A Healey Holiday Retrospective
By Sharon Tanihara
I'm a little bummed out. Not that it wasn't a good holiday season. It was a great holiday season, Healey-wise. It started on the Friday before the Christmas party. That's when my friend Wally stopped by with George, the father of a friend of his. It seems George was a design engineer back in his younger days in the '50's and '60's, and during that time drove a succession of sports cars, starting with a l00M as his daily driver. He subsequently drove two other Healeys, which are parked in his backyard (buried under debris would be a better description), and then a Z-car. The reason Wally brought George over was to see my BN1 and the Indian motorcycle my brother left to my sisters and me. George enjoyed seeing them (and the other cars stored about the family residences ˝ we can't seem to trade in the old vehicle when we get a new one), and then the 3 of us went down to the weekly car show on Main Street in Garden Grove. Unfortunately, it had been cancelled due to the threat of rain. That didn't matter, though, because George was thrilled just to ride in my Healey, and said it got him to think-ing about getting one of his going again. I wouldn't put it past him ˝ this gentleman still rides a motorcycle through the Santa Monica Mountains on the weekends.
 
George & me, before the rain clouds came rolling in

Another great event was the Christmas party two days later. The locale couldn't have been better ˝ a car museum!

The food was delicious, with turkey and all the trimmings, and more desserts than one should eat in a month. As this was my second AHCSD event, I met some more Healey people and heard about their adventures with their cars and restoration projects, and was glad to find out that there are individuals besides myself with possibly an excess number of cars registered to their names.

Then there was the gift exchange. Who would have ever thought someone would want the light bulbs that I picked from the pile of available gifts. Well, someone did, so I went home with a charming set of ceramic angels for the mantle.

Two days later, and lasting for several days came my definition of a perfect Healey day ˝ crisp, cool weather with blue skies and fluffy white clouds passing through. This kind of day is the reward for enduring all the breakdowns, lapses and idiosyncrasies that come with owning an Austin Healey. I got the Healey out and went to the post office 8 miles away in-stead of down the street, ran errands in 3 other directions, and, in general, Healeyed about aimlessly the rest of the afternoon.

So why am I bummed out? Well, it seems that besides the rear shock that I knew was leaking, the front shock sprung a leak a few days ago, so I need to figure out what to do ˝ new, used or rebuilt, or those Bilsteins I heard about at the Christmas party?
 

My definition of a perfect driving day (DonÝt ask if I was driving and taking pictures at the same time.)
My new leak, forward & to the right of the old ones

The problem is, I hate it when the car is off the road. Even if I'm not planning on using it, just the fact that I can't puts a damper on things. To top it off, my friends say I get cranky when I can't drive my car, so I better figure out something fast, before the next idyllic Healey Happening passes me by!