250 Healeys wheel around Argyll

Healeys at Inveraray Castle 2

At the end of May and as part of their week long European Meeting, for which they based themselves at the Crieff Hydro Hotel, no fewer than 250 Healeys and Austin Healeys throttled down for lunch at  Inveraray Castle.

healeys at Inveraray castle 3

The 250 cars included were 9 cars from Australia, 6 from US and enthusiasts from most countries of Europe.

The programme for the Meeting included planned drives, Concours  – and the opportunity to put the cars through their paces at Knockhill Race Circuit.

Healeys at Inveraray Castle

And, as well as having their lunch at Inveraray, they took the cars up the recently refurbished classic hillclimb on the old military road at Rest and be Thankful.

All in all, this must have been a pretty memorable meeting.

Healeys were made in Warwick by the Donald Healey Motor Company, founded at the end of the second World War, in 1945, by the celebrated auto engineer, Donald Healey, also a successful race driver.

healey westland roadster 1949 by DeFacto Creative Commons

They relied on a tuned-up version of the tried and tested Riley twin cam 2.4 litre four cylinder engine.

The first car, the Healey Westland Roadster was produced from 1946 until 1950 [1949 version above]. The second, the Healey Elliott Saloon, was claimed in 1948 to be the fastest production closed car in the world – timed over a mile at 104.7 mph – with a 34 ft. turning circle.

Healey silverstone by Brian Snelson Creative Commons

With the third car, the glorious Healey Silverstone [above], the company had what is arguably their greatest success. The shorter chassis, more stiffly sprung Silverstone could do 107 mph. It is now a competitively sought after car and indeed many of the other Healeys were converted into lookalike Silverstones [why would you do that?]. The cars were succcessful racers with class wins in the 1947 and 1948 Alpine rallies and in the 1949 Mille Miglia.

Austin-Healey 3000 MK I (1959), Driver Alexander Kolb (Böööös Racing Team) Chris topher Wagener GNU Free Documentation

A joint venture with the British Motor Corporation [BMC] saw the birth of the Austin-Healey marque, producing the Austin Healey 3000s [a competition 1959 Mark 1 above] and later the Austin-Healey Sprite, a sort of fellow traveller of the MG Midget.

  • Photographs: We are grateful to Neil Munn of the Austin Healey Club for the photographs of the Healeys and Austin Healeys at Inveraray castle.
  • The shot of the Healey Westland Roadster is by defacto and is reproduced here under the Creative Commons licence.
  • The Healey Silverstone shot is by Brian Snelson and reproduced ehre under the creative Commons licence.
  • The Austin-Healey 3000 MK I (1959), driven by Alexander Kolb  of the Böööös Racing Team, is by Christoph Wagener and is reproduced here under the GNU Free Documentation licence.
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