It looked a bit ominous for the start of this excursion. Of the 20 Zedders who expressed interest in participating in the trip – numbers fell astronomically as a flurry of last minute cancellations came in. Les, who was in hospital and obviously was unable to attend, was joined by Craig (dreaded lurgy) and family and three others – seven absentee votes. As we had to have a minimum of 12 to get the group discount for the Pioneer Museum it was going to be very close.
We arrived at the Crossroads Hotel rendez vous with great anticipation to see a handful of members and their Z mobiles – not a good look! However, within ten minutes of our arrival – the Heavens smiled on us and a vast array of members arrived along with their wives. I didn’t do either a head count or a vehicle count at this point as we had to pick up Brian & Barbara Haines at our first point of call – the Mittagong RSL.
The Z car convoy motored down the Hume Motorway uneventfully – the surrounding traffic was very respectful and courteous (i.e. no one cut us off). Within about fifty minutes of pleasant driving we arrived at the Mittagong RSL.
After we caught up with Barbara and Brian we did a vehicle and head count – in spite of the original cancellations there were thirteen vehicles and eighteen members – a very good response.
The first counter of the RSL was unattended so the Zedders lined up at the second counter – only to be told that they had to sign in at the first counter. By this time the club had organised someone for the first counter. The Zedders, good humouredly weren’t bothered by the short delay. On to the RSL coffee shop where the Zedders enjoyed the “better than average” cappuccinos – some had light snacks. A glance at the wrist watches revealed it was time to move on to the second part of the excursion – the Pioneer Village Museum at Kangaroo Valley.
Although the Zedders had written instructions regarding the journey – Anthony reprogrammed his 370Zs Sat Nav and offered to lead the way. The traffic was very heavy on the way out of Mittagong and the convoy was repeatedly dissected. After waiting patiently at the traffic lights at the top of Mittagong the Zeds were only getting through a few at a time.
Ultimately all the Zeds got clear of Mittagong, but, by this time the convoy was split into groups some kilometres apart. After hitting Moss Vale Rd the convoy was stopped by a red light on a steep hill as the road was under construction – which only allowed one lane to pass at a time. Finally free we then had our first drama; Ray and Robyn were in the last group of Zeds when Bruce (driving Chris’s old 300ZX) suddenly pulled off the road.
Chris, Ray and Vince also pulled off the road to determine what had happened. Bruce had heard a loud bang and on inspection some connecting bolts in his tailshaft had come adrift. Chris remained behind to attempt some emergency repairs on the car and Ray and Vince took to the road again and headed towards the Pioneer Village Museum .By this time Ray and Vince were about eight kilometres behind the rest of the convoy.
On arrival at the Pioneer Village Museum Ray met one of the Principals, Robin Wolstenholme through whom he had organised the visit. Fortunately, there were enough Zedders to get the cheaper entrance fees (50% discount).
The Zedders wandered around the village taking in the very interesting historical displays, including vintage telegraphic equipment, weapons, farming equipment and the vintage buildings of the Pioneer Village itself.
At this point Chris arrived with Bruce and Kerry squashed into the back of his 300Zx 2+2. They had left Bruce’s 300ZX on the side of the road and were going to return later to affect emergency repairs.
The Zedders then left the Pioneer Village Museum and headed towards the Moss Vale Hotel and the Porterhouse Bistro for lunch. Anthony helped out by taking one of the Zedders in his car. On the way back, Barry pulled over to help to get Bruce’s car mobile again and the rest of the convoy proceeded to Moss Vale for lunch.
As usual, the Porterhouse Bistro did itself proud – excellent reasonably priced meals and a great relaxing atmosphere. The tables had been pre-booked and were nicely laid out to accommodate the predicted 20 Zedders.
Sometime later Chris, Bruce and Barry arrived (after some emergency repairs to Bruce’s 300ZX). They then joined the Zedders for lunch.
There had been a few unexpected problems but it turned out to be a very enjoyable day overall. The presence of so many of the Zedders’s wives enhanced the great camaraderie of the Sydney Z Car Club and we hope this becomes a regular feature of future excursions.