Last sunday I attended the 'Monaco aan de Maas' event; a Formula 1 demo in the streets of Rotterdam. After my somewhat disappointing results at the Redbull Airrace where I photographed mainly spectators heads, I had decided to go for it this time and buy myself an expensive grandstand seat. I bought my ticket on friday, and there were still tickets left (which to me was not a good sign).
Soon after I bought my ticket I found out about the much cheaper paddock tickets that would allow acces to the pitstop/exhibition area. Knowing that a fisheye lens makes anything but the really large/close objects very small very quickly, I was really much more interested in the paddock area.
So here are the promissed pictures of the Big Healey. By now it is probably even more stripped down, and may already be at the blaster's workshop
The first 2 pictures show the general state of the vehicle. Completely stripped of its body work, and all chrome parts, instruments, wiring and electrics in boxes (details of guts in picture 7).
Picture 3 and 4 show the gearbox and some rotten floorplan parts. Although the gearbox looks nice, it is actually the worst part of the so called previous 'restoration'. It seems to have had a complete overhaul, but was never put together properly, causing a serious misfunctioning of the 2nd gear and heavy oil leaking. The floorplan was not good in general, but this is a common problem of roadsters - at least it looks as if it was mostly original (besides the glass-fiber mattings).
After 3 years of faithful service and many miles of pleasant motoring, it is time to treat the Big Healey to a complete make-over. With the car passing the age of 40 last year, and only having had some new electrics and a paintjob, the car started to lack in the performance and reliability department. Driving long distances also became very exhausting for both driver and passenger because of all the fumes and rattling going on. Clearly the Healey didn't enjoy it either; it seemed to have developed a drinking problem with an appetite for leaded, upgraded fuel with lots of 20W/60 on the side.
Goodwood was briliant... Lot's of cars I only read about and never hoped to see in reallife - from just a few meters. Exciting hillclimbs (especially from Peter Hartman and David Franklin - who happened to stay at our B&B), good company and a nice dash through the Netherlands, Belgium, France and England on our way to and from the event.
The Healey helt itself supurbly, although the engine and carburetors definitely have seen better times. Drifting on the English country roads was great fun, and the Healey got a new share of admirerers.
I hope to get some pictures online soon, but with the gliding vacation coming up next week, I won't be able to get it out soon. In the meantime, please enjoy Mattijs' pictures, made on Friday, Saturday and Sunday
The overdrive has been fixed, well, it still doesn't work with the lights switched on but at least it now works reliably when lights are switched off. It turned out to be a broken wire and according to the mecanic at JagPoint it was a nasty little bug at an awkward place (the wire running in between the gearbox and the gearboxcover). This is good enough; I can work around the light problem...
Since the car was in the shop, they also tuned the enige for better performance at higher revs. They again stressed that the carburetors need an overhaul soon because they're harder and harder to adjust. The fuel pump was also considered end-of-life - it didn't give the 2 bar it is supposed to give - so that was replaced too. It looked as if it payed off; the Healey took off at amazing speeds. However, on lower throttle the engine ran very irregular. It turned out that the ignition was set way to early - after some advice and a little retuning on the military testing grounds fixed that problem too.
Today I got the Big Healey from its storage place in anticipation of the Goodwood event. It is always good to drive the car for some time in advance to find out about any new quircks or old ones you forgot about. It proved good practice; it reminded me that the overdrive needs to be looked at! Ever since I bought the Big Healey, the overdrive has been reluctant to switch on - especially with the lights on. Coming winter I plan an overhaul of the overdrive (amongst others), but it would be good if for the Goodwood trip it is somewhat more reliable. Since I'll be traveling or busy coming weekends, and with Goodwood less than a month away, I made an appointment with my favorite classical garageshop, JagPoint. Let's hope they find the problem and that I won't have to switch off all electrical driven features (such as headlights and wipers) before trying the overdrive.
In little more than a month I'll be enjoying the Goodwood Festival of Speed. Together with Remi, Frank and friends, I'll visit the ultimate race- and classic car venue. Remi plans to take the Lotus Elise, while Frank and I will take the Big Healey to its roots.
This will be my first time at the Festival of Speed. Next year we'll visit the Revival meeting, which promisses to be an event better venue when it comes to pure classical gadgets.