The club started in early 1972 when Ron Murray together with a couple of friends who all had 1600’s decided that they wanted to form a car club. A popular past time of the day was to do the ‘Rundle Trundle’ which was to cruise Rundle Street at night – nothing has much changed there but you’ve got to remember that this was before the mall, so you would start in Hindley street and then straight over King William street into the main drag of Rundle St. Ron used to park his 1600 there with notices stuck all around with the words Join the Datsun Car Club’.
The first couple of unofficial meetings were held at his house in Para Hills and because about 40-50 people turned up they were actually held on his front lawn. The cars were predominantly Datsun 1600’s and a few 1200’s. The third meeting was held at Robert Olding’s parents place in his father’s shed, and it was at this meeting that they formally started the Datsun Car Club and elected committee members with the President & Vice President being Peter Marr and Robert Olding (unfortunately we can’t remember which was which).
Meetings were then relocated to the Soldiers Memorial Hall at Wayville where they stayed for the next 5 years, always adjourning to the Pizza Hut on Greenhill Road after the meeting. Initially it was a social car club having picnic runs and bbq’s until in it’s third year it became affiliated with CAMS and the world of motorsport opened up to it. The first events the club organised were dirt motorkhana’s held at Osborne and observation runs were also very popular at the time.
The club started to be considered as a more serious competition club as many members became involved in Rallying and the club occasionally organised them as well and Lee MacDonald became the first member to get into motor racing in his Datsun 1600 Sports Sedan.In 1977 the club had to find a new location and a small building was offered to the club at the back of Wally Heimsohn’s (better known then as Wally Holden) parents house at Percy St, Cheltenham. This was a really strong period for the club with it’s own club room and membership grew to 110 members and a lot of memorable parties as well! After 5 years the club relocated to The Overland and tried various other meeting places, including Angas Hotel, Broadview Primary School, Black Rose Hotel, The Tonsley, The German Club and eventually the CAMS office where it was situated for around 14 years, until we moved tp the current location at The Arkaba Hotel conference rooms, which has proven to be a good move with increased meeting attendance.
Well that’s a brief history according to me – of course there’s been a lot of good times in that and extremely bad behaviour that we won’t include (although it would probably be more interesting).
There’s also the Zed Register that introduced some new important members to the club like Peter & Margaret Hall and forced the change of name to Nissan Datsun Car Club.
Karien Heimsohn – NDCCSA Secretary