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Ross Dunkerton and Datsun in Australia


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HS30-H

 

One of the key points about LHD works 240Z and 260Z rally cars is that the works fabricators went to great trouble to build them with their (hydraulic, fly-off) handbrake levers on the LEFT side of the tunnel. Of course, normal LHD road cars - like RHD cars - had their handbrake levers on the RIGHT side of the tunnel. Usually, when works LHD cars were re-shelled into standard road 'shells, few bothered to go the whole hog and carry over the LH handbrake. It's a good thing to look out for.

 

Do you have a photo of one of these? I just put a Hydra brake in the 260z and the Nav loves it, she uses it as an armrest!

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Fixed your quote HKS so it reads better.

 

@Alan - the heated screen is interesting, is that the vertical line you can just faintly see in the photo?

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@Alan - the heated screen is interesting, is that the vertical line you can just faintly see in the photo?

 

Yes. The silver vertical stripe in the middle of the 'screen is the central element of the heated 'screen. There are loads of tiny zig-zagging wires going horizontally out from that on both sides, just like on the modern heated screens I've seen in things like Ford Mondeos.

 

I'm working away from home today and I'm on a road trip, so I will answer fully on the other stuff late tonight UK time.

 

In the meantime I'll post these pics, but PLEASE take note of the warning. I don't like posting stuff like this as it ends up everywhere, out of context, losing its power, meaning and usefulness and it kind of kills the goose that lays the golden eggs...

 

 

post-1250-144023787298_thumb.jpg

post-1250-144023787311_thumb.jpg

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Cheers Alan, had started to cut and shut a std handbrake for the left side, but it wasn't a five minute job.

The amp knob on the prop valve is a nice touch, but mine goes all the way to 11!

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Ok so Alan Stean gave me a call back tonight in response to my emailed questions earlier and I got some answers. He did say that Ross was obviously the guy to talk to here, but Alan was definitely around when all this was happening and by that i mean driving national rallies in Zeds for a Perth based Channel Nine team with 3 cars based in Perth.

 

Cars indeed took a swim at the wharves and this also goes to answering the carnet question. As previously stated the chassis wore out after a couple of years of full on competition use and got to the point they were no longer serviceable. As stated earlier in the thread, the cars were then stripped of their works parts and standard gear was put in place. Allan still has a set of the 14x7 KS Mag wheels in his possession . They were then ceremoniously decommissioned as above, which meant the carnet was no longer a problem, as the car was a write off. Basically all the loose ends from the stories above do tie up pretty neatly.

 

Now to confuse matters further apparently a fair bit of number plate swapping went on in those days too. So the team had a few different cars and a car that competed in one event didn't necessarily compete in the next one. This meant they would just put the number plates on whichever car they were planning on running at the event. This explains how photos of cars that looked similar but having slightly different parts (ie heated windshield) could be photographed in the same year yet still all have the same number plate and also how the ghost of TKS 33 4080 lives on past its carnet. I think Alan agreed that the chances of '76 car being the original one are not good as the chassis would have been well and truly stuffed by that stage.

 

The black and white picture of the guys standing behind the car doesn't include Alan either. He said it was most likely that Dunkerton was protesting to the fact that the zed in the picture had different tyres to his.

 

I am going to drop into the old zed shop on the weekend and check out some of Alan's photos he has on Saturday. He is also friends with Lofty Drews and has correspondence from Drews while he was on the African Safari in the #1 works car in '73 for the win, along with a heap of other interesting info to do with 70s rallying. I shall report back what I find.

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Good work and awesome update, huh, who'd have thought picking up the phone would be any use hey? :) Hopefully we will get to see some photos?

 

Allan still has a set of the 14x7 KS Mag wheels in his possession

 

Don't want to know what they are worth........

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After the info that i presented, referring to a car as TKS 33 SU 4080 while it was located in Australia is completely flawed. You will be looking a several cars over several years that are both potentially 240 and 260Zs!

 

The bit of that I don't agree with is with regard to 'TKS 33 SU 4080' when it was first built, and when it first arrived in Australia to take part in the 1973 Southern Cross. I'm pretty sure it was still essentially the same car (same bodyshell, mostly the same works components) when it took part in the 1974 Southern Cross too, so anything it did in between was likely to be covered by that also.

 

But after the first year its carnet would have run out, and it should have lost its '4080' plates and been put onto a local Australian registration. It's here that things start getting a little grey...

 

Your source says that license plates (and - therefore - identity papers and logbooks) were swapped around will-nilly according to convenience. There's no doubt that this happened in period, but - in my experience - it happened rather less with the works rally 240Zs and 260Zs than it did - say - with Ford Escorts, Minis and various Vauxhalls etc. The reason it happened less with the works Zs is that there were far fewer of them in-country at one time, far fewer 'civilian' non-works versions in the mix, and not enough componentry / know-how to build up an accurate clone and have the spares to run it properly.

 

As I've mentioned previously in this thread, the car I see driven by Dunkerton on the events in the '76 Australian championship looks to me to have some characteristics of '4080'. For a start it's LHD. If it's not the old '4080' and Dunkerton built a new car, then why LHD? I also see it being referred to as a '260Z'. As far as I can see, Nissan didn't use any works 260Zs in Australia (?) so I don't think it's a works 260Z wearing the old '4080' plates (and why would that be done anyway?). It was quite common for people to re-name a 240Z as a 260Z if they upped the capacity or just wanted to sound more up to date (240Z having finished production in late 1973) and this is exactly what happened with the Le Mans 24hrs car: In 1975 it was called a '240Z' and in 1976 it was called a '260Z', but it was the same car. I don't necessarily trust the car being called a '260Z' unless I see more evidence that points that way.     

 

The plate / identity swapping story also comes up another slight snag. Just how many works rally 240Zs were in Australia at any one period of time? Count them: There's not that many. What do we have, five cars at the most? I make it 3 LHD cars and 2 RHD, so that cuts down the possible plate-swapping permutations too. Anybody here think they know of any more than that? If you're going to research it, please don't use zhome or z-point as your main points of reference as they are peppered with mistakes. Multiple cross-referencing is advised.

 

Has anybody tried to talk to Joe Gilbert about any of this? Is he still with us?   

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Re the different cars with the same plates, Dunkerton was tmost definately the golden lad f Aussie rallying, it would not have taken very mch at all, just a phone call, from Howard Marsden, or Bruce Wilknson, to get whatever they wanted, sent over, possibly including LHD cars, that then had mechancals transferred into them.

Alan Stean here, is pretty mch the guy that will be able to recall a fair amount.

 

Same thing occured with the later 1977 on Stanza cars. The amount f mechanical and number plate swapping was rife.

As far as Carnet de Passage requirements were concerned, as we are on the far side of world civilsation, the Australian authouities most likely adopted the usual "we really dont want to concern ourselves with a few japanese cars" type attitude. It was just the Australian way.

Some Stanze PA10 cars were sent to New Guinea, this satified the requirements, and came back after a few wekks there to do one rally.

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Re the different cars with the same plates, Dunkerton was tmost definately the golden lad f Aussie rallying, it would not have taken very mch at all, just a phone call, from Howard Marsden, or Bruce Wilknson, to get whatever they wanted, sent over, possibly including LHD cars, that then had mechancals transferred into them.

Alan Stean here, is pretty mch the guy that will be able to recall a fair amount.

 

Somehow what I see doesn't seem to tally with this "just a phone call" scenario with regard to works 240Zs in Australia.

 

If Dunkerton was so well thought-of, why was he limited to using what appears to be a fairly well used works car - or parts of an old works car attached to a locally-built car - for the '76 Australian championship?

 

The 240Zs (and 260Zs) were old hat as far as serious rallying was concerned by 1976. Nissan had - a couple of years before - switched their focus to the four-cylinder cars and that's where most of their homologation, development and logistical efforts were being concentrated. Their target was to win the Southern Cross outright. 

 

I accept (I know..!) that plate-swapping and identity-swapping happened with the four cylinder cars, but there were more of them being built, more of them moving around and - importantly - a lot of locally-built and privateer/semi-works cars washing around in the mix by that time too. A different situation than the Zs entirely.   

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The bit of that I don't agree with is with regard to 'TKS 33 SU 4080' when it was first built, and when it first arrived in Australia to take part in the 1973 Southern Cross. I'm pretty sure it was still essentially the same car (same bodyshell, mostly the same works components) when it took part in the 1974 Southern Cross too, so anything it did in between was likely to be covered by that also.[/Quote]

 

 

Obviously some photos of the car are going to be the chassis number we refer to as 4080. If it was the premier car, you would expect it at the big events.

That wasn't the point of my comment and you usually demand this level of accuracy when referring to historic Zs.

 

But after the first year its carnet would have run out, and it should have lost its '4080' plates and been put onto a local Australian registration. It's here that things start getting a little grey...

I agree i will try to clarify this, I'll probably just ask Ross this one direct. I should be able to get his contact details.

 

 

Your source says that license plates (and - therefore - identity papers and logbooks) were swapped around will-nilly according to convenience. There's no doubt that this happened in period, but - in my experience - it happened rather less with the works rally 240Zs and 260Zs than it did - say - with Ford Escorts, Minis and various Vauxhalls etc. The reason it happened less with the works Zs is that there were far fewer of them in-country at one time, far fewer 'civilian' non-works versions in the mix, and not enough componentry / know-how to build up an accurate clone and have the spares to run it properly.

 

 

The plate / identity swapping story also comes up another slight snag. Just how many works rally 240Zs were in Australia at any one period of time? Count them: There's not that many. What do we have, five cars at the most? I make it 3 LHD cars and 2 RHD, so that cuts down the possible plate-swapping permutations too.[/Quote]

 

 

As Jason said, these were the guys that could do it if anyone could and that is enough cars to do it. Were all works cars that came to Australia registered in Japan and over on carnets?

 

 

As I've mentioned previously in this thread, the car I see driven by Dunkerton on the events in the '76 Australian championship looks to me to have some characteristics of '4080'. For a start it's LHD. If it's not the old '4080' and Dunkerton built a new car, then why LHD? I also see it being referred to as a '260Z'. As far as I can see, Nissan didn't use any works 260Zs in Australia (?) so I don't think it's a works 260Z wearing the old '4080' plates (and why would that be done anyway?). It was quite common for people to re-name a 240Z as a 260Z if they upped the capacity or just wanted to sound more up to date (240Z having finished production in late 1973) and this is exactly what happened with the Le Mans 24hrs car: In 1975 it was called a '240Z' and in 1976 it was called a '260Z', but it was the same car. I don't necessarily trust the car being called a '260Z' unless I see more evidence that points that way.     

Anybody here think they know of any more than that? If you're going to research it, please don't use zhome or z-point as your main points of reference as they are peppered with mistakes. Multiple cross-referencing is advised.

 

Has anybody tried to talk to Joe Gilbert about any of this? Is he still with us? 

 

 

I'm working on it, i will have more info tomorrow hopefully.

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Obviously some photos of the car are going to be the chassis number we refer to as 4080. If it was the premier car, you would expect it at the big events.

That wasn't the point of my comment and you usually demand this level of accuracy when referring to historic Zs.

I agree i will try to clarify this, I'll probably just ask Ross this one direct. I should be able to get his contact details.

 

Apologies, but I don't follow your comments about "the premier car" and "the big events"?

 

The point I was making is that I have no doubt the original LHD works 240Z 'TKS 33 SU 4080' (one of a batch of cars built for the 1973 RAC Rally) was diverted to Australia to be used by Tony Fall on the 1973 Southern Cross. And I reckon (from what I can see) the same LHD works 240Z stayed on in Australia after the '73 Southern Cross and was used on the '74 Southern Cross by Dunkerton. That sets up a Dunkerton connection with the car, and leads me to suspect that it was the same car - maybe rebuilt/modified, but still on the same LHD works 'shell - that he used on the '76 Australian championship. If some of the parts from '4080' had simply been used to build a fresh rally car based on a standard road 'shell, then why choose an LHD 'shell and where would that have come from?

 

I think the fact that Dunkerton's '76 championship car was LHD makes it more likely that it was the original '4080'.

 

And we haven't really addressed the implications/reason for putting the '4080' license plate on the front of the '76 championship car either. As explained and discussed, '4080's' carnet would have run out by '75 let alone '76. The number couldn't be used legally on a car in Australia in 1976, full stop. So why was it on the front of the '76 championship car? Likely it was to back-up the paperwork/logbook of the car (as was done with the '75 Le Mans 24hrs car, where a Japanese carnet license plate from an LHD works rally car was stuck on the back of an RHD ex-works circuit race car in order to back up the fake identity of the car, and help ease any possibility of ineligibility) and if Mr Dunkerton is willing to tell us the whole truth about '4080' then I'll be very interested to hear it.       

 

As Jason said, these were the guys that could do it if anyone could and that is enough cars to do it. Were all works cars that came to Australia registered in Japan and over on carnets?

 

All the works 240Zs would have to have been on carnets, yes. They would have been registered for road use in Japan first, then issued the carnet-linked 'translated' license plates. If they were sent to Australia without Japanese road registration and license plates, they would have needed to be registered in Australia either as 'new' cars or as previously unregistered used cars. A logistical nightmare. 

 

 

 

 

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  • 3 months later...
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Since this thread has Work's Rally Cars in Australia featured in it, I thought this link would be useful.

http://primotipo.com/tag/datsun-240z/

 

hermann-mt-mc-ginn-240z.jpg?w=614&h=420

Caption reads:

Edgar Hermanns’ factory Datsun 240Z, the Japanese factory a big supporter of Australian Rallying for a decade or so. Navigator Roger Bonhomme. Here the car is being serviced at the Mt Ginn stage outside Canberra. (Green Machine)

 

brock-from-hermann.jpg?w=614&h=342

Hermann and Brock had fun, the 240Z in front of Peters’ Holden Torana XU-1. Torana like the Capri, a versatile car at home on track or trail.Winner of both the Australian Rally Championship (Bond) and Bathurst 500 (Brock). Mt Ginn, Canberra. (Green Machine)

 

When I first saw the photo I was hoping it was Dunkerton's TKS 33 SA 4080 car and I thought it was photos of the rear of the car, but it's obviously a different car that also competed in Australia. 

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hermann-mt-mc-ginn-240z.jpg?w=614&h=420

Caption reads:

Edgar Hermanns’ factory Datsun 240Z, the Japanese factory a big supporter of Australian Rallying for a decade or so. Navigator Roger Bonhomme. Here the car is being serviced at the Mt Ginn stage outside Canberra. (Green Machine)

 

When I first saw the photo I was hoping it was Dunkerton's TKS 33 SA 4080 car and I thought it was photos of the rear of the car, but it's obviously a different car that also competed in Australia.

 

Nice photo.

 

'TKS 33 SA 8075' was an HS30-prefixed RHD works car first used by Rauno Aaltonen and Steve Halloran on the 1972 Southern Cross.

 

It stayed in Australia after the Southern Cross, and Edgard Herrmann and Roger Bonhomme used it on the 1972 Dulux International Rally, which is where that photo was taken. Car was running ECGI injection, and was apparently having some fuel starvation issues during the event.

 

I don't believe it stayed in Australia after that.

 

 

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In '77 Yearbook Dunco's car is always listed as a 240z in the results of the ARC (1976) which he won and the car has 4080 plates and LHd. The 76 Castrol International Rally he is listed as 3rd outright, with Nissan Australia as the entrant, behind George Fury in 2nd in a works 710sss and Greg Carr in 1st in a private entry 180sss.

post-1057-144023807317_thumb.jpg

post-1057-144023807323_thumb.jpg

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It would certainly seem that the Australian Nissan team had worked their way around this whole Carnet/Japan registration thing, as the cars were here longer than the period allowed.

Talking with the suspension setup guy, some of the "pushed off the boat" cars, that left Australia, may not have been the same cars that came in, under Carnet, but were nicely painted up replicas, just to keep authourities happy.

 

The cars were then shared amongst the rally fraternity.

( not Z's, but Stanzas!)

 

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Just dragged out the '74 Competition Yearbook and there is a photo of 8075 competing in the first round of the 73 ARC where it ended up 6th.

 

Good find! In March '73 (the 'Uniroyal Southern 500' being 10th & 11th March) '8075' would still have been within the dates of its carnet.

 

Frank Kilfoyle used a 4cyl car for the second round of the '73 ARC, so I'm guessing that '8075' was no longer available to him after the first round. My feeling is that it did leave Australia within the terms of its carnet. Being an ECGI-equipped works car I think it was quite distinctive in its tell-tale details. Straightforward enough to convert to carburettors, but a close look at the car would probably reveal the fact that it had been ECGI-equipped at one time.

 

Always hoping a 'barn find' ex-works car will turn up again, but it seems increasingly unlikely...

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Everyone knows all the famous old rally cars ended up in Tassie...no ex works 240z's down here, LOL...no 30 is the closest we have!!

 

According to the yearbook, Frank ran what was reported as 'ex works 240z' in round 2 'Classic Rally' with a blown diff DNF, then equal 2nd in the next round the 'Bunbury Curran' rally, then another blown diff DNF in the 'Bega rally' whilst leading on the last stage..bugger. No mention of them in the 5th round report but had an outright win in the mighty Alpine rally in the ex works Southern cross 180B SSS.

 

There are also some photo's of Tony Pond's and Shekhar Mehta's works 240Z's in the Southern Cross of that year if you need a copy

 

Cheers

 

Hodgo

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  • 8 months later...

Apologies, but I don't follow your comments about "the premier car" and "the big events"?

 

The point I was making is that I have no doubt the original LHD works 240Z 'TKS 33 SU 4080' (one of a batch of cars built for the 1973 RAC Rally) was diverted to Australia to be used by Tony Fall on the 1973 Southern Cross. And I reckon (from what I can see) the same LHD works 240Z stayed on in Australia after the '73 Southern Cross and was used on the '74 Southern Cross by Dunkerton. That sets up a Dunkerton connection with the car, and leads me to suspect that it was the same car - maybe rebuilt/modified, but still on the same LHD works 'shell - that he used on the '76 Australian championship. If some of the parts from '4080' had simply been used to build a fresh rally car based on a standard road 'shell, then why choose an LHD 'shell and where would that have come from?

 

I think the fact that Dunkerton's '76 championship car was LHD makes it more likely that it was the original '4080'.

 

And we haven't really addressed the implications/reason for putting the '4080' license plate on the front of the '76 championship car either. As explained and discussed, '4080's' carnet would have run out by '75 let alone '76. The number couldn't be used legally on a car in Australia in 1976, full stop. So why was it on the front of the '76 championship car? Likely it was to back-up the paperwork/logbook of the car (as was done with the '75 Le Mans 24hrs car, where a Japanese carnet license plate from an LHD works rally car was stuck on the back of an RHD ex-works circuit race car in order to back up the fake identity of the car, and help ease any possibility of ineligibility) and if Mr Dunkerton is willing to tell us the whole truth about '4080' then I'll be very interested to hear it.       

 

 

 

All the works 240Zs would have to have been on carnets, yes. They would have been registered for road use in Japan first, then issued the carnet-linked 'translated' license plates. If they were sent to Australia without Japanese road registration and license plates, they would have needed to be registered in Australia either as 'new' cars or as previously unregistered used cars. A logistical nightmare. 

 A bit confused about this.  The following photograph is from the 1975 Australian Competition Year.  Its right hand drive, no carnet plate.

post-103246-0-51411300-1461563340_thumb.jpg

The next pictures are from the 1976 Australian Competition Year.  Appears to be the same RHD car.  Clearly not "4080".

post-103246-0-20255200-1461563683_thumb.jpg

post-103246-0-05872100-1461563823_thumb.jpg

post-103246-0-90726500-1461563917_thumb.jpg

The "Red Zed" referred to earlier in this thread is owned by 24 Dat. The car was originally built by Alan Stean who, as discussed elsewhere, is well connected with Ross Dunkerton from rally Zeds in WA in the day and later navigating for Ross in various events.  Alan built the Red Zed for a customers a road going car, then had the opportunity to buy it latter and fitted it with good parts from his stores.  24 Dat confirmed the advice the front struts came from a Dunkerton car, sporting a Halda drive take-off point, but doesn't know if they were from a "Factory Works" car, a "Nissan Australia works" car or a Dunkerton, the Privateer, car.  Alan was also an authorised Nissan Parts Dealer and had access to other good bits.  The "works Pedal box" referenced, is limited to a works brake pedal.  It has a cross-hatched metal foot pad and skirt welded onto the right hand underside to prevent your foot slipping under the brake pedal when moving from the accelerator in  a hurry!  We have one in our stockpile, complete with nissan spare parts sticker.  A gift from Alan Stean.

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 A bit confused about this.  The following photograph is from the 1975 Australian Competition Year.  Its right hand drive, no carnet plate.

attachicon.gifIMG_1643.jpg

The next pictures are from the 1976 Australian Competition Year.  Appears to be the same RHD car.  Clearly not "4080".

attachicon.gifIMG_1645.jpg

attachicon.gifIMG_1646.jpg

attachicon.gifIMG_1647.jpg

 

 

Yes, it's confusing (we are all confused about at least one aspect of all this...!) but what are you referring to? All the photos appear to show the same car, and not the one(s) wearing the works carnet 'plate '4080'. Different car.

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24dat's red zed isnt a works car, if it was, we wouldn't hear the end of it!

 

It was used by Ross/Alan, or intended to be, in late 1980"s,

Alan should he able to confirm, after he gets back from hs Japan trip, with family!

It was setup as a rally car, much much later!

The various bolt on goodies were quite commonly available, ( chucked out the back of Nissan Aust rally servce trucks, or given away at end of each year)

Howard Marsden was very helpfull to the up and comers!

Even gave away a complete Factory built car!

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