Author Topic: Lightburn Zeta Sports  (Read 7939 times)

Rusty Chrome (Malcolm Parker)

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Lightburn Zeta Sports
« on: December 31, 2009, 01:32:31 am »
Searching through Google Scholar (as you do), I came across this very interesting thesis by Mathew Singers about building a replacement chassis for a Lightburn Zeta Sports. Some interesting material about Gordon Bedson and Frisky cars.

http://nemesis.its.adfa.edu.au/ojs/index.php/juer/article/viewFile/246/143


Malcolm
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Bob Purton

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Re: Lightburn Zeta Sports
« Reply #1 on: December 31, 2009, 10:19:30 am »
A very interesting article, thanks for posting it. I loved the little wooden chassis models with nuts as weights. I guess you would call what he proposes a reworking rather than a restoration what with a new style chassis to conform with the aussie version of our SVA test and a Honda engine. Its a shame in a way because a faithful replica chassis could be made and although a FMR engine could not be sourced at least a two stroke twin that sounded right could be selected, maybe a goggo or trabant unit. Even if it could not be registered for the road it would be a nice classic off road race car. Just my view but either way an important body shell is being preserved. Thanks again for posting a good read, this is the sort of thing we need in RCN.

bruetsch-freak

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Re: Lightburn Zeta Sports
« Reply #2 on: December 31, 2009, 02:06:59 pm »
You are definetly right Bob. Thank you Rusty Chrome!
Always looking for everything in connection with Egon Bruetsch!!!! Photos, brochures, letters, articles, drawings ....... Also to the licenses of Bruetsch like Belcar, Avolette, Rollera, France Jet etc.

john Meadows

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Re: Lightburn Zeta Sports
« Reply #3 on: January 02, 2010, 09:41:02 pm »
Yes its a very interesting thesis. Mat wrote to me in April 2009 regarding this project and asking for some back ground information about the Sprint. I told him the Sprint was designed and built at Meadows by Gordon Bedson , Giovani Michelotti  was involved with the Gull wing Frisky and the Frisky Sport but not the Sprint which was totally Bedsons. In fact he and his project engineer Keith Peckmore actually constructed the Sprint body shell in the “back room” at Meadows.

Bedson who had been with Meadows since 1954, (When Kieft was sold) was “headhunted” at the 1958 Motor Show along with Keith Peckmore by Lightburns, they did not purchase the design and manufacturing rights for the Sprint as the owner at that time would not sell either the drawings or the car which remained in the UK. Lightburn did not need to as Gordon and Keith between them had all the knowledge necessary already in their heads.

The Zeta Sports , as the Sprint was totally designed by Gordon Bedson, Michelotti was not involved in it. When “Modern Motor Australia” published an article on the Zeta Sports saying it was a Michelotti design , Gordon wrote a letter to them which was published in the July 1964 magazine putting them straight!!

Meadows did not make engines for the British car market . Pre war they supplied many great marques such as Lagonda, HRG, Invicta, Lea Francis, Frazer Nash etc etc, but after the war  supplied engines for commercial vehicles such as Guy and Scammel along with boats, trains , and a whole range of  static engines powering generators etc.

I hope this helps set the record straight

John Meadows.

zetasports

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Re: Lightburn Zeta Sports
« Reply #4 on: August 12, 2010, 03:55:02 pm »
I wonder if you have a contact for Mathew Singers?

I have the prptotype Zeta sports and a spare engine in peices which would be very helpful to him
thanks robin Heath

zetasports

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Re: Lightburn Zeta Sports
« Reply #5 on: August 18, 2010, 01:46:58 am »
Thanks for the information, I have taken a look at the article and wonder if Mathew is registered with rumcars?

I would like to speak with him so if you have a contact then I will let him know about the spare engine and also about the electric drive system I would like to see in a new Zeta.

Thanks Robin Heath

blob

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Re: Lightburn Zeta Sports
« Reply #6 on: August 18, 2010, 12:58:53 pm »
Quote
the electric drive system I would like to see in a new Zeta.

So what's this all about, please enlighten us.

zetasports

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Re: Lightburn Zeta Sports
« Reply #7 on: August 19, 2010, 01:56:23 am »
This is really all about I have to dispose of my real car collection which I strated in 1979 when I was 21 with a collection of some fifteen old sports cars and vehicles over the years.

These last  vehicles are what I have saved and restored for the last 35 years and because I live in the Bush here in Cairns and Adelaide where I grew up after immigrating from Colchester when I was 5 years old. no one other that Fred Diwell and Richard Fewster remember or even know of me.

I have been working for the past ten years to finnish my 1929 Triumph car and I am nearly finnished this year.

However  due to the GFC and my health I must give up my home and dispose of my collection.

I am due to die and I don't want my things to go tot the rubbish dump Do You?


zetasports

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Re: Lightburn Zeta Sports
« Reply #8 on: August 19, 2010, 10:11:38 am »
Thanks for your letter and I apreciate the situation,

I will keep in touch and I have tried to upload some pictures today.

Have a look on Ebay and see if you can find my advert from Today?

Please let me know if that gives some more information as well as contact Richard Fewster in Renmark Motormuseum for more information.

thanks Robin Heath

zetasports

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letter to john Medows re Gordon Bedson
« Reply #9 on: August 19, 2010, 09:55:53 pm »
I have wondered what happened to Gordon and that is an interesting story.

I knew Horaold Clisby who made the engine castings for Sir jack Brabham enhineering and he also made parts for Harold Lightburn  .

My car must have been made from 1959 through 1960 and have beeen on the first test run 50 years ago hey?

Nice to have survived all that time with every part in the original condition right down to the unique paint job

The original trim is still on the doors.

When Lightburn auctioned the zeta left overs there were all the jigs, molds, and engines all went for scrap and projects
as the engines were snapped up and put to various vehicles as well as one body was fitted with an outboard motor as a boat'

My friend Kym Charles had a zeta Sports one and another friend had a Goggomobile Dart.

then when I joined the Defence Research center in 1978 I went ahead and purchased a number of older sports cars and sold them again.

I purchased my Zeta and Triumph when I was 21 just returned from England, and at one stage owned quite a collection of old Triumph and Micro sports cars.
There are many photos from the time in my collection

It must have been a great time for Gordon and the workers at the Lightburn factory as they were all flat out building fifty cars at the time.

They had a number of cars ready for the World land speed record at lake Eyre with Sir Donnald Campbell and also the links between Jack Brabham Harold Lightburn and Harold Clisby and Stirling Moss and Gordon Bedson, they were winners all of them,

 however I remember the stories on the TV as I was living in Adelaide , and the time before Donnald campbell's death was exciting and when Donnald Campbell died they all suddenly stopped.

The First car was a test which failed so the rest did not have doors.

The Go Cart style chassis flexed too much and the body cracked as you will see.

They drove the test car to the limmits however as I was told by one of the workers from the factory.

The man who did the electrical wiring lived in Morringy Avenue near the lightburn Factory and he told me some stories of how they drove the car through the Adelaide hills at racing speeds and it went quite well.

It was raced and competed in 500cc sports car events untill the engine failed and that is when I purchased her to stop my friend from installing a Mini engine to drive her in dirt track races.

I knew the histroy from when I owned a Messerschmitt in England when I lived there in 1978/9 I bought a blue Messerschmitt from the secretary of the Messerschmitt owners club and drove around for a while. then sold it again when I returned to Australia. I have the photos at my Mothers home in Adelaide if anyone is interested.

Tony Press

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Re: Lightburn Zeta Sports
« Reply #10 on: September 10, 2010, 04:29:01 am »

The Zeta Sports , as the Sprint was totally designed by Gordon Bedson, Michelotti was not involved in it. When “Modern Motor Australia” published an article on the Zeta Sports saying it was a Michelotti design , Gordon wrote a letter to them which was published in the July 1964 magazine putting them straight!!

John Meadows.

[/quote]

It is not surprising that 'Modern Motor Australia' said this - the advertising leaflet issued by Lightburn in 1964 stated -

'Aerodynamic fibreglass body designed by Michelotti of Italy'

although the booklet from around the same time 'The story behind Zeta Sports' notes  ..........body styling suggested by Michelotti of Italy.

Tony.   

john Meadows

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Re: Lightburn Zeta Sports
« Reply #11 on: September 14, 2010, 09:56:50 am »
Unfortunately the Lightburn Zeta sales brochure & press release was rather misleading as an Australian Zeta Sports fan once said to me Lightburn never let the facts get in the way of a good story.  None of this detracts from the fact that the Zeta Sport is a very nice car.

I took up the matter of who designed what, with Keith Peckmore Gordon Bedson’s right hand man who built the Sprint and also the Sprint mould at Meadows and he confirms that GM has no hand or influence in the Sprint or the Zeta Sport . It was all Bedsons work, and it is therefore not surprising that the Zeta Sport looks as it does.

As I say the Zeta Sport is still a great little car I which I owned one

John Meadows