albion Park. Waiting in the queues for coffee and sustenance seemed to take forever. As such, food was gulped down and coffee was consumed a la “Bob Hawke’s record Ale drinking performance”. The only difference being the coffee was rather hot! A quick run to the Z cars, contorting bodies to fit through the low slung vehicles ignoring bad backs and ruined knees!

Start the engines, into gear and attempt to form a convoy to leave McDonalds – and wouldn’t you know it – Captain Pathetically Slow in the high powered Toyota Camry just has to push into the middle of the convoy blocking most of the members.

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Half the convoy had left and were turning at the traffic lights as the straggling other half managed to escape from McDonalds and took off in pursuit. A surge of speed was rewarded by catching up to the Z car in front (I hope he knows where he’s going!). Turn left at the lights and yes the flag marshals were there! After scanning the barcodes and entering the enclosure the Z car members recoiled in horror! After spending hours cleaning and polishing their Z cars to the pinnacle of perfection they were ushered to their display area. Not lush grass (as in previous years) – but all dirt!! Within minutes all the cars (including other clubs) had a heavy layer of dust covering their “pride & joy”.

Some members, because of the late finishing time had opted to park in the public car park and pay the extra entrance fees in order that they could leave at an earlier time. As such it took a while to catch up with all those who attended. The final count was 16 members and nine cars. However, the weather was improving by the hour. The earlier strong winds had abated and were now mere breezes and the sun was shining.

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After the opening ceremony the air show commenced . The first part included the Red Berets, RAAF Roulettes and a flyby by the de Havilland Caribou. This was followed by a Hercules, Neptune, Fokker DR1 and a Mustang.

Around 12.30PM the Supermarine Spitfire and a Hurricane appeared as well as the famous Wolf Pitts Pro.

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Following on was a Wirraway and the daredevil Russian Roolettes raising excitement levels in the crowd.

The Focke-Wulf made an appearance and other aircraft including a Jet Provost.

The Wolf Pitts Pro and two Pitts S1-S thrilled the crowd with their daring aerobatics at 3.30PM.

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Around 4.00PM some of the car club members were getting quite restless (not ours) and starting lining up at the locked enclosure gates. Inevitably the display cars were able to leave a little earlier.

The WOI air show was probably one of the best for a number of years with excellent weather for most of the day and all those Z car members attending enjoyed the day. However, there were some reservations regarding the “all dirt” display area and the 5.00pm exit time. Let’s hope the WOI organisers review these two issues for 2018.

APRIL EXCURSION – GOSFORD REPTILE PARK

A three pronged attack for this excursion – meet at the Crossroads at Casula, then pick up members on the Pennant Hills Rd – while some members travelled directly to the Gosford Reptile Park (if more convenient). Traffic lights to the M7 seemed to change in a split second with only two cars getting through and the rest of the convoy remaining behind. Ray finally found a safe place to pull over on the M7 and, after a few minutes the convoy was formed again. The double demerits in force seemed to affect the speed of the traffic flow and while not exactly “granny speed” the traffic seemed to stick specifically to the speed limit – which meant being continually blocked from overtaking.CARS 2

Time wise, the convoy was running a little late – and Robyn started resembling a switchboard operator as a number of calls were dealt with from members waiting on the Pennant Hills Road. The presence of Police patrol cars on the M7 did nothing to enhance the traffic flow and speeds dipped back to l00kms/hr or less. Ultimately the start of the Pennant Hills Road was reached. A flurry of phone calls determined that there was a congregation of Zedders at the second Shell Garage. The first Shell Garage was reached. There was then some anxious peering through the thickening traffic and some tailgating of the members of the convoy as the procession slowed to seek out the second Shell Service Station. There they were! Homs honked, lights flashed and waving out the windows stimulated the missing members to join the convoy. There was a slowdown of traffic as the entrance to the Ml was reached.CARS

Finally, the traffic started to pick up speed – yes the magic ll0kms/hr sign appeared. But the right hand overtaking lane was travelling more slowly than the other two lanes!! To prove that not all clowns are found in a circus – a clown in a Commodore was sitting in the overtaking lane at 15-20 kms/hr under the limit!! It took some time before he could be overtaken on the inside. The convoy was then able to resume a realistic speed and the ETA started to look better.

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Ultimately Somersby was reached and the Retile Park signs appeared. The convoy slid into the car park of the Gosford Reptile Park. What wasn’t known at this stage was that Vince’s Z had failed to start (Rolls Royce speak – “had failed to proceed”) and Vince was still at the second Shell Garage (waiting for the NRMA). The group of Zedders congregated at the main desk ready to pay for their admission (group discount). However, Ray was bluntly informed that admission costs had to be paid in one transaction – a bit over $500. Terry fortunately had the club chequebook and was able to pay for the members (later reimbursed by all members during lunch). With the supplied maps members moved off to view the numerous displays.

The first show was the Galapagos tortoise feeding exhibition. Some interesting facts emerged from this. Apparently Captain Cook travelled with these enormous creatures on board – as they could go for extended periods without food or water and could provide up to 60kgs of fresh meat for the sailors and could also live for 150 years – perfect for long voyages.

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The following Reptile Show involved demonstrations of crocodiles, snakes, birds and Lace Monitors and was very humorously presented involving some of the children from the audience – and provided substantial insights into little known facts regarding the animals. The static exhibitions in the body of the main building were excellent and provided information on a variety of species including snakes, spiders, lizards, alligators, skinks, chameleons and crocodiles.

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At this point Vince (and his rejuvenated Z) arrived – and as it was near lunch time the Zedders left the Reptile Park and headed to the Gosford Golf Club. It was now possible to get an accurate head count of Zedders present. With the late arrival of Vince the final total was 20 (with 13 vehicles).

The Gosford Golf Club proved to be quite a surprise – with lovely picturesque views over the golf course and good quality food. Overall, the excursion proved to be very successful and all members enjoyed the day.

NISSAN DATSUN NATIONALS: 15th -17th APRIL

This was successfully organized by the Datsun Club over the three days.

The Z Car Club of Sydney was ably represented by Craig acting as a Flag Marshall, Ern as Skid Pan Director and other Z Car Club of Sydney members including Barbara, Brian, Andrew, Terry, Jamie, Barry and Darren.

Everyone who attended thoroughly enjoyed the experience. As mentioned in our April Meeting Minutes Andrew scored a chance to do a few fast laps of the circuit with James Flett in his very quick Datsun 240Z.

Craig has provided a number of photos taken of the event which will give an insight of the highlights of the three days.

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MARCH EXCURSION – MACARTHUR

The starting venue for this excursion was McDonalds at Narellan although some members would join the convoy at different points in the planned route. First impressions were very encouraging – a substantial number of members and guests were gathering and enjoying either breakfast or morning tea.

The continuing inclement weather had unfortunately defined some of the attending vehicles . Those feeling that their “pride and joy” Zeds would be safer at home brought a variety of alternative vehicles although there was still a good representation of Z cars present. James upped the ante by bringing his Porsche Carrera 4 which added some extra prestige to the event.

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At precisely 9.45 am Jamie indicated that it was time to commence the excursion “Gentlemen, start your engines!” The convoy turned onto the Old Hume Highway and took the turn to the Northern Rd. As is usual , with all excursions, the convoy got segmented at the traffic lights and with nowhere to stop – the lead cars had to keep going. Fortunately, it was merely a case of following along the Northern Rd so none of the members got lost. Eventually, the stragglers caught up with the main body of the convoy and the rejuvenated group headed towards the Wollondilly Heritage Centre.

The weather was still very unpredictable, however, and alternated between dry spells and sometimes heavy downpours. In spite of the rain it was a relaxing drive through Theresa Park and The Oaks with a mixture of older and newer buildings and pleasant views. Just after 10.00am the convoy arrived at Wollondilly Heritage Centre and, it had stopped raining! The Zedders then joined the other group of members who had gone directly to the Wollondilly Heritage Centre.

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As the group assembled at the main entrance, John Hyland, one of the Heritage Centre’s volunteers gave an interesting overview of the history of the Burragorang valley and the establishment of the Wollondilly Heritage Centre itself. The Zedders then commenced to inspect the Heritage Centre’s displays. There were some impressive and interesting historical displays in a number of buildings scattered throughout the grounds.

A video was shown of the preparation for the building of the Warragamba Dam This entailed the flooding of the Burragorang Valley, which unfortunately involved the removal of a number of generational families who had lived in the valley for more than 120 years and the destruction of a number of historical buildings (including the local church). An attempt was made by the Government to remove some of the gravestones from the local cemetery and to save some memorabilia from the site.

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At this time, the rain had commenced again. The next part of the excursion was to visit the Burragorang Lookout. This was a short drive of about 10kms from the Wollondilly Heritage Centre. The weather worsened on the way, but the real concern was the fog which had started settling in to the area. The Zedders parked at the lookout but were disappointed to observe that the fog had completely blocked the magnificent view over the Burragorang Valley.

The next stop on the excursion was the Picton Hotel for lunch. On arrival, a head and car count was conducted (this was the first real opportunity to do this). Twelve cars and eighteen people (including guests) was an excellent response considering the formidable weather. Meals were of a good standard and reasonably priced and this rounded off an interesting and enjoyable day.

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The success of this excursion was due to the meticulous, step by step planning by Jamie, the participation of so many wives of members (which provided an excellent balance) and the overall contribution of genuine friendship by all those who attended.

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Footnote from Jamie:  PS it took a bit of persuasion to get the keys of the Blue 370 back from Corey who was starting to get very comfortable in the cockpit. If you know anyone who would be interested in this vehicle it has 900 km’s on the speedo and is heavily discounted at 49K drive away. If you can help find a home for it, Moss Vale Nissan will donate $500 to the Z car club as a donation. Contact Jamie 0426 191 900

FEBRUARY EXCURSION – WARRAGAMBA DAM

After enduring 40 plus and 30 plus degrees centigrade temperatures all through February 2017 – it seemed rather ironic that on the very day of the proposed barbecue at Warragamba Dam – it should start pouring rain. And did it rain -heavy downpours continued through the morning until about 4.30 AM. Then it suddenly stopped with the wet roads the only evidence that there had been a storm. Two groups of hardy Zedders began the trek to the Crossroads Hotel at Casula and directly to the Dam (whichever was the most convenient).

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Some confusion had crept in on the day as from the information provided the Warragamba Dam Trust had relinquished control over the electric barbecue and picnic area to Wollondilly Council – which was now in a separate section to the Dam. Navigation then had to be reset to target Farnsworth Ave, Warragamba rather than Crest Rd, Warragamba.

Glancing around the assembled group at the Crossroads Hotel was not exactly encouraging – 4 cars and six members. However, a number of members had gone directly to Warragamba Dam (the weather had been rather drastic earlier in the morning and had probably scared off a number of members from attending the barbecue). Around 9.00AM the convoy started to motor west along the Camden Valley Way. The inevitable inconvenient red lights cut the convoy and with nowhere to pull over the lead cars had to travel very slowly (to the annoyance of other motorists) to allow the remnants of the convoy to catch up. This unfortunately happened a number of times. Finally, free running when the convoy reached The Northern Road.

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The convoy slowed as it passed through Silverdale because of some traffic build up. The other body of Zedders had found a little niche park within the Warragamba Dam Area itself. Finally, the two groups joined up. Apparently the main Warragamba park was being used for some type of ethnic festival with about 300 people filling the park.

While discussing options with regards to having a barbecue or having lunch at one of the local clubs, it was revealed that some members hadn’t brought their meat rations as they assumed that it would be too wet to barbecue outdoors. It was decided then to eat at one of the nearby clubs. As this was being resolved Vanesa and Darko arrived.

A head and car count proved very pleasing with regards to the previously threatening weather – nine cars and thirteen members – an excellent effort considering the conditions and the cancellations. Great to see such a response from the conscientious members who attended.

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Vanesa had thoughtfully brought some decorated muffins with various “Z” designations in the icing – such as 240Z, 260Z etc. Well done, Vanesa!

The group then started a tour of the Dam. The first step was to climb down to the various viewing platforms to get a better appreciation of the extent of the size of the Dam and its environs. The views were quite spectacular and a number of photos were taken.

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Next, the group ascended to the Visitors’ Centre and the Museum. The Museum had both static and interactive displays with  a great deal of interesting information on the Warragamba Dam’s specifications and construction . The displays also provided information on the ancillary dams such as the Cordeaux , Avon and Cataract . As Warragamba Dam provides approximately 80% of the Sydney water supply it has by far the biggest capacity of over 2,000 gigalitres.

Part of the group worked its way around the various wall displays while another part of the group watched an interesting documentary on the construction, history of the Warragamba Dam and some of the numerous people involved. Vanesa had suggested having lunch at the Warragamba Workers’ Club rather than the Wallacia Hotel (acquired knowledge from living in the area).

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So the group returned to their vehicles . Darko should be commended for being particularly helpful in assisting the group to find parking around the Dam’s Visitors’ Centre and later at the Warragamba Workers’ Club. The group signed in at the Warragamba Workers’ Club and proceeded to order lunch. The Club proved to have a very pleasant and peaceful ambience as well as good, well priced food. Ray was particularly surprised at getting a full sized bottle of Semillon Sauvignon Blanc for $12 – this was a non-members price!

The day had proven to be a complete success despite the somewhat dubious start . The Museum had been interesting and informative , the lunch at the Warragamba Workers’ Club had been of good quality and well-priced and the company and companionship of the members exceptional.

DECEMBER EXCURSION – SYMBIO WILDLIFE PARK

We needed twenty attendees for this excursion to get the 45% discounted entry fee. A number of last minute scratchings created some concern. Waiting patiently at the Crossroads Hotel at Casula with a limited amount of vehicles and members – it looked a bit ominous. However, things started looking up. Eamonn arrived with his wife, Wendy two kids of his own and his son’s friend – and John suddenly appeared – we may make it after all!

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Anthony volunteered to lead the convoy – a distinct plus – and the string of Z vehicles (and supplementary vehicles to carry the extra people) headed towards the M5. The traffic flow was relatively light and the convoy proceeded without incident until it reached the Heathcote Rd turnoff. The Princes Motorway was reached and Anthony slowed so the convoy could reform. It was necessary at times to travel 10-15kms/hr under the speed limit which caused other traffic to overtake and block the view of the tail-enders of the convoy. However, it all came together and no one got lost.

Arriving at the Symbio Wildlife Park and joining up with the members who had driven directly to the venue – there was an anxious moment as heads were counted. Whew! Twenty adults and four kids ( in fourteen vehicles) . Ray then had the dilemma of what the kids would be charged for the entry fee as this hadn’t been part of the original calculation. Fortunately the Symbio staff discounted the kids’ entry fee because of the numbers involved. It took some time for the large group of Zedders to get into the zoo as fees were paid individually.

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With the supplied maps of the zoo the group diffused into the park to observe the variety of animals. There was a Meerkat exhibition held a short time after the group arrived and most of the Zedders stayed to watch . An interesting talk was given by the attendant on the habits and peculiarities of the Meerkats. Moving on to the Reptile Enclosure revealed a collection of lizards and some smaller alligators.

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Alongside the Meerkat enclosure was a collection of miniature Marmots (similar to the ones that were recently stolen). A Koala Bear enclosure was nearby but with a “look no touch” policy. Plenty of Kangaroos were roaming freely in their own enclosure and these were allowed to be handled by the public (to the delight of the children present).

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The group separated and wandered around the other exhibits which included Ring – Tailed Lemurs, Wombats, Cassowarys, Red Pandas, Monkeys, Dingos and Goats. The weather was getting hotter (around 29 degrees C) and the Zedders started looking for more shady exhibits. There was a sole Sumatran Tiger who seemed to have a bad back and appeared to have trouble walking around its enclosure. Two Cheetahs in a separate enclosure were fast asleep and totally ignored the number of spectators milling around for a better look. Bird displays, Emus and a display of farmyard animals rounded off the tour. By this time, with the constant heat and humidity – the group decided to head off for lunch.

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Lunch had been booked at the nearby Helensburgh Workers Club (Tradies). The one minute trip became a ten minute trip for one Zedder who made a disastrous wrong turn. However, ultimately, all the Zedders got organized for lunch . The next problem was that the original booking was for twenty persons – so there had to be some supplementary tables and chairs added to keep the group together. Meals were reasonably priced ( some of the group ordered the $10 specials) and of above average quality . Service was excellent – although wine was at a rather premium price.  Overall, Tradies had a very pleasant ambience.

The excursion had proven to be very successful with an interesting range of somewhat unique animals at the Symbio Wildlife Park . The displays were well presented and informative and everyone enjoyed the experience. Rounding off the day was the relaxing atmosphere of the Helensburgh Workers Club , good food and excellent companionship.

NOVEMBER EXCURSION – KIAMA CAR AND BIKE SPECTACULAR

With the 10.00AM curfew for the display cars to be onsite at the Kiama Showground it meant an early exit from the Casula Crossroads Hotel starting point. The Z car members streamed onto the Hume Motorway by 8.30AM. After carefully programming of the correct destination into the 370z’s Sat Nav, Ray had high hopes that navigation was finally going to be successful.

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Then the Sat Nav froze and refused to move. Unprintable comments followed and the manual maps appeared. However, in spite of this setback the convoy made good progress along the motorway. By 9.00AM the Picton Rd turnoff was reached and the two separate collections of Deep South Zedders were collected onto the tail of the convoy. The convoy was making excellent time until Police cars, bikes and unmounted Police with the dreaded “hair dryers” started appearing everywhere. This meant a great deal of time spent scanning the horizon and rear vision mirrors for blue and red flashing lights. When there is a convoy of nearly twenty vehicles in tow it is a bit disconcerting and nerve wracking and doesn’t lead to efficient progress.

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Ray and Craig (leading the convoy) had just overtaken a slower moving vehicle when a Police motor bike appeared out of nowhere with lights flashing and siren sounding. As they may have been a tad over the speed limit when manoeuvring to allow the convoy to cut in behind them – it was a bit of an anxious moment. However, the Police bike scorched past at around 160kms/hr chasing another motorist – who was eventually pulled over at the next slip road. After passing through Haywards Bay the convoy arrived at the outskirts of Kiama.

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The 50kms/hr speed limit in the middle of the Kiama township slowed the progress of the convoy considerably – fortunately (with time running out) the well placed signs indicating the location of the Kiama Showground helped considerably. Arriving at the gates with nine minutes to spare, the Zedders were unimpressed at being asked to pay $5 per head instead of the original stated donation of $5 per display vehicle. OK – this is being donated to charity – but without the display vehicles (and the Z cars formed probably the biggest display contingent) there wouldn’t be a show! Organisers take note!! Problem number two then displayed its ugly head – although being booked three months ahead – and confirmed by both phone calls and E mails from the organisers within the last two weeks the allocated Z Car of Sydney spot had been given to another random assortment of vehicles (even though it had been clearly marked). Organisers note: if you want the future support of the members of the Z Car Club of Sydney – you’d better get your act together!

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The rest of the day proceeded more calmly. There was a substantial display of extremely varied vehicles – Holden’s  – FJ and upwards, Pontiacs, Fords – Mustangs , Thunderbirds , Fairlanes etc. , Triumphs including Mayflower and Dolomites and the ubiquitous Morris Minors . Noted was an immaculate Chevrolet convertible and the V8 powered $150,000 GTR (displayed at the previous Kiama Car Spectacular). Jamie Whincup’s racing Holden was also one of the standout exhibits. The stalls that were available consisted of motor vehicle spares and limited snacks and drinks. A band supplied a good standard of music which was drowned out by the rather annoying and deafening sound of the jet engine car display.

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It was pleasing to see the 17 immaculately prepared Z cars. It was obvious that substantial effort had gone into their presentation. The 23 Z Car members and guests who attended added to the success of the excursion.

This was also the Z Car Club of Sydney’s Show and Shine day. There was some very tight competition in a number of categories because of the superbly prepared Z car display vehicles – which made the job of the two judges Les and Terry very difficult.

However, the following is a list of the finalists in the different categories.

240z Standard Peter Landan
240Z Highly modified race Darren Hill
260Z 2+2 Standard Terry Stevens
260Z 2+2 Modified Les Hampson
280Z Standard Corey Smith
280ZX Modified Brian Haines
300ZX  Z31 Standard Barry Godfrey
300ZX   Z32 Standard Bruce Waldron
300ZX   Z32 Modified Phill Lee
300ZX Twin Turbo Standard Courtney Marsh
350Z Standard Craig Tebbet
370Z Standard Ray Marsh
370Z Modified Anthony Marsh

The Club Champion for 2016 was Ray Marsh.

OCTOBER EXCURSION – TRAINWORKS THIRLMERE

A bright sunny day and every kid’s dream (and older kids), to ride on an old fashioned locomotive – what could go wrong? Both the Trainworks and the local Picton Bowling Club had been booked for a minimum of twenty persons at generously discounted group prices. Five last minute cancellations caused some concern. However, the smiles returned as a flood of people arrived at the Casula Crossroads Hotel starting point. Les, Barbara and Brian were going directly to the Trainworks and would be added to the total. Darren and Ray were low on fuel but were going to fill up at the destination so as not to hold up the convoy.

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The blast down the Hume Motorway was uneventful with a number of motorists showing some interest in the convoy of Z cars – but fortunately not cutting in. After negotiating the Picton turnoff the convoy headed towards Picton. Ray was leading the convoy but the satnav in his 370Z was doing what it does best – being totally unhelpful and acting purely as a dashboard ornament. The downloaded “Whereis” maps were also unhelpful. Fortunately the Trainworks posted signs pointed the way. The convoy arrived intact (no lost souls) at the Trainworks just before 10.00AM. It was very pleasing to see the 16 Z cars and 23 persons (comprising Z car members and guests) forming a group outside the Trainworks.

As the group lined up at the Trainworks desk to secure their tickets – it was realised that to view the museum, go on the train trip (45 minutes) and get to the Picton Bowling Club for lunch at the designated time was going to take a tight bit of scheduling. It was decided then to have the provided morning tea first, take the train ride and view the museum after the train ride. There were two choices of carriages coupled to the train – economy and second class. Most of the group wanted to sit in second class – which became a little crowded – but everyone fitted in ok.

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The train was diesel and about fifty years old with the usual old fashioned fittings. However, the seats were very comfortable and it proved to be a very pleasant trip as the train headed towards Buxton. The group enjoyed interesting views of the countryside (mostly bushland) and the ride was very relaxed and smooth. On arrival at Buxton the locomotive was swapped via a side rail track to the other end of the train for the return journey, which took about ten minutes – just time for the group to stretch their legs. Some of the group swapped carriages from the “second “ to  “economy” class and were rewarded by a Trainworks official relating the history of the railway on the return journey to Thirlmere.

On arrival back at the Trainworks museum , Ian , Barbara’s brother conducted a very interesting and informative tour of the various trains on display as well as the actual workshops where restoration work was being carried out. The group marvelled at the sheer size of the locomotives and the associated rolling stock. After a comprehensive tour of the museum, Ian was thanked and commended for his interesting commentary and insightful explanations of the Trainworks site. Now, it was time to head for the Picton Bowling Club for lunch. The busy road at the rear of the carpark caused some delays in getting the Z cars into a convoy formation for the run to the lunch venue.

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Along the way to the Picton Bowling Club (which was only a short distance from the Trainworks) Ray glanced at his dashboard and a warning sign was displayed – the previous “Distance to empty – 42 kms” had morphed into “Distance to empty —“– must be travelling on petrol vapours! Ray made it to the club – “shaken but not stirred”.

There was a fairly large crowd inside the Picton Bowling Club – and the arrival of the 23 Zedders added to the numbers. Although the staff were very courteous the arrival of this large crowd (nearly 20 minutes late) added to the confusion. Not everyone wanted the booked concessional two course meal for $13 which meant a few more compromises and changes. John and Terry should be highly commended for the excellent way in which they listed the individual choices of meals (the $13 meal had three Mains choices) and both collected and collated the money from the individual members. Well done!!

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However, all’s well that ends well! It had been a very enjoyable day, with an interesting tour of the Trainworks Museum and a relaxing train ride. Great attendance and good company rounded off the excursion.

SEPTEMBER EXCURSION – GANNONS (LUGARNO LIONS CLUB)

There is something about outdoor car shows – they seem to attract rain like a magnet. As the individuals slavishly polish their “pride and joy”, scrub all the black bits and clean the tyres and stand back in anticipation – the storm clouds gather – ready to ruin all the hard work!

And so it came to pass! According to the weather bureau the rain was supposed to commence at 3.00PM. They lied! Rain starting falling from about 7.30AM and continued with increasing vigour through the morning. Never mind – on with the journey. After previous run-ins with the 370Z’s sat nav Ray chose to ignore it when it screamed at him to “take the first exit” when close to Lugarno. He disobeyed it and took a right hand turn instead – and subsequently got lost! Fortunately, Anthony, who trusted his sat nav took the lead and all the family arrived at the destination safely.

Flag marshalls on site pointed the way (after the $10 donations per car was received) and the Z cars were marshalled into their enclosure. Les took over the role of a parking policeman and the Z cars were safely stowed away. This may not have appeared to have been such a big deal – but he had to contend with both the world’s worst navigator and the world’s worst reverse parker (same person) at considerable risk to life and limb.

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Because of the rather dismal weather, the Gannons attendance overall was down as well as the number of vehicles being displayed. However, the knights were back – staging sword fights. One enterprising knight was seen jumping on the back of another knight! There was a display of different stalls selling a variety of goods and the police put on a display of equestrian prowess in two areas of the park.

With some late arrivals, the Z car count was 12 and the number of members, including guests was 16. In view of the weather this was a commendable attendance. The Zedders moved off to look at the other marques on display, buy food and look at some of the exhibits and stalls.

The weather was becoming a little more pronounced and umbrellas started becoming part of the normal attire. Noted among the exhibited cars were various Ford Mustangs of different models, an endless stream of FB and EK Holdens, a number of Lotus vehicles and a sole Bellett GT. There was also a very unusual Holden hearse with six wheels – four at the rear.

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The organisers and exhibitors tried very hard to make it an enjoyable day for all but the weather was starting to win the battle – the constant drizzle continued to make everyone damp and uncomfortable. From 12.00PM on there was a constant trickle of people heading towards the exit.

One of the brighter moments of the day was when Courtney won an award for her Nissan Z32 twin turbo – third place in the Best Car of the Show (21st Annual Classic Vehicle Show 2016) . She had the engine professionally steam cleaned the previous day and this may have made the difference in its overall presentation.

Regardless of the weather, it was an enjoyable day with the Z Car Club members discussing the common shared interests of the group as well as attracting a number of interested outsiders – who stated their intention of becoming future members of the club.

AUGUST EXCURSION – SHANNONS (EASTERN CREEK)

With temperatures predicted to be around 19-20 degrees C and no rain – it was going to be a great day weatherwise. The Zedders were to meet at Liberty Rd, Huntingwood at 8.00AM and form a convoy to enter Gate A at Eastern Creek Raceway at 8.30AM. Without the security of the usual “follow the leader” style convoy to the destination a number of members became lost enroute. However, in spite of these temporary mishaps – everyone managed to arrive by 8.30AM.

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The designated spot inside Eastern Creek Raceway was Area C. A very robust collection of 20 Z cars and 23 members was in attendance and constituted one of the largest group displays.

RACE 1

Overall there was an impressive range of vehicles on display. Noteworthy were the Italian Sportscar display vehicles consisting of makes such as Masserati, Ferrari, Alfa Romeo and Fiat , an impressive range of Morgan sportscars , a substantial collection of Bolwell Nagari’s and a range of Sunbeam vehicles including the rare Sunbeam Tiger sports. There was also a very large range of Studebaker vehicles being exhibited – including Larks and Silver and Golden Hawks. This was in addition to displays of Holdens, Fords (including Mustangs), Chevrolets (including Corvettes) and a range of English makes.

RACE 2

The Zedders parked their vehicles appropriately, unpacked their gear and started wandering around to view the numerous other makes of vehicles on display. A glance at the supplied programs showed that the Z Car Club had been allocated a time slot at a run on the racetrack at 3.30PM. The previous year at Shannons it had been around 10.00AM. It was going to be a long day! The Shannons Car Show is not renowned for its standard of cuisine – so it was hoped by a number of Zedders to get away early and eat elsewhere – this was not going to happen with the raceway stint not occurring until late in the afternoon . Fortunately some of the members had brought their own provisions.

RACE 3

It started to get quite hot from mid-morning onwards and hats, caps and umbrellas started appearing. There were a lot of spectators and potential members milling around the Z cars – which kept the Zedders occupied. The numerous vehicles on display and conversations between various groups and the members themselves helped pass the time.

RACE 4

Courtney (semi-official photographer) wanted to compile photographs of the excursion as well as capture the Z cars on the track and would be unable to drive her Z32 twin turbo on the race track. William took over the role as “test pilot” to run the over boosted beast on the track.

RACE 5

Finally, the time had arrived for the Zedders to take their individual “pride and joy” to the race track. After sitting in the cue for about fifteen minutes, they were finally released onto the track.

BAZ

Wow, the highlight of the day suddenly turned into the “lowlight” of the day! The Z cars were bogged down by the lead vehicle slowing down to about 40kms/hr (this appeared to be the “safety” car) – which meant it was rare for the Z cars to even reach the 80kms/hr limit. Most of the time it was more on the brakes than the accelerator. Instead of the customary two laps the Z cars were flagged off after one lap. The Z car group were both unimpressed and disappointed – after waiting all day in anticipation – and then being treated to this “granny lap”. Not happy,  Jan!!

DAKO

Overall, apart from the race track fiasco, it was a good day with an impressive range of rare and exotic automobiles on display, the excellent friendship of the Z car group and the interested and enthusiastic spectators. Let’s hope the organisers of the race track laps for the exhibitors’ cars do considerably better in 2017.