A Life In Cars

The life story of Dickie Sutherland



Without the spare money and time to indulge my passoin for Sporting cars and the needs of the family a Hobby that combine racing cars, pulling things apart, inovation and rebuilding without a big budget twelth sacle electric cars were the go.

Late 1970s, cars were bought and sold, with the arrival of our first child Sarah, the need for a car to carry a family became the focus. The EH wagon and sedan were sold for later, more reliable and lower maintenance cars.

Datsun 200B 1978

Father-in-law Les, had encouraged me to buy a 200B when I was buying the Golf.  A family car, I needed a car with a bit of sporting get-up and go.  Well, the Golf was good but not quite big enough, the 200B was a good price, had neat Mag wheels, a black Vynal roof and most important air conditioning.  I used the 200B for going to and from work, very economical and great to drive, and it served me well.  Not long after buying the Datsun, my Mum offered Dad’s HR station wagon. The 200B was sold a friend’s friend from work; glad to see it go on the serve a need, unfortunately, the head gasket ‘blew’ within a few months after buying the car.  They fixed the problem with understanding, the Datsun then provided quite a few years of enjoyable motoring thereafter.

Photo from the internet, similar apart from the wheel and Black roof.

The Golf for all it’s had been a car to remember for its innovation and the benefits of the hatchback. The Datsun was reliable and economical, but the need for the versatility of a wagon was to be more suitable to the family’s needs.

Work-Family and a Hobby, Let’s go racing,

Radio-controlled, one-twelfth scale electric, racing cars, a hobby, Motor racing I could afford.  The Radio Controlled Club hired the Badminton courts at Lockleys.  A very large hall with an Asphalt floor, ideal for car racing, an all-weather venue not far from home.  The cars were powered by 8 ni-cad batteries, providing a 15-minute race time before recharging was required.  8 cars in each heat, race one, following the race drivers then set the batteries for re-charged, while marshaling for the next race group of 8 drivers, heat followed race one, the drivers prepare for their next race.  Organization and setup provide all competitors with great Saturday evening racing.

Photo 3 cars; Kyosha modified; Right-hand car 4 wheel drive Left-hand car Rear wheel drive, car in the box Front wheel drive

Cars, the first car I started with was a pre-used Kyosha four-wheel drive Porsche body, fast enough in the right hands. I had moderate success learning to drive. Next car, second hand ‘lightweight’ car set up to be lightweight therefore higher Power to Weight ratio. Fast but fragile, the body was a BMW painted to look like the Holden sedan of the era. The racing needed a robust car as the racing can be quite intense at times, crashing quite often.

Finally, I bought a new car, an Associated car kit, RC300 model, a very competitive car straight out of the box. Most members of the club raced this brand, the skill of the driver and their setup skills was the determining factor in race competition.

The Race box, housing the Car, Radio clipped in the lid, lower area left side Multimeter to rea Voltage, centre 12-volt battery, right side spare wheel nuts, bolts and clips

Car development.

Using the Kyosha four-wheel drive components I set up a car with front-wheel drive and four-wheel steering.

I had moderate success, plenty of innovative development of my cars, great camaraderie with other club members, providing a relatively low-cost night out competing in ‘motor racing’.

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