Torque of the North                                                                March 2003

          Chairman's Chunnerings. Mk11A

          I must be addicted to Wake up to Wogan as I am definitely turning into a real TOG, I go upstairs and can't remember why, wear comfortable woollen pullovers, but most of all the weeks are just flying by. It only seems like only a month ago I wrote the first of my chunnerings for Torque of the North (web edition), but in fact it was well before Christmas. Therefore I must write this quick before its Christmas again.

          So talking of Christmas, The members, well 24 of us had a wonderful Christmas Party albeit in deepest January, But where were you!!!! After we had gone to the trouble of obtaining the after dinner speaking services of Paul Minnassian as a treat for us all. Paul has campaigned a Big Healey's on most of the major UK and international Classic Rallying events including the Peking Paris event some years ago. His co-driver is that well known riding mechanic extraordinaire and "Northern Healey" proprietor Paul Grogan who was also in attendance to impart his experiences and vast knowledge on all things Healey. All in all of those that attended each and everyone had a wonderful time, with attentive service from the staff, and terrific non-seasonal fare provided. Therefore thanks must go to Dave Haslam yet again for a Sterling job of organising the event. The winners of our venerable trophies can be seen on the events page, which include Mike (Mr Competitions) Raven for the "dipstick of the year" after dumping a gallon and half of oil in a northbound service's car park on the M6, after taking out a sleeping policeman / sump in his newly restored Mk1 Healey with less than 30 miles on the clock, obviously having not got the hang of the ground clearance yet. It comes with time. This left our illustrious "Mr May Bank Holiday Weekend" Ken Broster the normal recipient of this most prestigious award feeling left out and unloved, but as a consolation he too received a most unique trophy in the shape of a wedge of wood behind a most modern car, a reminder to him to make sure the parking brake is assisted by the car being in gear (as per the highway code "so I believe") before exiting the said vehicle, enough said.

         It must be August by now........ No its still dark at 6pm, but the days are lengthening rapidly and soon those Healeys will be blinking their headlights as they are brought out of the garage for the annual service before the "season" begins. My little baby needs at least two new wheels before I would be happy to take lengthy run outs. This was discovered after finding a number of small shiny "buttons" on the floor of the garage, and after much scratching of the head, but then on removal of two wheels I discovered they are indeed the "anchors" of each spoke that hold them in place in the hub that have detached themselves and fallen on the floor, thus providing many loose spokes. "So much for chrome, pretty but not strong". To re-spoke each wheel in stainless cost much the same as new wheels with stainless as standard, so I will bite the bullet and ask for an increase in my pocket money.

          I know we are getting close to being out every weekend on one or the other show, organised run, rally etc as I am being inundated with fliers asking for our attendance at the big shows. Therefore this year we are hoping to spread our wings further a field in attempt to publicise and also encourage local Healey enthusiasts to come along and take an active role on the club stand. Besides Tatton in June and August, we are planning to attend at the Woodvale and Sheffield shows (see events calendar) plus many more if we can summon up enough support. So please get in touch if you have a local event that you would like to see the AHC attend, we will do all the contacting locally to provide support, and even attend ourselves if we can.

           I will sign off now, and hope we will see each other at the many events on the Healey Calendar for 2003.

           Take care and happy Healeying,

           John Ridyard.


  Webmaster's Witterings.
           In trying to match the Chairman's 'Chunnerings' title, I discarded 'Whingings' 'Whinings' and 'Wafflings' and almost opted for 'Words of Wisdom' until I decided that was perhaps too pretentious and settled on the above.

           My reference with photo of the Lisebotn hairpins in Norway certainly caused some comment and my present project of fitting XJS seats into my BJ8 received some disbelieving comments that it was possible. It will be finished in a week or so and I will bore you with an article on this website thereafter. Incidentally, the previous Torque of the North web page can still be read by clicking on the link above.

           I received an e mail this week from Gabriele Candrini who hails from Italy, offering to sell an Austin Healey X230 ST296 prototype. Neither I nor any of my Healey pals have ever come across this one before. How about you?

AH_X230_Prototype.jpg (63627 bytes)

There are more details on his company's website it anyone is interested.

                The committee have been actively engaged in analysing the locations of Northern Members, with a view to encouraging the establishment of more Sub Centres. Thanks to John Stanger-Leathes, a new Tyneside Sub Centre is up and running with their inaugural meeting being held on March 19th. (See Sub Centres page.)

                 Despite the fact that there are around 100 members in the Yorkshire area, roughly 50 around the Sheffield area and 50 around the York area, we have had no response from any members in those areas who would be interested in resurrecting local Healey activities. We are planning to attend the Woodvale and Sheffield shows and hope to see you there to elicit your views.

                    Finally a few surfing tips which I have picked up over the years.

1. The use of the F11 button can enhance your viewing pleasure, click it now to increase the area of this page. Clicking again will return you to normal.

2. To save time when downloading several pages, right click on a link and click 'Open in New Window' You can do this as many times as you like.

3. When saving an image which you intend to e mail or post on the web, click 'Save as', select 'jpeg' and set the jpeg image quality to 70%. You will reduce the memory required considerably with no apparent loss of quality by the recipient. (Unless he/she wants to produce a quality print out.)

Apologies if you knew those already, but many do not!

Mike Smith.