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A Zero in the Antipodies
December 1, 2017
11:00 am
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gr8clubbie
Dandenong North, Victoria, Australia
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January 27, 2017
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Thought I would make my first post here after nearly 12 months since becoming a member.
A little background, I imported a wide-body Zero in 2011. It took 3 years to build, and I have used a Honda F20C motor and gearbox. The kit was specified for this combination. It has been on the road for just over 3 years now and I am loving it. Unfortunately there are not many GBS cars in Australia, but I have become aware of one near completion not far from where I live, which is a good thing.
The kit car/Seven scene in this country is not big, but those in it are passionate about it. The biggest draw- back is that each state places different emphasis on the various ADR’s (Australian Design Regulations), and in some cases – specifically N.S.W. treat kit cars as new vehicles with all the regs. applied (e.g. ABS brakes, Airbags etc). In Victoria where I live, I was required to undergo emissions testing for full registration. It is expensive and I failed it twice. However we have a scheme that is pretty much unique in the country where registered clubs can issue “Club Plate” registration. It is an effective nod to the fact that these cars are not made by General Motors, Ford or Renault and their inherent bottomless budgets. I went that route, and am allowed to drive the car on any road in Aust. for a maximum of 90 days – cost $135 (about £77). That is monitored by log book and the fine for being caught without an entry for the day in the log book is around $775 (£445) or the same as full registration!
Enough of all that. I am a member of the Victorian Clubman Builders Group (VCBG) which along with similar clubs around the country make up a group called OzClubbies. Every 2 years a state group hosts a national meeting. I am just back from the most recent event which was held at Jindabyne in the Snowy Mountains, and was hosted by the Southern Sevens who are based around Canberra. Jindabyne exists almost solely to support the ski industry and although you cannot move in winter, once the season closes it reverts back to a country town. Approximately 150 people attended the 3 day event in 89 cars – with mine being the only GBS representative.

Given the location is in the mountains, it goes without saying that the roads were made for sevens. The first day was titled ‘the long run’ which totalled 380 kms (230mls). The route took us on roads that did not have any straights that were longer than ½ ml, and at the end of the day, the arms were aching and the eye-balls somewhere down on my chest. Given that it was held on a week-day, the traffic was almost non-existent, although there was enough to keep you alert. Road –kill is also another thing that ensures that you not only watch for traffic, but for the odd deer, wombat or jolly jumper. It was a great run that ended up coming back beneath Mt. Kosciuszko (Australia’s highest mountain), and the ski fields of Thredbo and Perisher. Being spring there was still patches of snow on the peaks, but the roads were clear and dry.

The second day we did the “alpine cruise” to Charlotte Pass which was only 40kms (25mls) each way. Charlotte Pass is a lesser ski field and a drive in/drive out destination. Despite the short distance and having to cover the same ground twice, it was a superb run as there are no straights longer than 200 mts.
The third and final day was a “show and shine” (concours?) in a car park in the town of Jindabyne. This gave everyone the chance to view and inquire about the various cars and the combinations of power plants and design elements. It was unseasonably hot and many took refuge in the nearby coffee shop, and given the lack of locals in this part of town, the coffee shop owner really hit the jackpot.
I travelled with a couple of other VCBG members, one in his own build locost and the other in an Elfin Streamliner (a semi production car with a LS1 V8 - Google it) – both ends of the spectrum. The shortest distance from my home to Jindabyne is around 610 kms (365 mls) but our outbound trip was around 700kms going via the scenic route through the country roads of Gippsland. The return trip was even longer at 870 kms (520 mls) as we chose to tackle the roads of the Victorian high country, because we could. All up the Zero covered 2110 kms (1265 mls) and handled like a dream.
If I haven’t already bored you senseless, I am happy to elaborate on anything above. I will also try to attach a couple of photos.

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December 1, 2017
4:41 pm
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Marlin
Willits, California, USA
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Great intro. Keep the news coming. Motivational for us still in the build stage.
Marlin

Zero GT Mazda(1.8LVVT) ordered Nov 9 '15, arrived Apr 15 '16,

December 3, 2017
4:03 pm
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nelmo
Surrey
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Fascinating stuff! Only 90 days a year! Probably enough but annoying to be restricted...

800+ miles for a meet! Nice... I average 80 miles for a trip out 🙂 And lovely weather for a Zero...

Thanks for sharing...

December 6, 2017
11:25 am
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gr8clubbie
Dandenong North, Victoria, Australia
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nelmo said
Fascinating stuff! Only 90 days a year! Probably enough but annoying to be restricted...

800+ miles for a meet! Nice... I average 80 miles for a trip out 🙂 And lovely weather for a Zero...

Thanks for sharing...  

Hi Nelmo,
Thanks or the comments. The permit thing works quite well with most folk agreeing that the 90 days is more than adequate. When you think about it, it is just short of both days on every weekend of the year, and we all know there are days when it is just impossible to drive.

As far as the 800 mls. is concerned, the ones I really admire are the Queenslanders. It is the shortest possible route from Brisbane to Jindabyne is about 820 mls each way. I can tell you that they do not take the short route anywhere, ans spend a lot of time finding the bets clubbie roads for the journey. They are very keen in Queensland and there is always a strong representation at the national meetings - I would say about 10 cars at this meeting. In fact, in the picture above of the 'show and shine' in the top row of cars , to the right of centre is an all blue car almost side on. What you cannot see is a small trailer (in the shape of a clubbie rear end) behind the car that the (Queensland) owners tow to every interstate meeting. Dedicated. At the risk of stating the obvious, distance is treated as more of a challenge to be conquered here.

December 6, 2017
11:41 am
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nelmo
Surrey
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Coincidentally, 826 miles is about the most you can drive in one direction in the UK Wink

We make up for a lack of distance challenge by a weather challenge - it was 6 degC on my drive in to work this morning and I haven't got a roof or doors yet Cool

December 7, 2017
11:37 am
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gr8clubbie
Dandenong North, Victoria, Australia
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Nelmo, I can relate to that - 6 degrees. It doesn't happen here often, and I have to say I usually avoid taking the Zero out when it does. This year has been particularly cold in Melbourne and it meant that the log book did not see a lot of entries Wink
Over winter I did invest in a "showercap' and doors from Soft Bits for Sevens and the doors have certainly been worthwhile (the showercap is only used when the car is out in the open overnight - such as at Jindabyne). Again, the Queenslanders lead the way with having hoods.roofs - but heir reason is for the merciless sun.

Cheers
Geoff

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