Motafrenz Car Club

Australia's premier motoring club for the LGBTIQA+ community!

Committee Profile: Nick Bassett

This section aims to help familiarise you with the Committee Members of the Club and let them share their story with you.

This month, the spotlight is on me, your Editor, Nick Bassett!

I have worked in IT in various roles for the past 20 years. I have also been actively volunteering with various LGBTIQ community groups for about 20 years too.

I live with two housemates and have two hyper-affectionate Cavalier King Charles Spaniels; Reggie and Pepper.

I’ve known about Motafrenz for some time, but was of the (incorrect) opinion that I needed a classic car to be a member or get involved.

Then about 4 years ago I finally bought my adorable 1972 VW Beetle and finally I joined the club.

My first role on the Committee was Privacy Officer in 2017 which was a great introduction to the Committee and the club and getting to know the various members.

Then I took up the role of Webmaster at the 2018 AGM, and built the new Motafrenz website, along with a project to get all our various social media accounts under control and to centralise all our archive data and documents in one system.

At the 2019 AGM, I was re-elected to the role of Webmaster (renamed Social Media Coordinator due to the constitution review), and took on the additional role of Publication Editor. I have made Cruise Control my own with a few changes and a view to showcase more club content and at least one major feature article per edition.

Now, in chronological order, here are all the cars I’ve owned…

1969 Holden HK Premier – my first car…my beloved land yacht – It was sold for more than I bought it for…although, looking at prices now, I wish I’d kept it!

1970 Toyota Corona – written off by someone doing a right-hand turn in front of me

1980 Mazda 626 – retired because bits of it were falling off it towards the end

1987 Magna – Caught fire as I was driving over the West Gate Bridge! This is quite a story, which I’m happy to share!

1981 Volvo 244DL – I watched the odometer clock over from 250,000 to just over 350,000km during my ownership – sold it to someone looking to restore their Volvo (instead, they just did a few tweaks to mine, and it’s still running to my knowledge)

1990 Mitsubishi TP Magna – last of the wedge shape – traded on the car below

1992 Mitsubishi TR Magna – oh, new shape – so many curves! I added remote central locking and felt like a million dollars!

2005 Ford BA Futura II – dual fuel – if I had a dollar for every time the car backfired and blew the air filter off…weirdest feature was electric pedal height adjustment – handy being short, but weird

2010 Holden VE Calais II – the first car I owned that felt “luxurious” – however, looking back it was really lacking in features for a top of the line model

2002 Ford Falcon Forte AUIII wagon– wonderful work horse and great for carrying stuff about (that I didn’t want to put in the Calais)

2008 Peugeot 407 – My first foray into European cars – it was fun to drive and pretty zippy around town – traded in on below

2012 Peugeot 508GT – current daily driver – all the features and bells and whistles you could want. And some of the French engineering you could do without 😉

1972 VW Type 1 (Beetle) – current CPS car

1966 Mercedes 230S W111 – partial restoration project – sold to an older gentleman who promised to finish the restoration

1970 Morris 1100S – saved from the estate of Brett Tooke

I guess Volkswagen Beetles first came to my attention as a kid watching Disney’s “Herbie – The Love Bug” movies. They seemed like such a fun little car and I got the Bug bug.

Flash forward past several books about Beetles and helping to fix a friend’s hot pink Beetle with the custom plates “PINKVW”, I decided one day I’d like to own one.

It really was a “one day” thing, not actively pursued, but not forgotten.

And then, I found a listing on eBay as I was aimlessly searching, and I decided to watch the auction and see what it went for. Surprisingly the car didn’t sell. So, I contacted the seller directly and went to look at the car, to look, only to look.

And as so often happens, before I left, I’d made an offer which he accepted. So, I now owned a 1972 Volkswagen Type 1 (Beetle). It’s an “Automatic”…or more accurately a clutchless manual which makes it somewhat rarer as they only made them for a few years from 1968-1975.

Overall, it’s been a pretty reliable car. Most of the basic maintenance I can do myself. I usually say if you can keep a lawnmower running you can work on a Beetle.

It did suffer a catastrophic engine failure due to the carburettor fouling and dumping petrol into the sump. Engines don’t like to be lubricated with petrol. The mechanic noted it had had a poorly done partial rebuild at some point, so it was probably time to give it a proper overhaul anyway.

Now with a properly rebuilt engine it purrs along the road and keeps up with highway traffic much better.

Of course, at for its age, it has it faults. A little rust which I will get seen to shorty and eventually a respray. But for a 47-year-old car it just keeps going!

It was modified by the last owner to have driving lights, a modern radio (which meant the dash had to be cut into – a cardinal sin on classic cars in my opinion), and twin sport exhausts.

It’s a car that brings joy wherever it goes. People are always pointing, smiling, waving, and playfully punching their friends’ arm and shouting, “PUNCH BUGGY!” 

Motafrenz Webmaster

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