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wagonaire144 Avatar
wagonaire144 bill d
mequon, wisconsin, USA   USA
hello,
is there any interest in a discussion about starting to race a car you may have or could obtain? i suggest this as i have been racing 3000's for many years, in historic racing here in the US. I feel there is some good information, bad information and pitfalls that could be avoided, and perhaps could start folks out to racing that may not otherwise elect to do so. yes? no?

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Dougie Avatar
Dougie Doug Escriva
Portland, Oregon, USA   USA
Bill -

I'll give you a resounding YES. As you know it's much easier to climb behind the wheel of a bugeye and call yourself a racer. To build, race and maintain a small bore LBC is the simplest entry to the vintage race arena. For those who crave more and relish in taking the path less traveled, I challenge those interested in vintage racing to go Big.........Big Healey. For most however, the learning curve is much too steep. With just a few advertised "speed shops" offering race and high performance competition parts, you're at the mercy of these UK suppliers to assist you in building a race motor or setting up a car correctly. That is, unless you're creative, resourceful, and willing to do some of the hard work yourself. Unfortunately, those new to vintage racing either don't know how, aren't willing to put in the time or pay out the money to build a big Healey racer the right way. Any discussions that help grow the brotherhood of big Healey racers would be beneficial.

BTW - I'll be back to Road America this September for the ELVF. Will you be racing this year?

wagonaire144 Avatar
wagonaire144 bill d
mequon, wisconsin, USA   USA
doug,

with any luck i'll be racing , without, i'll just be there, drumming up buisness...

I guess the discusssion isn't really a hot topic, eh? i think its important to get folks out to see/hear these cars,

perhaps more of your video postings will help? i'll find a vid of my last engine dyno session if i can find it.

what, in your opinion, is the most difficult first step, for the intrepid beginner with a Big Car?

by the way, thanx for your reply, music to my eyes.

bill d

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Dougie Avatar
Dougie Doug Escriva
Portland, Oregon, USA   USA
Bill -

The biggest obstacle I see, is the lack of knowledge in the proper preparation of the big Healey. Let's face it, most shade tree mechanics can prep a Spridget to run mid-pack. It takes a lot more experience not only to prep a big Healey, but also to feel real comfortable behind the wheel at speed. I was lucky to have a good mentor. Speaking of which..........His open car has much better video sound then my enclosed car. Turn up the sound and enjoy.


wagonaire144 Avatar
wagonaire144 bill d
mequon, wisconsin, USA   USA
Doug,

good film and sound, from an accomplished driver and car prep man. I got to see him with the healey challenge at Elkhart in 2005... a stormer. I think he got weighed and bumped up a group, but not remembering all the details. i could never find him at his car, wanted badly to talk with him.
a fun sidenote, he dynos at Loynings, i think, and i dyno at Elite , in west bend. they're competitors in the SCCA world of engines.

is it worth listing the fundimentals of prep, the pro's and cons of a Big AH? you think anyone but us cares?

got a great foto of Lyle Perkins, at the Milwaukee Mile, in a 100-6. his son sent it to me, and
it really is a gas to see. i can't get the thing to load.
some other time, i guess.
tell me if you'd like to do some sort of basic layout here for beginners or people already started
that may want help.
bill d

Dougie Avatar
Dougie Doug Escriva
Portland, Oregon, USA   USA
Bill -

Richard and I both dyno at Loynings, I think Arnie started racing in a AH 100-4. The more information we can put out for potential big Healey racers the better. By helping to remove some of the mysteries in the preparation of the 6-cylinder, maybe we can inspire more enthusiasts to get on the race track.

Here's a video I made while dynoing Richard's "B" motor 2 years ago at Loynings. I think it ran up a little over 250hp.



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wagonaire144 Avatar
wagonaire144 bill d
mequon, wisconsin, USA   USA
Doug,
lovely fotos... 250 at the drivewheels is respectable! will Richard return to RA anytime soon?
try to encourage him, eh? we need to see him up amongst the 356 cluster, to sow some doubt about
their poor choices...

i think i'll start posting sunday, little by little, and if you like i'll send you an outline, so you could take some subjects, should time and/or interest motivate you.
billd

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wayneo Avatar
wayneo Wayne Watkins
Sydney, NSW, Australia   AUS
1956 Austin-Healey 100 "Horace"
1959 Triumph TR3A "Trumpy"
1965 Nissan Silvia
1989 Mazda MX-5
Just wondering if you guys have seen the Youtube clip of Marc Campfield racing his Healey 3000 at Spa two years ago . Unbelievable driving from the rear of the grid . 18.33 minutes of the most inspired insane Healey driving you will ever see . Have no idea how to upload it here . but check out in ' Spa onboard footage in Austin Healey 3000 ' The sounds of that big six hammering everything in sight from light weight E types , Lotus , Mustang etc are insane .

Dougie Avatar
Dougie Doug Escriva
Portland, Oregon, USA   USA
Yes, I've seen Marc's drive a number of times. He has couple of very inspiring videos on Youtube.

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wagonaire144 Avatar
wagonaire144 bill d
mequon, wisconsin, USA   USA
wayne,
I've seen that film as well. UK and EU film seem to have better car control examples than we do,
poss.because more events run in foul weather? folks better at going sideways? hard to say...
all of Jaap sinke films, and Rinus Sinke films exibit marvelous sound and visible judgement, but clearly enuf aggression to move along to the front. the lines on the road aren't always what you'd
expect, but they make the pass stick,and no one falls off the road.
I play those in the garage to create motivation...
bill d

wayneo Avatar
wayneo Wayne Watkins
Sydney, NSW, Australia   AUS
1956 Austin-Healey 100 "Horace"
1959 Triumph TR3A "Trumpy"
1965 Nissan Silvia
1989 Mazda MX-5
Yes Bill his lines certainly aren't what anyone would expect ,but he seems to be able to pass whatever & whenever he likes , even if he is totally off the track . To keep it up at his rate he must also have incredibly good brakes...... definitely not normal Healey brakes .
Glad he gives you motivation . Think I'm getting a bit old for all that , but have included two shots of me in my old BN1 at Oran Park race track in 1972 , on drum brakes , no seat belts and a helmet found in the rubbish tip & painted with wire wheel silver spray paint !


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wagonaire144 Avatar
wagonaire144 bill d
mequon, wisconsin, USA   USA
wayne,
thanx for the reply and the great pix... i like the look of the car with the screen cut and no rollover bar... ' what could happen, huh?'
age is all in the rational part of the brain, you know. disregard all that rational talk, get back at it! Horace needs some action...
watch this spot, and jump in!
bill d

wagonaire144 Avatar
wagonaire144 bill d
mequon, wisconsin, USA   USA
hello all,
this is a general outline of a way to begine racing a 6 cylinder car, in vintage or historic racing. what i'd like to do is to work from the outline, and try to submit a post each sunday. I 'd love to have comments and additions, dissagreements and questions and general
discussion, and any fotos that shed light on a question or answer. If theres a better way or place for this i'm open to suggestion, but i
want to have more cars on hte track, and fewer held hostage to the traveling cocktail parties that more and more cars are consigned to. Healey himself felt these were sports cars, and though they were for daily use, he proved they were capable of embarassing
much more vaunted machinery on the track and rally course.

the outline goes like this:

intent
first steps and stuff to consider
AH shortcomings to address for racing
brakes
engine basics
gearbox basics/ overdrive too
differential/axle
suspension front and rear
wheels and tires
safety stuff

what did i forget?

see you next week!
billd

what did i forget?

wayneo Avatar
wayneo Wayne Watkins
Sydney, NSW, Australia   AUS
1956 Austin-Healey 100 "Horace"
1959 Triumph TR3A "Trumpy"
1965 Nissan Silvia
1989 Mazda MX-5
I like your style Bill and you have a great idea there . Good idea if someone could join in with some 4 cylinder tips as well .

wagonaire144 Avatar
wagonaire144 bill d
mequon, wisconsin, USA   USA
INTENT:
this being sunday, and really cold, here's the first of the outline posts on racing a six cylinder Healey.
Assumptions are not a good way to begin any discussion, but i must make this one. If you're reading this, you must have some interest in racing, and perhaps a 6 cylinder Healey. our intent is to take a car you may have, or have access to and turn it into a racer.
the path can take several courses, and i'll respond to questions/suggestions to steer this onto courses you'd like to see. Also, my observations here are written for the US racing scene, and rules are generally based on Sports Car Club of America rules from the period. The FIA rules are just as simple at the outset, and demand just as much spending as you progress to the front
Lets talk about money. This activity is an intensive test of your ability to justify, earn, spend, justify, recover, re-enforce, focus,
explain, source, and think about money. Money is the lubricant in your racing program. Mechanical talent, and/or the understanding
of that talent will help mediate the need for so much money. If you can do what's ness., then you don't need to pay someone else to do it. If you have the space to house this project, you won't need to rent it. If you can weld, and have the equiptment, or access to it, you don't need to find a fabricator and pay him/her. You get the drift. Additionally, i think its important to say that Healey values continue to rise, and that potential value causes people to shy away. The value of a well prepped BN4/BN6/BT7 as a rally/tour car is the same as or greater than an unprepared standard version of the same model. So, on we go.
In order to race this car, you need to have a vintage/historic club/sanctioning body that organises events you'll enter. They will have rules for you to adhere to, which will affect your building of your car. I'll assume (again) that you'll try to stick to the rules. Why?
because most clubs don't care what you do, but they do change the class your car races in dependent on the way you equip it.
Toyota 5 speed gearbox? up a class. 3 Weber carburetters? up a class. Underweight? up a class. what does 'up a class' mean?
instead of racing cars of the same age/weight/potential, you'll be lumped in with 911 Porsche/Datsun 240/260/280Z/ Lotus Elan
cars, that made a pretty good case for technology in the days of their popularity. So stick to the rules and have some fun.
At the beginning, I guess the best thing to state is that for years and years, people have raced these big, lovely, bellowing,
sliding cars, and on variable budgets, and had a GREAT time. My first racing Healey was a BN4, with a Ford V8 engine in.
What an education. My next was a BT7, which got raced way before I found it, and raced on closed public roads, race circuits,
and rallies. My daughter loved to be driven to school in it, numbers and all.
So, 'intent' is to race what you have and can afford, and develop your car and your budget at the pace that is sustainable.
There is no point in building the Worlds Fastest Healey, if you then must sell it to keep from getting divorced, or sleeping outside your job in your tow vehicle. Theres no time limit, unless you impose one, and that just costs money. If you have enough money,
you can accomplish much more in lots less time.
Intent, i think should also include a word on fun. there isn't a body of people i've ever met that are more fun than Healey racers.
Thats an important factor. The Racers I've met, all round the world, have always, without one reservation, been helpful, giving, flexible and thoughtful folks. The oldest Healey racer i know still laps his local circuit within a second of his best time, at age 76. He didn't start racing until he turned 49. Another BN6 racer always has a cocktail kit in his tow vehicle, and after 6:00 pm, any Healey driver gets a martini if he/she wants. If you need a part, whether its a spark plug or a transmisson, if they have one, its yours for the weekend. But you must reciprocate. Thats part of the deal.
In ending this section, I would sum up by saying Intent is the desire to race a unique, beautiful car, have an exponential amount of fun, and meet some great people, all while touring our great contries.

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