For the benefit of UK readers, the Lightburn Zeta was designed by Gordon Bedson (of Meadows Frisky and Kieft fame) and was initiated by a manufacturer of domestic goods (mainly washing machines) called Harold Lighburn. It had a fairly basic glassfibre body on a steel chassis and was in production from 1963 to 1966. Less than 400 were produced and even fewer of the sports version (which was actually based on the Frisky).
My particular interest in the Lightburn Zeta is in connection with Donald Campbell and Bluenbird CN7 and the WLSR in July 1964. There are occasional glimpses of a Zeta in some of the photographs taken in both 1963 and 1964 at Lake Eyre. A company called Ajax Films was also making a film of the attempt - starting in 1963 - and some of their footage was incorporated into Donald's own film "How Long a Mile". The final film, released at the beginning of 1965, was called "Project Bluebird" and was released by Dunlop here in the UK for educational use. I think that the Australian oil company Ampol may have had their own version. BP's intended film - shot independently of Ajax Films - ultimately became a film about the remote sheep station as "Muloorina" with Bluebird only featuring very briefly and incidental to the hastily revised theme! A BBC South Producer I knew back in the 1980s, Patrick Taggart, had worked at Australia's Channel 9 network prior to coming to England instantly commented on the car when he spotted it in "How Long a Mile" (we were working on a National Motor Museum documentary at the time).
I am not sure if the Lightburn company loaned one, or possibly two, Zeta(s) to the team at Lake Eyre or if they were loaned to Ajax Films. I will try to find out more but it would be truly amazing if one of the Lake Eyre cars survives.
I will keep searching for references but would be most interested to hear from anyone who can add to the Lightburn story. There are already a couple of threads relating to Donald Campbell and the Bluebird CN7 (car) and K7 (boat). Apart from their entry in the Ampol Trial around Australia in 1964 (?) did Lightburn ever get involved with motorsport?
Lightburn Zeta info
There's a Zeta Runabout in The Microcar Museum in Madison, Georgia. They also have one of the Sports models.
Microcar Museum (Georgia USA) exhibit info
One of the contributors to the Zeta info site above is a Mr Robin Heath of Cairns who has been trying to find out more about the Sports model he owns.
Edited by Pullman99, 14 October 2010 - 08:12.