SUNDAY HISTORY PHOTO

Submitted: Sunday, Jun 28, 2009 at 09:27
ThreadID: 70213 Views:3272 Replies:3 FollowUps:1
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Doug T is off camping and looking for a crashed WW11 bomber this weekend and has asked me to post the following ....

Lightburn was the name of an Australian manufacturer that made tools, cement mixers, washing machines and fiberglass boats) who entered the passenger car market in the mid-1960s with the Lightburn Zeta sedan. The cars were built in the washing machine factory at Camden Park in Adelaide by the company which was owned by Harold Lightburn. The cars hit the market in 1963 at a starting price of £595. Production ceased in 1965 with the last vehicles sold in 1966 and total sales of less than 400 vehicles.


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The vehicle was powered by the Villiers 324 cc two-stroke motor with drive to the front wheels. The motor's output was 12 Kw, drive was via a motorcycle gearbox and chain drive. Reversing the car required stopping the engine, then restarting using the electramatic system which spun the engine in reverse, This meant that the car could go as fast in reverse as it could in forward, up to 60mph.
Another odd feature was the fuel gauge. The fuel gauge consisted of a glass tube on the dashboard that had petrol inside it, as it was on the same level as the fuel tank, which was just in front of the dashboard. There are no reports of this breaking and causing a fire. The standard Zeta did not come with a rear hatch so access to the cargo area required removal of the front seats, the ease of which was advertised as a positive feature. The chassis was steel, with a fibreglass body enclosing a large but sparse interior. Car tyres were not available at that time of such a small size hence wheelbarrow tyres were used.

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The diminutive Sports model used a West German Sachs two cylinder 500cc engine with integral four-speed gearbox, producing a modest 15.5 Kw , Its body styling originated with Michelotti of Italy and was based on the Henry Meadows Sprint version of the Frisky microcar. The fibreglass bodied car weighed 400 kilograms and ran on 10 inch wheels with all-round drum brakes.
The utility version not shown was produced for Sydney City Council's Hyde Park fleet.


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Reply By: Member - John Q (QLD) - Sunday, Jun 28, 2009 at 09:53

Sunday, Jun 28, 2009 at 09:53
Memories.... I remember a friend in Sydney had one of these in '67 & on more than one occasion we got from A to B without any hassles.

John
just crusin & smelling the flowers

1. At Halls Creek (Is he really lost?)
2. East of Cameron Cnr


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AnswerID: 372162

Reply By: Hairy (NT) - Sunday, Jun 28, 2009 at 10:04

Sunday, Jun 28, 2009 at 10:04
Gday,
Im suprised they even sold 400 of them!
Pid dog ugly springs to mind when I look at them.
They look like the cheap Russian version of something the Jetsons would have rejected. Hahahaha

Cheers
AnswerID: 372164

Reply By: Louie the fly (SA) - Sunday, Jun 28, 2009 at 12:35

Sunday, Jun 28, 2009 at 12:35
When I was a kid there was a sedan body in a yard down at Winfield (in Adelaide). As a young revhead I always had visions of building some type of drag car out of it. By the time I was old enough to buy it it was gone.

They have an air of Hillman Imp about them.

We bought some machines from the Lightburn auction a couple of years back when they finally closed down. By then I think they had changed hands and scaled down quite a bit. At that stage they were doing mixers and barrows on South Road at Black Forrest.

Louie
AnswerID: 372182

Follow Up By: Member No 1- Monday, Jun 29, 2009 at 08:00

Monday, Jun 29, 2009 at 08:00
yep
the Lightburn cement mixer factory closed down due to cheap imports
until around that time the mould for the Zeta was still there out the back...but may have gone in the auction or dumped ...must ask the owner what happened to it...they still own the property
they have on the wall in their present offices a couple of framed adverts of the Zeta ....wonder if they'd let me get them copied?
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