very sad day to hear of passing of Les.
Deborah and I met Les in November 2006 in Melbourne. Les was very hospitable and very kind to share his knowledge of the Syncro in a highly practical way that day. Thanks to his experience we walked away from a Syncro we had set our sights upon, and in turn purchased on later that we still have to this day.
Les' enthusiasm for the VW Kombi was without peer.
He recounted the story once of slowly and carefully driving his T2 Camper through rocky and steep climbing terrain. Upon the plateau, overlooking the valley, Les took in the serene scene over a cup of freshly prepared hot tea.
The serenity was soon pierced by a distant droning, labouring sound. It soon became apparent that there were in fact two diesel engines labouring up the bush trail. Not long after, two blokes got out of their respective Nissan Patrols, which had been suitably prepared for all conditions, and smug with the achievement of climbing the summit, it seemed. Upon noticing the humble T2 Kombi, and then Les, one of the blokes exclaimed 'How the f*** did you get up here???'
Les recounted to me that he responded sharply 'The same bloody way you came up, and if you wish you can follow me down!'
I also recollect that Les often took the Syncro to Fisherman's Bend, particularly so when Holden was developing the AWD systems that were to be ultimately found in the Adventra. I think Les showed me a few photos of the Syncro there (or at Lang Lang) of the Syncro on a steep grassy slope with others watching on. If they were not photos, then his recounting of the story remains vivid in my memory!
Les worked on most prototypes at Holden since the 70s (including with Peter Hannenberger in the 1970s on the Radial Tuned Suspension that transformed the Kingswood and Torana). However, it every time I see the AWD Holdens I think of Les and the Syncro that he used to teach and influence the engineers working on that project.
Rest in Peace.
On Wed, Mar 22, 2017 at 5:13 PM, 'Peter Coe' firstname.lastname@example.org [Syncro_T3_Australia] <Syncro_T3_Australia@yahoogroups.com> wrote:
Very sad news but I knew through Hart that he had not been well. Unfortunately I never had the chance to meet Les in person. His contribution to the Syncro world was invaluable, as was his stewardship of our Yahoo group.
Peter from Port