Lightburn Zeta Technical Specifications

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Lightburn Zeta
  • Years of Manufacture: 1963 - 1966
  • Number Built: n/a
  • Chassis/Body:
    • Steel backbone chassis bonded to glassfibre body
    • Wheelbase: 6 ft 2 in.
    • Track, front: 3 ft 6 ins.
    • Track, rear: 3 ft 8 ins.
    • Length: 10 ft 1 in.
    • Width: 4 ft 6 ins.
    • Height (unladen): 4 ft 8 ins.
  • Kerb Weight:
    • Kerb (with fuel and water) 11201b
  • Fuel Tank:
    • Fuel tank capacity (maker's figure): 5 gals
  • Performance:
    • Top Speed: 60 Claimed / 50 mph Achieved
    • Maximum Speed in Gears:
      • First 18 mph
      • Second 31 mph
      • Third 40 mph
      • Top 50 mph
    • Acceleration:
      • Standing quarter mile: 31.3 secs
      • 0 to 30 mph 11.6 sees
      • 0 to 40 mph 25.3 sees
      • 0 to 50 mph 1 min 14.4 sees
  • Transmission (Manual, 4 Speed):
    • 4-speed constant mesh, integral with engine
    • Gear lever location Column
    • Ratios, overall:
      • 1st: 21.1
      • 2nd: 11.7
      • 3rd: 8.18
      • 4th: 5.28
      • Final drive Bevel gear, 5.28 to 1
  • Fuel Consumption:
    • 46-50 mpg
  • Performance:
    • Standing Quarter Mile (400 metres): 18.1 seconds
  • Engine (2 Cylinder):
    • Capacity: 324 cc (19.75 cu in.)
    • Type: 2 Stroke - Two Cylinders in line
    • Valves: Nil
    • Configuration:
    • Bore and Stroke: 57 mm by 63.5 mm
    • Fuel : 1 in 8 petrol/oil mix
    • Power at rpm (gross): 16.5 at 5000
    • Torque: NA
    • Compression Ratio: 7.25 to 1
  • Suspension:
    • Front: Independent, coils and wishbones
    • Rear: Independent trailing arms,
      rubber in compression Dampers Telescopic
  • Steering:
    • Alford and Alder Rack-and-Pinion
  • Brakes:
    • Girling disc front, drum rear (no servo)
    • Front: 9.75 in. dia.
    • Rear: 8.0 in. dia., 1.5 in. shoes
  • Wheels:
    • Pressed steel disc wheels
    • 4 stud fixing
    • 4.5 in. wide rim
  • Tyres:
    • Size 4.20 by 12
    • Michelin X
Lightburn Zeta
A design that was perfect for South East Asia, or if you lived next to the beach.

The Zeta was far from attractive, and the fibreglass shell prohibited the use of a tailgate despite the car looking very much as though it in fact had one! The familiar Villiers 324cc twin powered the front wheels. The advertising campaign ensured Harold's message was conveyed, when the Zeta was marketed as "Australia's own second car".

The Zeta was to employ a lightweight, simple and cost effective design - something so simple that a whitegoods manufacturer operating out of Camden Park in suburban Adelaide would be able to manufacture. The problem for Harold was that other manufacturers had also seen the need to bring smaller, cost efficient models to market - and they already had design engineers at the ready, and ample parts bins from which to source material. One such manufacturer was BMC, who released Alec Issigonis masterpiece Mini around the same time as the humble Zeta.

It comes as little surprise that the Australian public did not take to the Zeta, and a mere 363 were able to find a place in the Aussie garage. Technically, the Zeta was an oddity. The gearbox setup meant that the car could go as fast in reverse as it could forward, at a death-defying 60 mph! But to prove to the public that the Zeta was indeed a reliable and well manufactured car, it was entered into the 1964 Ampol 7000 mile cross-country trial. Many assumed the little car would fall apart after a few hundred miles, however it would win over many critics by putting in a stellar performance. Nevertheless, the public simply did not warm to the idea of a tiny, 2 cylinder car with virtually no boot space and an interior featuring a dashboard made out of a cardboard like material.

Also see: Lightburn Zeta Reviews

 
Lightburn Zeta
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