Torque of the North.                     The quarterly newsletter of the AHC Northern Centre.

Previous T.O.T.N................   Dec 2002     Mar 2003    May 2003

Chairman's Chunnerings.

  October 2003

As an observer of the human species, and a fan of David Attenborough and Dr Winstanley, I am currently witnessing the development of the "Petrol Head" gene developing in my 11-year-old son Matthew. Appearing to come with the smelly armpits and the increase in phone calls from girls at school. He is of course eager to get his hands on the BJ8 having been around Healeys since his first May weekend in the Lake district when only 3 months old and he has basically grown up with the noise and smell of one form of classic or another so its of little wonder.

Undeterred by the statement  "you've got a slim chance of getting your hands on Denis (Healey) until your 25th birthday, cause that is when they will insure you" I am now getting pestered for a Sprite to restore for him. A little run about when he gets his pink slip (well that was the colour when I passed my test). I must say I am slowly warming to this idea, thinking it not such a daft idea. If I can get Matthews full buy-in to the project, then there can be no better way to learn how something is put together than by actually doing it, and besides there's nothing on Television these days. The down side is that I have to shift the Speedboat off the drive before my beloved will allow anything else with an engine near the House.

This "Petrol Head" gene however does not stop at just sensible thoughts, it has now developed into realms of fantasy, of the exotic and the bottomless pit of dad's money. Now we are talking a Ferrari look-a-like kit on a Toyota MR2 donor car, goodness knows what next. As our dear wives always say, "as they (men) get older the toys get bigger, and sensibility diminishes", I do not wish to discuss this statement further for fear of being cast as sexist. Needless to say Matthew's main reading matter these days is Auto Trader, reading it from cover to cover in the "small reading library" a change from the Argos catalogue Toy section of old, but maybe not, only the cars are that little bigger, and need fuel besides the batteries, dreaming of his first sport scar.

Mine was a TVR Grantura II circa 1963 a real E-type beater to 70, but so unreliable, forever breaking down with some mechanical failure or another. All I can say not much has changed in the last 40 years. That goes for love affair with the motorcar, which for some reason never diminishes, just look at the crowds at the classic car shows.

Our season for these shows and events is now coming to a close, and I suppose a time for reflection on the wonderful summer of Healey motoring we have just had. In fact on some days the summer was too wonderful for comfort especially for the co-drivers. It started for most of us on the May Bank weekend, the Tatton shows have come and gone, and recently we had the memorable Gold Cup at Oulton Park. The Northern version of the Goodwood revival meeting with some of the best 2 days racing I have seen in a long time. Sports and racing cars drivers alike giving it their all to entertain the crowds. Highlights were the demos of the Le Mans winning Bentley and the Elf Tyrrell of Jacky Stewart driven by the man himself with the same gusto as in days of old.

Time to sign off now as feel that I beginning to ramble, but next time I will be telling you about our Christmas bash, and a taster for the May Bank 2004 weekend in new and stunning surroundings.

  Take care and Happy Healeying,

  John Ridyard.


Webmaster's Witterings.
     The response to all our appeals both on the web and in Rev Counter, asking members to express interest in the formation of sub centres in various Northern regions, was met with deafening silence. Only two people came forward..... Ah, well. We tried!

     I have just invested in a Broadband connection and the difference is amazing. I had wondered whether or not it was worth the investment as I only spend a limited time on the internet. The biggest benefit I have found is that I now spend considerably less time surfing, as I can cover all the pages I wish to visit in around a quarter of the time I used to. All that time sat waiting for things to happen is now almost a thing of the past.

    A new, faster PC with a TFT monitor now adorns my desk, giving me considerably more space into which I can expand my heaps of paperwork. Getting to grips with the new XP operating system is taking time, but I like the improvements.

    Over the winter period I plan to revamp the website and to include a few more pages covering 'Healey Tips' and 'Members Motors' Any articles and pics on either would be gratefully accepted. As a taster to the latter a captioned picture of Peter Hobson's two pride and joys (or is it prides and joy?) is shown below. The one on the right is a Lambourgini Muira in case you don't recognise it.

  "E're, dad! When will I grow eyelashes?"                "When you grow up, son!"

     Having just arrived back from the Highland 3 Day tour, I took the opportunity to discuss with several entrants what items they chose to pack to cover any mechanical emergencies on their travels. The composite list that is emerging is very interesting and useful and I will be posting a table under the tips page in the near future. Even tips on where to squeeze things to maximise space in a big Healey will be included, and you won't need a car trailer to fit them all in.

     All for now,

     Mike Smith.