What, No Hard Luck Award?!?
Healey Rendezvous 2001, Grants Pass, Oregon
By Rick Snover

It started well. Terry Cowan and I hit the road Saturday afternoon (only four hours behind schedule), with him driving our British Speedwell Racing truck, his Sprite inside and mine on the trailer behind, and me in the ìchase carî. We didnít get far, Burbank I think it was, before some rather ominous lower-end noises from the truck forced us to pull over. We added two bottles of STP with no noticeable effect. At Valencia, it became just too risky to continue, so we parked it and got the last hotel room in town for the night. Sunday morning we rented a Ryder truck, transferred the load and, leaving our truck in the lot at Camping World, continued to the Bay Area, then on to Grants Pass on Monday. We actually arrived in time for the ice-breaker party (below), and the rest of the week was nothing but fun. Bill & Pat Bolton, their committee, and the whole Oregon club did a terrific job! The only disappointment was that no Hard Luck award was given. Iím sure we had a lock on it!
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left-right: WFO Herb Carter, Terry Cowan, John & Caryl Sprinzel, Reid & Sue Trummel
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Margot Healey

Tuesday morning brought one of the highlights of the whole week, the Jet Boat trip down the Rogue River to Hellgate, with a great barbeque lunch at the OK Corral on the way back. We all got wet a few times, and saw lots of wildlife, including a bald eagle, numerous ospreys, a few deer, and some Canadian geese (who decided to strafe our boat just before our arrival back at the hotel). I highly recommend this excursion if youíre ever in the area.
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Jet Boating on the Rogue River
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Lunch at the OK Corral

Back at the hotel that afternoon, we had a Q&A session with John Sprinzel, whose reminiscences of his days in rallying and with the Healeys were both interesting and amusing. After attempting to tune the head of his first rally car (his motherís Austin A35), and only succeeding making the car slower, he arrived at his #1 Rule Of Tuning: ìNever do something yourself when you know an expert who can do it better.î What a coincidence! Thatís my approach to vintage racing, Healey restoration, and almost all things automotive!

Wednesday was the rally. Not having a street-legal Healey, and needing to turn-in and re-rent the Ryder, we were unable to participate. Sandy Leon ran it solo. It seemed that most of those who went enjoyed it, though many took much longer than the advertised two hours to complete it.

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Q&A with John Sprinzel, Tuesday afternoon

The concours judging also took place on Tuesday and Wednesday, with Reid Trummel heading the panel. Only two cars were registered for concours: a Healey Blue 100 was awarded Gold, and a Cream & Green 100-Six (below) received Bronze.
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Concours Judging

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The Rally departs, Wednesday morning

Thursday was a very busy day, starting with the Healey Rendezvous Planning Council meeting , followed by the Popular Choice Car Show at the Geoff Healey Memorial Shelter in Schroeder Park. This turned out to be another of the weekís big highlights, because we decided to take a chance and drive our Sprites to the show, about three miles from the hotel.

This was one of the most enjoyable car shows Iíve ever attended, with a magnificent setting, gorgeous weather, plenty of shade, a lot of beautiful Healeys, including a dozen Bugeyes, and lots of sittiní around swapping yarns. Many of the members of the Spridgets Team.Net mailing list who were there got together and posed for a group photo (below).

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Plaque at the Geoff Healey Memorial Shelter in Schroeder Park
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The Spridgeteers
front, left-right: Herb Carter, Carolyn Walters, Larry Miller
rear, left-right: Paul Asgeirsson ("Morrisservice"), Dave & Peggy Bohler, Rick Walters, Doug Ingraham, Dustin Carter, Rick Snover, Mike & Justin MacLean
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Yarning in  the shade at Schroeder Park, with John Sprinzel sitting on the back of my Sprite
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Sandy and Mark Leon cruisin' around the car show

The show was capped by a BBQ at the park, followed by the awards ceremony and talks by John Sprinzel and Margot Healey. Kirk Kvamís newly completed V-8 won Best In Class among the Modified Healeys, and Terryís Sprinzel Sebring Coupé came second among the Specials, beaten out by a factory 100M. The perennial mystery, ìWhy do Healeys run so hot?î, was answered by Margot during her talk: ìBecause I suffer from cold feet.î
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Kirk Kvam receives his Best In Class award
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Terry Cowan receives his Second In Class award

Driving my Sprite back to the hotel after the show was even more fun, mainly because the route involved a short tunnel. That race-tuned 1275 sounded great in there! The day had heated up, so Terry opted not to drive his coupé back. We hooked up the trailer and went back to the park to pick it up. Once we had it loaded we pulled around to Kirkís RV and hung out for a while. The kids in the park fell in love with the car, and we eventually ended up with seven of them crammed into it for rides around the park.

Before the auction that night a bunch of us went up to the Yankee Pot Roast restaurant for dinner. Stuffed, we trundled our way back to the hotel for the auction, where I bought the Speedwell banner, autographed by both Margot Healey and John Sprinzel.

Friday morning came and it was time to head for home. We threw my Sprite into the truck, hooked up the trailer with Terryís on it, said our goodbyes, and headed south. Overall, it was a great week. Now if we can just figure out how to get our dead truck home from Valencia!

[FYI: We finally got our truck home on Aug. 28, and should have it back on the road in time for the VARA races at Buttonwillow, Sept. 29]

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Our Ryder and trailer, Mt Shasta in the background
The rest of my photos
Additional photos by Terry Cowan
Additional photos by Larry Miller
Additional photos by WFO Herb Carter
Additional photos by Reid Trummel