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8) A summer summary...



So what has happened since my last blog back in May?

Well quite a lot as it turns out!

1) The national roadtrip was held in June with my friend Simon, @Aff68 and his son Fu'ad.

2) The Simply Japanese show at Bealieu

3) The GoJapan show held at Brands Hatch

4) The clubs AGM held at The National Motor Museum  in Gaydon.


Not much has happened to the car as its been out and about too much (not a bad thing). I always try to plan work on the car to be done during the winter so that it is ready for the summer month to be enjoyed. This does mean that it has to been driven to and from places sometimes, but that can't be helped and I always pressure wash the underneath afterwards!


National Roadtrip

So as most of you know by now I planned a national road trip from Eastbourne to John O'Groats, then to Lands End and then home again. I'm sure most of you kept up to date with the thread that was running at the time:

and by now have probably watched the videos I created on Youtube, if you havent you can here:


The trip was planned to go through most of the club areas so that people who couldn't make the whole trip could meet us up with us for a morning or an afternoons drive or meet us for lunch and/or dinner and drinks in the evening. Unfortunately this didn't happen, however @JaiKai very kindly invited us to his for a cup of tea, bacon sandwiches and a perv at his awesome purple machine... (his car people, get your mind out of the gutter...). It was really nice to meet up with someone from the club who in normal circumstances we wouldn't get to meet (top of Scotland is quite far away!). 

The trip itself was amazing. Simon, Aff and Fu'ad were amazing company and we had a huge laugh. A proper boys own adventure, and just like a Top Gear/Grand Tour adventure it had its ups (many) and downs (one). The first couple of days were just motorway driving, but we kept ourselves entertained with playing "I spy" over the walkie talkies, trying to film close up footage with the GoPros and checking out the amazing scenery from sections of the M6, most of the M74 and all of the A9. The day from John O Groats through the Highlands to Fort William was stunning and apart from a small mishap, which meant Simon was my passenger for the rest of the trip, it was an excellent day. I highly recommend the Scottish 500 route to people. We did a large chuck of it, The A9 from Inverness to John O Groat and from there around to Ullapool, although I never made it to Ullapool ?

I had planned the route to avoid Motorway and even dual carriageway as much as possible, I think there was only about 800 miles in the 2300 mile trip, 700 miles of it was the first couple of days just getting to the top of Scotland. I had been careful with the planning, all the roads used were either: 1) I had driven on in the Zed before, 2) I had driven on in another car before, but knew the Zed would be OK or 3) I hadn't driven on, but while planning, I spent hours scrolling along the road in Google street view to make sure there were no surprises. I knew that Affs car was lower than mine, so I really tried to make sure his would be OK, I knew mine would be fine. It turns out that there were sections where his car did bottom out, Wrynose pass in the Lake district, jumps to mind and an unplanned diversion in Devon due to the police closing the main road (not my fault ?). One of the many things that Aff took away from the trip was that the Zed, even lowered and modified can still cope with a lot, he followed me along roads that he later admitted he would never ever go near, but quickly realised that the Zed isn't a delicate flower to be parked in a garage, but it can be taken up and down mountains or off road (Devon diversion, again not my fault! ?). We did agree however that his has been lowered a bit too much and raising it 10mm on each corner would have stopped 80% of the times he "kissed" the tarmac. If you are thinking of lowering your car, lower it to what you think works and then add 10mm!

My friend Simon had never met Aff and Fu'ad, Aff and Fu'ad had never met Simon, Fu'ad had never met Simon and I, so there was the possibility for awkwardness, but not once did that happen and by the end of the trip it felt like we had know each other for years. Fu'ad was quite taken with the trip and has decided he wants to join the Zed world, but due to age and financial restrictions, he will hopefully be buying a 350Z ready for the planned roadtrip for 2023. I know, I know, its not a Z32, but a Zed is a Zed and you have to start somewhere. He has 8 months to go....

At the end of the trip, arriving at Lands End was actually quite emotional. I will admit that the footage of us, filmed by Simon, driving into Lands End car park I had a lump in my throat and a tear in my eye! I think that evening through the haze of shots and pints, we all had lumps in our throats and tears in our eyes as it hit us what we had done and that it was over.

It was an amazing experience, probably once in a life time although I would do it again in a heart beat. If I did it again, I would plan it to be 14 days rather than 9 days. We were doing between 230-280miles per day, which we did in 5-8 hours which was fine, we had no problems and the Zed were so comfortable, but maybe cutting it down to 150-200 miles per day and 4-5 hours driving would be better.



Simply Japanese Show

The Simply Japanese car show at Beaulieu is always an excellent show and each year gets well over 1000 cars turn up. It is one of the highlights in our clubs calendar with 6 cars taking part this year! Myself, @ianl @RichardS @icewhitebear @GSC  and @Stephen all turning up for a great day. The show consists of the normal motor museum halls and stands along with all the Japanese cars being parked up around the main grounds. There are various side shows going on such as the Show and Shine and the People Choice vote (which our very own @Joely P has won in the past). It is an excellent day out, even for the whole family as there is plenty for everyone to see and do.

This year was excellent, I picked up my friend who rode shotgun to the show with me, we met up with Richard and Ice at the Tesco car park meeting point and then drove to the show. After about 30 minutes of queuing we were on the stand and could start looking around. The days was a mixture of talking to other club members sitting among the cars and looking around the show. I managed to miss Ian all day though! My friend and I left around 3 pm as we had a 2 hour drive home. Thanks for a great day out guys!

This is an annual show, it will be on again in 2023, keep an eye on the Events forum page and make sure you book yourself in for this must see show!


Short video found here:



Go Japan Show

This show is another highlight on the clubs calendar. It hasn't been running very long, I think 2021 was its first year, but it is a brilliant day out. Its held at Brands Hatch track so there is plenty to see and do. The track has constant racing on it from time attack cars racing around at crazy speeds to the national drift championship. If the action on the track gets tiresome, you can look around the hundreds of show cars and club cars that attend. I didn't count them, but the two years I have been going it must be well over 500 cars. There are plenty of stalls and shops to have a look around and various Japanese/Asian themed events going on. Another excellent event for the whole family.

Last year we had a good turnout, I think we had 9 cars on the stand at one point, however this year not so good. I was the only car arriving on time. @sumshiftyguy did arrive about 10am with his car (which is awesome by the way!) to stop mine looking so lonely. I kept thinking of the song from "Team America" that the evil dictator sings about being so lonely ?. @Raja93 also turned up to keep us company, although his beast of a machine wasn't quite ready at that point.

We had a great time at the show, did quite a bit of chatting, looking at cars and watching the action on track. One of the highlights, although not for the driver, was when one of the time attack cars grounded out on the pit straight, ripped his front splitter completely off and then ran it over. Strangely we didn't see that car back out on track after that!

This is an annual show, it will be on again in 2023, keep an eye on the Events forum page and make sure you book yourself in for this must see show!



The Club AGM 2022

The clubs Annual General Meeting (AGM) was held at The National Motor Museum in Gaydon. Some of us drove up to Warwick on the Saturday and met at a hotel. We had dinner and drinks together which was really nice, some of our partners came which was lovely to see them again/meet for the first time! The next day, although we were 10 minutes down the road from the museum I had planned a nice 60 mile round trip to get there. Some minutes later (ahem) and ,due a slightly tipsy conversation the night before, Richard trying to prove that red Zeds are not faster than blue ones (ahem) we arrived. We parked up and chatted while waiting for people to arrive. Unfortunately turn out wasn't great. Gary drove up that morning, but that was it. We waited in the car park until after 11am just in-case anyone else turned up, but then decided to start having a look around the museum. We looked around and chatted for an hour or so and then went up to the conference room that had been booked for us. We had a lunch provided by the club while discussing the club and its future. It was an excellent meeting and it would have been good to have more people attend to give more input to how members want the club to be run and any improvements that could be made. There will be meeting notes shortly for all to view. Some of us then headed back to the cars for a chat before driving home as I had a 3.5 hour drive hour.

The AGM was great fun, We had a lovely meal and drinks in the hotel. It was great to see each other and have a drink! Most of the time we are at shows together and have to drive home, so cant have a pint. Having the partners there was also great because we got to meet everyone and it felt more like a adult meetup rather than a boys day out in a field as a lot of car shows can feel like.

The AGM happens every year, hence the name!? So look out for it in the calendar and book that week off some that we can all meet up, stay over night and enjoy the weekend! It's also a really good time to help the committee direct the club for the upcoming year and make suggestions for improvement. Remember that old adage: If you don't vote, you can't moan about the government...



Future Plans

So what does the future hold? Well:

1) The last meetup of the year is being held in the south on the 30th October. Meetup in Eastbourne and drive to Box Hill. You are more than welcome to come down the Saturday and stay over night in Eastbourne. A couple of people are already doing that. We can meet up on the saturday for a meal and I'll show you the delights of Eastbourne afterwards!

2) I have found some UK OEM wheels that I plan to get refurb'ed over the winter and then fitted before next year. They are currently sitting in my garage!

3) I am trying (and failing) to locate a good manual conversion kit. After being warned off two kits, letting one slip through my fingers due to not checking my email for two days (sorry @jimmer!) and having a low milage donor car escape my finger tips, I am starting to give up on the idea that it will be converted this winter. I might just start buying all the bits individually over the next 12 months and do it next winter. If you know of any parts/kits and a low mileage manual box, then please contact me!

4) I want to start planning the shows, trips and meetups for next year to give people as much time as possible to plan around the mand therefore attend. Please keep an eye on the National Events and South Events forum pages. I do not have any form of social media, so cant not post on Face-a-gram, Instra-book and Tik-Chat. so please keep an eye on those forum pages. I am trying to plan something big for next June as well, so if you want to take part in something similar to the National Roadtrip, then keep your June calendar free ?

Edited by TheRealNips

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