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Nice to see Austin-Healeys

In the best of all possible worlds, the Austin-Healey is running on water and emitting a little plume of non-polluting steam. Green is the watchword, and cars, even the most beautiful cars, are under a slight pall. In the meantime, enthusiasts are glad to see these beautiful cars running. John Wallace attended the Austin-Healey Goodwood 16th-18th May 2008 Weekend, celebrating the 50th anniversary of the Austin-Healey Sprite, and sent us these shots and captions.

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One of the beautiful examples of the WSM Sprites with their creator Douglas Wilson-Spratt on the left. The gentleman in the blazer is ex-works driver Clive Baker.

John noted "an impressive array of the machines in both road and race preparation, with copious examples of BMC works prototypes and competition department specials, complemented by many privately developed cars. Nash-Healeys, Silverstones and big Healeys also made an appearance".

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A meticulous replica of the Healey SR1 which raced at Le Mans in 1968 and 1969, fitted with a Rover V8 in place of the original Coventry Climax engine. The original SR1 is in Australia.

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The Big Healeys include some wonderful ex-works examples.

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A truly beautiful replica of the Bonneville Speed Record car constructed by Denis Welch Racing of Derby, which will be used for an endurance trial at the British Millbrook Test Track.

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A special and unique Sprite, reconstructed by Jack Wheeler after it was severely damaged at the Nurburgring in 1969. Originally a "Frog Eye" Sprite, it boasts fully independent suspension, cross-flow head, twin Webers, special Healey Le Mans gearbox. . .

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A glamorous Sprinzel Sprite spotted in the paddock.

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A brace of "Sebring" Sprites, including the famous PMO as raced by Stirling Moss, and a couple of Frog Eyes sandwiching a yellow WSM version, with the BMC Competition Department van behind.

Leonard Lord of the Austin division of the British Motor Corporation (BMC) and Donald Healey, automotive engineer and designer, established the Austin-Healey marque as a joint venture in 1952.

The 20-year agreement between Healey and Austin concluded in 1972. The mystique has never ended, and there are rumours that the Austin-Healey will go back into production soon.

I'm ready for an outing.

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