Coronado Classic Speed Festival
By Warren Voth
|Having attended all four of the Chrysler Jeep Classic Speed Festivals, this year continues the excitement of the first Festival. The cars, the sounds, the pits, the exhibits, the weather and the food were, as always, gearhead heaven. The track appears to be repositioned slightly for a better surface and to be sure there was no repeat of 1997 when some of the drivers complained of debris that led to some car damage. The Speed Festival is truly a family event and as usual my brother Bill as well as sons Derek and Nathan made the day memorable. We spent so much time in the pit area and the exhibits that we missed some of the races. The size of the Festival has grown to the point that if you want to really see everything, you must come early and stay late or make it a two-day event.|
1934 MG K3 Special has the front cover removed to show the Roots type blower that feeds the hungry single overhead cam six cylinder engine. It doesn't get more British than this.
This 1932 Alfa-Romeo Monza wins the "elegant engine" award. Note the efficient and artistic intake manifold from the blower mounted below. Yes, yes... I know your Buick has lovely cup holders but they had to cut corners.
|As a young man in the 50' and 60's, I remember Hour Glass
Field at Miramar where we watched Phil Hill in the MG ìShingleî, Riche
Ginther, Maston Gregory and even Carol Shelby when AC's were still ìAcesî
and ìBristolsî. In those days hay bales and snow fencing were all that
separated you from the action. This was much better for photos and viewing,
but may have led to a crowd control nightmare. The one thing I remember
and still miss is the smell of hot Castrol R Racing Oil. It has a very
distinctive smell not unlike hot castor oil or model airplane fuel. To
it's credit, all other accommodations of the Speed Festival are much superior
to the old days, especially being able to see the cars in the pits, which
were off limits unless you were a participant, pit crew or looked great
in a fuzzy sweater and shorts.
This year was to feature three Healeys. Group Two included Dan Klinke in his 1956 100M and Jeff Tamkin in his 1956 100M. (To the best of my knowledge, Jeff Tamkin and his 1956 100M were a no show.) Group Three included Bud Bourassa in his 1959 Devin-Healey 100-6.
The X'ed headlights reflect Dan Kiinke's knocked out 100M. Note how the broken frame has let the right hand frame attachment pull away from the body and produce the negative camber of the front wheel.
Very clean engine layout shows aluminum radiator overflow tank, alternator replacing Lucas generator and most importantly, the Putzke's ìFahrspassî Bilstein Shock installation.
|Dan Klinke was driving a very good race Sunday morning.
After the practice session he said he felt right about his car and driving
was doing well. I watched him on ëSí turns 8 and 9 from the fence and he
was indeed doing impressive driving. I went back to the pits to bring past
issues of Healey Hearsay to find out that on inspection after the race
it was obvious that the broken frame ended the day. The frame was broken
at the front joint in front of the front cross member and had dropped down
about one-half inch. This caused the front attachment of the lower a-arm
fork to have no support. It could have been a serious situation, but Healeys
are tough cars and their suspension is all forgiving. As the racing was
over, we had a relaxed visit and we said we hoped to see each other at
the Monterey Historics next year.
While it was great to see Healeys on the track, 2000 was not a Healey Holiday. While driving a great race Dan Klinke had to retire after Sunday morning practice session with a broken frame. Bud Bourassa looked great on the track but was hopelessly outclassed by very tough and powerful competition in Group Three.
Bud Bourassa had recently purchased the 1959 Devin-Healey 100-6. The car exhibits a high degree of craftsmanship and is absolutely stunning. Everything ìjust looks rightî. I don't know how else to describe it. The black and white pictures you see do not do the car justice. To say that you could cover this car with ìstrawberries and whipped cream and have it for breakfastî is not an overstatement.
No door on the passenger side helps the clean body lines and looks very businesslike. From personal experience, it also helps stiffen the very flexible Devin fiberglass body.
This car looks good from any angle. Note the clean installation of the plex headlight covers. The egg crate grille fits the opening perfectly. Visually, the car is seamless.
|I talked to Bud Bourassa briefly. At this point he did
not know about the internal engine modifications. It appears to be a 100-6
block from the long distributor. The carbs are HD8's and exhaust manifolds
are tube with a heat shield wrap. The crankshaft dampener appears to be
standard Healey. One modification I know and love are the Putzke's ìFahrspassî
Bilstein Shocks. Bud mentioned that they were recently installed by the
shop that has performed much of the work on the car.
To sum up, to the builder, this car was a work of passion. No detail was overlooked. The early SU model brass dashpot cap nuts on the HD8's, the 60's chrome finish brass Raydyot bullet mirrors, the compound curve headlight covers, the Healey blue paint job... this car doesnít miss a trick! The fact that the car was in a class with a 1957 D-Type Jaguar, a 1958 Ferrari 250 TR, a 1957 Maserati 300S, a 1958 Lotus 15, and a 1957 Aston-Martin DBR2 and other similar cars takes absolutely nothing away from this truly fine Healey special.
Too bad so few of our club members were in attendance. I saw Bob Humphreys, Mike & Susan Snow, Rick Snover and Randy Zoller. I think I saw Bob Kitterer and Sandy Leon or maybe it was those double Culligan Waters I was drinking. Regardless, if you were not there, you missed a great day.
Yes, Sandy & Mark were there on Sunday, and I saw the Kitterersí Bugeye in the car club corral. Randy Blum, Steve Kirby, Chris Segal, and Robert Juengst were also there, and Chuck & Debbie Sharpís 3000 was in the corral, too.
A sad note: I just learned, through a message forwarded to the vintage-race mailing list, that Bill Devin passed away at age 85 on November 22, after suffering a stroke on the 12th Devin was the creator of many gorgeous, fast cars, in-cluding Bourassaís Devin-Healey (above) and the famous Devin SS. The vintage racing community and motorsports enthusiasts in general mourn the loss of this automotive innovator who contributed so much to our sport.