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The Healey was a hit!

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The Healey was a hit! Empty The Healey was a hit!

Post by Hotrod Mon Apr 24, 2023 12:30 pm

I entered the Healey in a concours type show last weekend.  I wasn’t even sure if they would let me in, but it was just across the river from my home and thought it was worth a shot.  My wife and I had already decided that if they turned me away, we would just pick a nice restaurant and make a road trip for the day.  I had worked for several hours the day before and the Healey was shining about as well as it ever will.

The event was put on by the Rolls Royce and Bentley club and the fellow that was running the show seemed like a friendly chap who was, without a doubt, British.  I gave full disclosure when I registered that my car was not an original Austin-Healey, but he said no problem.

It was a fairly formal affair with mostly Rolls and Bentley entrants, but there were several Ferraris, a Maserati, several other British makes and a few Porsches.  My old car was flanked by royalty and most of the cars in the show cost more to maintain than mine did to build.

But, the Healey was truly a hit with the spectators and a few of the participants!  There was a crowd around it pretty much all day.  Many pictures were taken and several folks returned for a second look.  Had a few good conversations and let a few kids sit in it for photo ops.  It was interesting to see people cruise right by Porsches and Ferraris only to stop for several minutes to stare at the old kit car from all angles.  One woman even found me to tell me that it was, by far, the prettiest car in the show.  Quite a compliment, considering the machinery that was there, and taken as such.

At the end of the event, I wasn’t expecting any award other than the participant ribbon I had received that morning, but my name was called for a second place plaque and ribbon in the Healey division.  There was a little grumbling that was overheard about letting “that kind of car” in the show.  I didn’t think that was too bad, though, for a car built from cast off bits from the scrap heap by a man in a shed, as the Brits would say.  It held it’s own against the big dogs.  I probably won’t go back next year since I’m pretty sure the rules will be changed and “that kind of car” will be excluded, but it was still mucho fun for this one day.

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And here’s the old girl in all her glory!  That's an Aston-Martin Vanquish beside her.  Funny, that several folks seemed to think my car was some kind of Bond car, when a real Bond car was parked 2 feet away!

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Hotrod
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Post by Jerry & Lisa Mills Mon Apr 24, 2023 1:36 pm

Well, first off - congratulations. Many more to come.
Second - I'm not at all surprised.
People seem to really connect with our cars. They do stand out with a unique styling that has passed the test of time.
Have met more than a thousand people (not an exaggeration) that had one or knew someone that had one. A connection that does not exists with most of the other cars there.
Have also had the Bond question. Still not sure where that comes from. Might be Austin/Aston name familiarity maybe ???
Congratulations again - well deserved.

Jerry & Lisa Mills

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Join date : 2015-03-25
Location : Glendale, Arizona

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Post by David V. Mon Apr 24, 2023 4:31 pm

Congratulations Hotrod! Well deserved Very Happy
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Post by DrJ Tue Apr 25, 2023 8:20 am

That may have been a Aston-Martin sitting next to you Mike, but James Bond would have not have been seen in such a pedestrian looking ride. Like most legacy boutique rides the sex has been distilled down to a more homologous version of the Lexus look. A Healey of that era, like yours, is simply part of an artistic expressive time long ago a causality to impact bumpers and crumple zones. I saw a picture of the new "MG", now owned by an Asian consortium. Like the reconstituted Fiat Spider, it looks like a Miata.

The romance of a hand crafted ride, created by a skilled and passionate craftsman unencumbered by bean counters, regulation and marketing gurus, personifies that age of creativity. Sure there were a few Ferrari's there but one only needs to take a look at Steve McQueen's 275 GTB/4 that's coming to auction to realize how constrained those Italian artists must now operate in.

Keep you out? Twas more how compassionate and tolerant you were to be a part of it. They were lucky to have you. As so many in attendance were apparently reminded, you can go home again and..... there's no place like home.

Congrats Mike.

DrJ

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Post by Hotrod Tue Apr 25, 2023 11:34 am

Thanks to everyone!  

I think the poor guy in charge of the show caught some serious flak, quietly of course, for even letting me in.  After the show, privately, he gently discouraged me from returning next year.  Never came right out and said "don't come back", but did say the other guy that usually puts on the show was real stickler for originality.  You know wink, wink, nudge, nudge.  I know he was the one that was doing some of the judging so I'm sure he was the one that made sure I had an award.
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