This past weekend I changed the oil in the Healey. That’s not really a big deal with a normal car, but with the Healey it’s an excuse to start and run the engine until warm, which is always a bit of an event in colder weather.
Last week I mentioned that the Healey had a carburetor issue related to a sticking float valve. This would explain the fuel economy that barely broke into double figures on the last tank, not to mention the smell of unburned gasoline that enveloped the car when idling. Just switching the Healey’s ignition on would cause a disturbing stream of gasoline to run out of the overflow on the forward carburetor. Clearly this issue needs to be resolved before I take the Healey out for early Spring hooning.
On the StartingGrid Facebook page we were discussing the various project cars we writers and reader (writers to be?) have, and the issues they are posing. The Healey is suffering from a stuck float in its forward carburetor. An easy fix, I just need to get out there and do it. Expect an update soon.
Yesterday brought a lovely evening to Seattle. This necessitated taking a ride in the Healey. What better excuse for a Healey ride than a pizza run? There are few things in this world better than rumbling around in a sportscar on a warm summer evening. A full belly and a full moon inspired the shot above. I wish I had a real camera with me and not my iPhone; however the best camera is the one in your hand.
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The Healey was mostly dormant for a few decades before we exhumed it. It had its original 48 spoke wire wheels with ancient retread tires. This was not a setup we wanted to drive any distance. New wheels and tires were easily ordered through the nice folks at Hendrix Wire Wheel and Moss Motors.
After a couple of drives around the neighborhood, the first system to raise its hand for attention was the cooling system. The radiator developed a healthy leak in its core.
StartingGrid’s latest project car is this 1960 Austin Healey 3000. This car is a driving adventure. It makes incredible sounds and is an attention magnet. It seems that everyone has an uncle or in-law who had a Big Healey at some point in their life. In the short time we’ve had this car, we’ve already had several conversations with folks who have shared stories of adventures they or their family members have had in Healeys. My wife and I have signed on to be Healey adventurists.
I too have an in-law who had a Big Healey. This car was owned for nearly four decades by my father-in-law. He kept it in his heated garage and tinkered on it, lovingly maintaining and improving it, but rarely driving it. He’s a busy guy with a ton of competing interests, adventure for him does not necessarily involve roadside field expedient repairs of a half century old sports car. Being a rocket scientist (no, really) he’s doing the smart thing and replacing the Healey with a Miata.
I’ve been working on bringing the Healey out of hibernation and hope to make it a reliable daily drivable car. While I don’t intend on commuting in this car, you will see it Street Parked as my wife and I take summer evening spins and impromtu runs into the mountains to echo the hills and valleys with the sounds of this straight six.
Maybe you’ll see the Healey at an event soon? I’m not a show and shine sort, favoring instead driving and racing. Stay tuned for more updates. I’ve already completed a few projects and am so far really enjoying working on this car. The Big Healey has a long history of being a sturdy adventure partner. They were entered in LeMans and did well in international rally competition. It should be happy to put up with the occasional autocross, right?
Aaron Severson of Ate up with Motor wrote a great history of the Big Healeys.
Davin’s post of the Lamborghini creeping out of a driveway resonated with me as my
newest most recent addition to the fleet is at stock ride height but scrapes over everything. That’s the exhaust in the picture above. It’s about three and a quarter inches off the ground.
These exhaust clamps dangled another half inch or so lower, making this car able to drive over things only a little thicker than a crushed soda can without scraping.
Some quick hacksaw work increased the ride height to a streetable level. I can’t go anywhere near a speed bump though. Speed bumps, it appears, are a newer invention than is this car.
Stay tuned for a formal introduction. You’ll be seeing a lot more of this car.