Nats Report 2

This year we head­ed off to Mur­ray Bridge for the Nation­als, which was host­ed by four FX FJ clubs in SA.
Four club mem­bers debuted their cars at the Nation­als;
• Jason and Janine King with their V6 FJ ute;
• Gary and Judy His­lop with their super­charged red motor FJ pan­el­van;
• Steve and Sue Whit­ing in their “wild” FX sedan which was pre­vi­ous­ly owned by John Cadona in Can­ber­ra, this car has been to every Nation­als since Jind­abyne in 1994; and
• Tim and Luke Sells with their grey motor Group Nb race car. This car was last seen at the Jind­abyne Nation­als in 1994 when owned by Bob Har­ris.

Decem­ber 27 was the day most of us chose to dri­ve to Mur­ray Bridge, ear­ly on the weath­er fore­cast was for a hot day and they got this one right. My car showed the tem­per­a­ture as high as 45 Cel­sius as I drove over and hats off to the guys who drove their ear­lies in the heat. I trail­ered my van across so I had an air-con­di­tioned ride in rel­a­tive com­fort. A few of the guys had over­heat­ing issues with the odd blowout but every­one made it over.

Decem­ber 28 was the scru­ti­neer­ing day, as it was also a hot day a lot of us were there ready very ear­ly when the day kicked off and we got through scru­ti­neer­ing quick­ly. The scru­ti­neer­ing was a lit­tle dif­fer­ent this year with many cars going into the high­er class com­pared to oth­er Nation­als.

That after­noon about 10 of us went down to see Ian Jeisman’s NOS col­lec­tion. Rod picked up a few $5 bar­gains while oth­er deals were set­tled after two days of hag­gling. I did pick up a NOS tail-lamp switch with wiring loom for my stock 49 project which made the trips worth­while.

That night we had the Wel­come BBQ and the Les McVeigh Memo­r­i­al boat race was held, the club was well rep­re­sent­ed, and club mem­bers came first and third. Ray Jones was expect­ed to do well for the Mel­bourne Chap­ter but didn’t want to rush the free beer so sipped his way into last.

Decem­ber 29 was the Show N Shine, the organ­is­ers sep­a­rat­ed the sedans, utes and vans into three groups and this was a great dis­play. There were 16 pan­el vans on dis­play which is the high­est seen in more than 20 years. There were five 265 vans includ­ing two recent­ly com­plet­ed baker’s vans com­plete with sign writ­ing.

As you would expect there were lots of pre­vi­ous­ly not seen SA vehi­cles on dis­play includ­ing two barn-find utes, widened sedans such as 308–053. There was a father and son team who had a sedan with a Gar­rett tur­bo red motor on the road from the mid 80’s along with his son’s 6.2 litre unfin­ished project (win­ner top mechan­i­cals). Even the may­or of Mur­ray Bridge was there with a recent­ly com­plet­ed V8 FX ute, this won people’s choice, not reg­is­tered but who’s going to stop the may­or?

The cal­i­bre of the stock vehi­cles was very high with more than 10 stock FX’s on dis­play and a high­er num­ber of stock FJ’s. The mod­i­fied ear­lies includ­ed a stretch limo, not one but three 2‑door coupes, an FJ with a rear spoil­er, half a dozen race cars or drag cars. Two of the drag cars had super­charged red motors and even an FJ taxi. The cars were from all across Aus­tralia includ­ing two from WA includ­ing our old mate from the Mans­field Nation­als.

Leigh Mackin had his recent­ly retrimmed FJ sedan there which was my pick for Grand Cham­pi­on. The judges didn’t seem to be get­ting their knees dirty and they judged a FJ ute from Queens­land as supe­ri­or.

Decem­ber 30 was the cruis­ing day where we head­ed out from the show­grounds to the Nation­al Motor Muse­um in Birdswood. Ear­ly on I could count 21 ear­lies in pro­ces­sion around 100 ear­lies took the trip across. There was a wide vari­ety of vehi­cles on dis­play with the first 48–215 off the pro­duc­tion line on dis­play, it main­tained many of the one offs for an ear­ly build. A pro­to­type Torana GTR‑X and WB Kingswood were on dis­play. Many peo­ple took the long way home vis­it­ing Han­hdorf and oth­er towns.

Decem­ber 31 was the dri­ving events were held in the race­course carpark. The first course had you com­ing to a stop three times to place an “egg” in an egg cup. The sec­ond course was a go to whoa, fol­lowed by a reverse garage park and then a slalom to the fin­ish line. Our club was very well rep­re­sent­ed in the com­pe­ti­tion with many peo­ple hav­ing three or more goes. Luke Sells put the race car through its paces and Sue Whit­ing took my van around a cou­ple of times. That evening we had the pre­sen­ta­tions and auc­tions with the ban­ner going for $3,250. Con­grat­u­la­tions to Steve and Sue Whit­ing on hav­ing the only car to win a tro­phy from the club.

Jan­u­ary 1 we stopped in at The Bend after the farewell BBQ and a Mus­tang was the pace car for some slow laps and then one faster lap. I was third in line and Tony Dowsett was the actu­al pace car hold­ing me back. We could see the whites of Tony’s eyes in his rear view when I lunged late under brakes a cou­ple of times just to spice things up.
Spe­cial thanks to the organ­is­ing com­mit­tee and club mem­bers from the SA clubs that put this event togeth­er, they did a great job and we are all look­ing for­ward to Cooma in two years’ time.