NEC Classic Motor Show
Our stand at this year’s Lancaster Insurance Classic Motor Show was shared with the Association of Healey Drivers. We had four cars, Ex Works Rally Car URX727, one of the 3000 ‘S’ prototype coupes, a 100-6 and a WSM Sprite. The Healey Owners had Donald Healey’s racing Westland, a Healey 100M BN1 and a Healey Fiesta.
The stand was spacious and looked impressive with gantry lighting. We had a busy 3 days with many members calling in for a chat and a lot of interest from enthusiasts looking for information or with stories to tell.
Midland Centre AGM
This year’s AGM was held at the Severn Valley Railway Museum, Kidderminster on Sunday 18th October. Click below for the minutes.
Planned Drive & Lunch, 9th August
By Robert & Linda Kemp
Unlike many events held this year, Midland Centre were lucky with the weather for their annual planned drive and lunch which was held at the Dovecliff Hall Hotel in Rolleston on Dove, Staffordshire. We have always been fairly lucky with the weather but after last year, when we caught the tail end of Tropical Storm Bertha and didn’t so much drive around the route as swim, we had become rather ‘weather conscious’. No problems this year – the sun shone!!!
The format followed the usual pattern with coffee on arrival and a chance to study the road book and catch up with friends. It’s always good to see regulars from Eastern Centre and North Wales among our number. This was followed by a 45 mile drive around the local countryside along with photo clues to search for. As usual a few cryptic questions had to be answered from the info in the route book so plenty to keep everyone occupied.
Robin and Ruth Astle take charge of bookings and lunch while the Kemps concentrate on the route and quizzes. It was touch and go whether Robin and Ruth would actually make it on the day as another grandchild was imminent but fortunately they did and congratulations on the safe if rather traumatic arrival of another grandson later in the week.
The drive is always in our local area and is the annual event when we realise how much interesting history is right under our noses and we never realised, so putting together a route book is always quite an eye opener for us. We always get good comments so hopefully everyone else finds it interesting too and we must be doing something right as we have several ‘regulars’ who attend every year. Earlier in the year we actually took part in a photo quiz organized by Pam and Neil Williams at the Hunstanton Weekend and we have to admit to not being very good at it – not that that meant we made things any easier of course! Our route took in Tutbury, Marchington, Uttoxeter, Abbots Bromley and back through the ancient Needwood Forest – one of the oldest parts of National Forest which spans large areas of the Midlands.
Anyway all the hard work was rewarded with an excellent lunch. This was our third visit to the Dovecliff and they didn’t let us down with the quality. The Midlands Centre Piston Broke trophy, was once again won by John and Janine Brooks who scored an impressive 32 out of 36 points, followed by Ian Thompson and his daughter Anna in 2nd place and Pam and Neil in 3rd. Hopefully they all enjoyed the ‘liquid’ part of their prizes.
So we look forward to seeing many of you again next year when we are already booked in, on the 14th August, at the Griffin Inn, Switherland, in Charnwood Forest. The food has been sampled by the organisers on several occasions -see our attention to detail. If only the weather was this easy to organise!!!
Donington Historic Festival 2-4th May
We were due to have in our infield club display area 22 cars on Saturday, 27 on Sunday and 14 on Monday but unfortunately the weather over the bank holiday weekend put a few people off. However, they missed a treat. Whilst Saturday was bleak and cold for qualifying, the rain cleared by 10 am on Sunday and we were treated to two more days of sunny skies and some great racing. Healeys were well supported in two races, see results below. The highlight was the partnership of Jeremy Welch and Karsten Le Blanc coming a creditable 5th in the 90 minute GT and Sports Car Cup for pre-66 GT and Sports Cars Race beating off some much more powerful machinery. In a more sedate manner, several members were able to experience the track first hand during the lunch time parade laps.
Our display area was again located at what I believe to be the best view point on the circuit, just above the Craner Curves and Old Hairpin. This meant that members spent much of their time in this area providing ample opportunities to meet up with other members and renew old acquaintances. Although it may have had more to do with the proximity of a beer, burgers, noodles, donuts and ice-cream vendors. The cars also attracted many members of the public including some who were looking to buy Austin Healeys and looking for advice.
The overnight rain on Sunday morning meant that all the cars looked as though they had just completed a rally stage by the time they reached the club area. It took me an hour to clean the car that evening then another hour to clean the driveway.
All in all a great weekend and one that I hope to repeat next year.GT and Sports Car Cup for pre-66 GT and Sports Cars Race
|1||75||GT4||Voyazides/Hadfield||AC Cobra Daytona Coupe||59||76.98|
|5||1||GT3||Welch/Le Blanc||Austin Healey 3000||57||74.07|
|9||56||GT3||Clarkson/Smithies||Austin Healey 3000||56||72.69|
|26||96||GT3||Nyblaeus/Welch||Austin Healey 3000||43||67.31|
|32||54||GT3||Kyvalova/Hancock||Austin Healey 3000||28||63.92|
|34||55||GT3||Chiles Jnr/Chiles Snr/Ingram||Austin Healey 3000||26||68.35|
|1||11||4A||Wakeman/P. Blakeney-Edwards||Cooper T38||42||82.17|
|11||550||3A||Corfield||Austin Healey 100||39||74.71|
|13||56||3A||Nyblaeu||Austin Healey 100M||38||73.08|
|15||27||3A||Mahmoud||Austin Healey 100||38||72.64|
|19||33||3A||Mills/Montgomery||Austin Healey 100M||36||70.11|
|23||98||3A||Matthews||Austin Healey 100M||33||63.17|
|24||44||3A||Thorne/Bennett-Baggs||Austin Healey 100M||28||73.26|
|30||58||3A||Dodd/Stanley||Austin Healey 100M||6||37.35|
|31||125||3A||Clarke/Grice||Austin Healey 100||1||59.04|