As many of us can attest to, nothing beats the feeling of taking a finished project on its maiden voyage. That’s why it’s important not to get carried away before you familiarize yourself with your car’s limits. Tragedy struck earlier today when a 24-year-old Australian man crashed his newly-restored 1971 Datsun 1600 (aka 510 in the US), into a tree. The driver was airlifted to a local hospital where he was pronounced dead, but his 20-year-old passenger survived with minor injuries.
Authorities say the car was unregistered and travelling 40kph over the speed limit on the winding road where the collision occurred. Witnesses described hearing a clunk or a thud. We know the temptation to take your car out for a spin after a major work is completed can be damn near irresistible, but please use the utmost caution when doing so. Don’t be the thud.
As our resident Aussie Kev explains, the “P-Plater” referred to in the article is an Australian term that describes beginner drivers. For the first three years of driving, a small magnetic “P” is affixed to your car, much like the Japanese shoshinsha mark, indicating a lower speed limit for the driver, a prohibition of turbo or V8 cars, a lower allowable alcohol limit, and fewer allowable infringements before license cancellation.
With the holiday season approaching, we want you JNCers to be safe and merry.
UPDATE: The identity of the driver, Gabriel Guimaraes, has been released. More details at the Daily Telagraph. Even though we didn’t know Gabriel, we feel a kinship with him over his dedication to restoring his classic Datsun. Our condolences go out to his family.