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

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

DECEMBER EXCURSION – LITHGOW SMALL ARMS MUSEUM

The starting point for this excursion was the Hydro Majestic Hotel at Medlow Bath. Earlier arrivals were soon joined by members and guests filtering through the large entrance doors of the hotel. The leader of the expeditionary force, General Desmond Neville was quietly sucking on a coffee and in a completely relaxed mode as the others arrived. (His horse was conspicuously absent!).

The tables on the Hydro Majestic verandah stated to fill up as twenty members and guests took up their positions. Apart from the usual Z mobiles there was a mixed variety of vehicles – catering for those seeking “comfort more than speed” – as it was a rather lengthy excursion. All up, there were twelve vehicles noted.

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After an appropriate amount of sustenance and the usual “catch up” discussions it was time to start the journey. Craig (being a native of these parts) took the lead and the convoy headed north along the Great Western Highway.

After a journey of approximately half an hour, the convoy turned into Methven Street, Lithgow – home of the Lithgow Small Arms Museum. Having been forewarned of the Z Car invasion (by virtue of pre- booking for 25 people) – there was a museum staff member available to provide an interesting commentary on the Museum and its past and present activities. The Lithgow Arms Factory had been responsible for supplying the Australian army with a variety of weapons during the Second World War – including rifles and Bren guns. Its machine shops are still producing a variety of products currently, including the Steyr AUG assault rifle /light machine carbine for our military forces.

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There was an interesting display of weapons on the ground floor of the Museum. This included guns, a display of knives and a particularly vicious looking Sunbeam Mixmaster! The party then gravitated to the first floor where all the “good stuff” was being displayed. This was a “gun fancier’s heaven”. Magnificent handguns of all shapes and sizes – “Dirty Harry type “ 44 magnums, 357 magnums, Lugers , 45’s, dueling pistols, miniature guns etc. , etc.

In the middle of the floor was a very large Chinese heavy machine gun, with other machine guns scattered throughout the exhibits. There was an extensive display of rifles of different vintages , and some of the members recognized rifles they had trained with in their youth– such as .303’s (school cadets) and SLRs (military reserve) etc.

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Some time was spent perusing the fairly numerous exhibits, with mobile phones being actively utilized for photographing the more interesting firearms.

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It was now time to head off for lunch at the Tarana Hotel at the quaint Tarana Township. Craig took the convoy on a more scenic route than the original planned route. This involved travelling along Diamond Swamp Rd and then onto Sodwalls Rd and ultimately Mutton Falls Rd, Main Street and the Tarana Hotel.

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Prior booking allowed for outside undercover dining (appreciated – as the temperature was getting close to 30 degrees C). This was in contrast to our last visit when the temperature was three degrees C!

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After a pleasant lunch and a variety of discussions, group members gave their farewells and started slipping away to get started on the long journey home. It had proven to be an interesting and enjoyable day overall with a very good attendance of members and guests.

Many thanks to Des for the original planning of this excursion. (Des had a few health issues previously so Craig and Ray had provided a little assistance with the excursion).

NOVEMBER EXCURSION – MOTORLIFE MUSEUM

Weather good: check!  Sea of interested faces at Big Daddy’s Burger Bar: check! Pick up Barbara, Brian and Brett at the Picton Rd turnoff: check! Stand by for launch: check!

With the now renowned navigation team of Dan and Court at the helm of the convoy it was “go” for the Motorlife excursion. The Z cars straggled out of “Big Daddy’s” with the red 320kw twin turbo leading the way. After a series of quick turns through roundabouts and backstreets the convoy hit the Hume Motorway.

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There was a lot of traffic darting in and out of the convoy along the way, but as it was a straight run at this point in the journey – there was no problems with visibility and keeping in touch with the lead vehicles. After about 36 kms into the trip – the Picton Road, Wilton turnoff presented itself and the convoy entered the slip road.

Now, to find Barbara, Brian and Brett!

Brian, Barbara and Brett had managed to move into the fast moving traffic flow a couple of cars ahead of the convoy – and were spotted by the leading cars. This was a more expedient solution than trying to join the convoy from the rear.

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It was a fairly free flowing run towards Wollongong at this point, and the convoy, overall was making good time. Proceeding to the Kanahooka Road off ramp at Brownsville led the convoy finally to the Darkes Road location of the Motorlife Museum.

Ray had tried, prior to the excursion date to negotiate the entry fee to the Museum in light of the envisaged number of Z car members attending – but the price was fixed at $15 per head for groups. The previous $10 entrance fee for NRMA members was also no longer available.

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The Motorlife Museum is really unique in having a substantial range of rare and exotic motor vehicles spanning decades of motoring. Some of the “later models” was an FX and FJ Holden approximately 67 and 64 years old respectively.

It was noted that the John Lennon mannequin had been shifted from its original position in the MGA convertible (two years ago) to a park bench in the museum. Must be some valid reason!

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There are a lot of displays – so a good two hours can be spent to thoroughly examine the exhibits. As well as the motor vehicles, there are displays of vintage typewriters, telephones and other memorabilia of the different eras.

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After a few photo sessions and a comprehensive examination of the exhibits, it was time to head off for lunch at the nearby Dapto Leagues Club. The club was moderately busy, so it was fortunate that Ray had booked for 25 members and guests. Two large tables had been provided, so there was adequate room for all.

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Meals were well priced and the service proved to be excellent with meals rapidly being delivered a short time after ordering. Also, pleasingly, the standard of the meals was excellent.

The excursion had proven to be very successful. The final numbers were 17 cars and 21 members and guests which was an excellent response. Overall, a pleasant, relaxing and enjoyable day – which is really what the Z Car Club of Sydney endeavours to achieve with its monthly excursions.

– Ray