Driving a Healey

Interviews with Garth Wood on snow inside a 58 Frogeye, Rob Harrison on learning to drive in a 100 Healey, David Unitt on driving a Healey and Paul Stanforth a Healey as a sports car.

Garth Wood was a Healey Sprite owner, Rob Harrison was owner of the XR37 Le Mans racing car, David Unitt ran the Wedgnock garage near the Healey works and was owner of an Austin Healey 100M and Paul Stanforth was an apprentice mechanic and part of Healey Le Mans team.


Garth Wood: …I remember driving Frogeyes in the winter and one of my Frogeyes was a 58 Frogeye where it had the studs over the windscreen that you pressed the soft top onto, so instead of going onto a rail which tucked underneath, which was a later Frogeye, you went onto the press studs. Now, when you did over twenty-five miles an hour and it was snowing, the snow came up the bonnet, up the windscreen, because of the wind, it would lift up between the studs and it would snow inside, which I and my girlfriend at the time thought was highly amusing…

Rob Harrison: …my first car, which was a 100 Healey, which I bought in 1965 before I even had a licence, so, I learnt to drive on that car and then, a very rare situation arrived, where a brand new Austin Healey 3000 was available in Australia. These cars were, the six cylinder cars in particular, were very rare in Australia. I think there were only about twenty-eight imported over a period from the 100/6 to the last 3000s, so, when I bought this black BJ8 new, it was, virtually, the fastest car on the road…

David Unitt: I don’t drive it that fast because it’s fifty odd, well sixty years old. But it’s still a fantastic thing to drive and in one of the books there is a quote, which I felt is very appropriate, and it said ‘you can’t get out of a Healey and walk away without looking back at it’ and I think that is very true.

Paul Stanforth: I think if one looks at it logically, it’s what I would call a thoroughbred English Sports Car and I think we make the best thoroughbred sports cars in the world… But it’s the old, it’s the elbows out of the window, big steering wheel, plenty of opposite lock, that’s a proper sports car.

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