Big Healeys are very popular in historic racing for good reason. They’re strong, fast, look great, sound great and are generally reliable pieces of kit. Nearly 43,000 of them were built in total, which explains their popularity, but the one you see here is rather special …
There are three reasons for this: Firstly, it is a very early 1959 model (although it was sold as new in 1960) and secondly it has been a racing car all its life and has never been registered for road use. But most fascinating of all is that this is one of just 500 ‘two seaters’ built for homologation purposes; a properly rare piece of kit.
Sold new to a gentleman in Bristol it went racing almost straight away and gradually acquired ‘works’ brakes and a super-rare magnesium inlet manifold as well as some other sought-after parts. By the early Seventies it had been converted into a ‘modsports’ car with widened track and flared wheel arches and the like, and this way it stayed right up to 1999 when it was auctioned and bought by a customer of Woolmer Classic Engineering who still look after it to this day. It was then returned to correct FIA HTP specification and took part in the Spa Six Hours, Le Mans Classic and a host of other high profile events.
By 2010 the car lay dormant until acquired by current owner Richard Collyer. ‘I’m very much a novice with Healeys’ he tells us, having only raced an Alfa Sud previously. ‘It’s far more controllable than I expected, but the way some of the other Healeys come past me tells me that I need more experience. I’m absolutely loving owning it, though.’
Photography by Andrew Craig