Newsletter of the Smoky Mountain Austin-Healey Club

Knoxville, Tennessee

Amy Turner, Editor



Number 1 January 2000


Happy New Year!

Here it is, at last. We’ve made it to 2000. The computer still works, the lights are still on, no missiles have been lobbed our way, and the weather gave us a New Year gift of a glorious few days of the new year. Did you get out and blow the cobwebs off the Healey? Regardless of whether it’s a new millennium – that’s an argument for another day – let’s make a group resolution to get out and enjoy our Healeys a little more!

By the way, did you notice we’re starting the year with a slightly modified logo? Leonard McKeehan just keeps making it better and better. Thanks for the great logo, Leonard!


Upcoming Events



Where to Meet

Jan. 8

Quarterly Meeting

Rick and Katherine Hayes’ home, 12:00 noon

Jan. 10

Pub Night

Sullivan’s Restaurant at 7:00 p.m.




In this issue…

Happy New Year! *

Doug’s Drivel *

Smoke Editions *

For Sale *

Quarterly Meeting *

Stirling Moss Knighted *

SMAHC Online *

Brits and Grits Drive *

The Pit Stop Tech Tips *

January Calendar *

Upcoming Events *

Doug’s Drivel

What a great Christmas party at Sullivan’s! The dining room was full of Christmas joy, good will, and, of course, Healey talk. The tables were graced with the seasonal Colorado Red and British Racing Green of poinsettia plants courtesy of our treasurer, Rick Hayes. There were songs (two versions of a Healey Twelve Days of Christmas), and the original SMAHC Part Time Players presented their version of The Night Before Christmas. At least I think that’s what it was! The food was good and the company was even better. So to those of you who couldn’t be there, remember next year.

At the Christmas party, I asked Bob Ricker about the "Brits and Grits" drive over the Smokies, and he spoke so well of it that I was sorry we were not able to participate. He said the weather cooperated so very nicely that they were able to put their tops down and the scenery was really nice. Not bad for a December in the mountains!

As I mentioned in last month’s Smoke Signals, this will be my last column of Drivel. I want to take this opportunity to thank all those who have helped me with advice and support these last two years. It has been a wonderful time of sharing and fellowship. Barbara and I have made some new friends whom we appreciate very much. And through our continued participation in this club, we can only see those friendships growing. Thanks again!

From a Healey point of view,


Smoke Editions

Another year, another Healey. As mentioned in last month’s Smoke Signals, we’ve increased our collection by one big Healey, and Paul is on a tear to get that car on the road! Then, on Christmas Eve, Paul told me that Charlie Lownsdale’s Healey boat was arriving from England, and we needed to go check out the latest arrival. What a good liar he is! Instead of a Healey boat, I found a beautifully leaf green painted bugeye, finally home from the body shop. Paul and Gary had decked it out with seats and wheels and a steering wheel to inspire me to get to work on this sleeping beauty. It worked! I’m ready to put this car together! Now…where do I start?

The New Year started with some gorgeous weather, so I couldn’t help but go get Healium out of the warehouse and take her for a spin. It certainly makes me long for spring!

See you all at the quarterly meeting on January 8th. The club has a lot of planning to do for the coming year; be there and make sure your favorite activities are included!

Happy Healeying!


For Sale

Contact Bob Ricker, 423-873-2005, pager, or 694-6086, home.

Quarterly Meeting

The January meeting will serve as both a quarterly meeting and a planning meeting. It will be held at Rick and Kate Hayes’ home on January 8th at noon.

Directions to the Hayes Estate:

Be there or be square!

Stirling Moss Knighted

This one is hot off the presses! Sir Stirling Moss, of racing fame, was awarded knighthood by Queen Elizabeth II at the New Years Awards list announcement on New Year’s Eve.

Sir Stirling was a personal friend of Donald M. Healey and was influential in the development and competition of Austin-Healey cars and sports boats. Gary Lownsdale sent a letter of congratulations to Sir Stirling on behalf of the Austin-Healey Club of America.

SMAHC Online

Don’t forget about the club’s e-mail list at The list has already come in handy for communicating information about upcoming events and just general chat among club members.

If you want to send a note to a particular club member, here is a list of names and addresses.



Dave Berry

Bryan Broadhead

David Campbell

Paula Campbell

Bill Denton

Paul Fournier

Rick Hayes

Charlie Lownsdale

Gary Lownsdale

Paulette Lownsdale

Bob Ricker

Philip Spurlin

Amy Turner

Emilio Verastegui


Brits and Grits Drive

Bob Ricker did it again! The December Brits and Grits drive through the Smokies to North Carolina was a great success.

Participants included Bob and Carol Ricker, Rich and Andree Miller, Paul Fournier, and Gary, Paulette, and Charlie Lownsdale. The weather cooperated enough to allow for some top-down December driving, and the proverbial good time was had by all!


The Pit Stop Tech Tips

By Gary Lownsdale, Technical Chairman

Is that car original? Is the left hand spindle trunion lower front bushing correct on your Healey?

How many times have you heard similar phrases at car shows and meets? This is perhaps the most commonly heard comment and question asked by owners and admirers alike. Keeping in mind that these wonderful sports cars were built in the 1950’s and 1960’s, when manufacturing was oriented at creating volume consumer goods for generating working capital and careful detailed documentation of components and supplier shipments was not important, it is sometimes difficult for even the experts to decide what is correct on each vehicle. However, there are several useful guides to assist the Healey enthusiast and restorer in determining how "original" the car should be.

The starting point for any car should be determining how your particular car was built. Your car title will provide your VIN, vehicle identification number. With this VIN a certificate can be obtained from the British Motor Industry Heritage Trust for $40.00: Anders Clausager - Archivist

British Motor Industry Heritage Trust

Banbury Road, Gaydon

Warwick, CV 35 OBJ ENGLAND

The certificate will describe your Healey as it left the factory with the body and engine numbers, transmission number, color of exterior and interior, installed options, date of build and shipping destination. It may even show the original dealer and/or first owner if it was ordered. No matter what a prior owner has done to the car, at least you will now know what it was like when it left the factory.

The second resource is a good factory shop manual. Over the years, several have been published including the common versions by Bentley, Chilton, and Haynes. Read this carefully and familiarize yourself with how the various parts of the car fit together and the sequence for assembly/disassembly. Armed with this information, a careful inspection can be made of the entire car and the various subsystems. It will be interesting to put together the car’s history by piecing together the bits of observed changes, fixes, and repairs.

The third resource is the Concours Standards. Now don’t panic and run at the word "Concours". The Standards have been written by dedicated researchers, based on careful examination of original unrestored examples of the marque. A copy of the Concours Standards can be obtained for $25.00 from

Walt Blanck

33560 Oak Drive

Ingelside, IL 60041

Even if your car will never be entered in Concours competition, the Standards describe the car as it left the factory. This is a great restoration guide. You decide how closely you want to adhere to the Concours guide, based on your budget.

The fourth resource is a wonderful new color plate book recently published by Coloramic process. It can be obtained for $25.00 from: Don Pikovnik

Coloramic Process

2883 Industrial Park Drive

Austinburg, OH 44010

This book contains color chips, ICI codes, and reflectance graph data for all the paint codes that were used on Big Healey’s and Sprites. Even data to make any painter feel good about matching a color.

The last, and probably most important resource, is the voice of experience from Healey technical wizards and your friends. Although your friends may pass on incorrect detail information, they at least have laid a wrench on their car and have learned what not to do in tackling a repair or restoration. The voices of wisdom through experience can be found in the Tech Talk book for $30.00 from Norman Nock at British Car Specialists, published books by Clausager and Robson, and checking with all the advertisers in the Healey Marque magazine, and of course the internet Healey groups that tap into knowledge and experience throughout the world.

Now let’s get those Healey’s on the road. How correct and original do you want it? Whatever pleases you, since you are the owner and driver and the one who derives the pleasure from experiencing such a unique and wonderful piece of automotive machinery. Until next time….


January Calendar



Upcoming Events


Jan. 8 Quarterly Meeting at Rick Hayes’ home, 12:00 noon. See inside for directions.

Jan. 10 Pub Night at Sullivan’s Restaurant on Northshore.





















Smoky Mountain AHC Newsletter

Amy Turner, editor

126 S. Jackson Street

Athens, TN 37303-4711


Phone: 865-300-4553 or