Evening visit to Denis Welch Racing at Yoxall.                     8th April 2003    

Northern Centre had planned a visit to Denis's garage in February, however the inclement weather and lack of members willing or able to travel the distance in the dark evenings resulted in a postponement until April. A chat with Midlands region resulted in a well attended visit with around 30 members attending, around 50% from each centre with one Eastern member joining us.

Denis, wife Tina and eldest son Jeremy hosted our visit and around half a dozen of his staff in the spares department and the workshop had opted to attend that evening in order to deal with the sheer volume of questions and enquiries which inevitably ensued from such a large number of knowledgeable and enthustiastic Healey owners. 

After  brief intro from event organiser, Mike Smith, who was an old friend of Denis and Tina before their venture into Healeys around thirty years ago, Denis gave a welcome speech and he and Jeremy split the group into two and each hosted an informative trip around the workshops.

Although we were all well aware of Denis's reputation for quality and service to performance enhancements to big Healeys and, of course, his and Jeremy's racing pedigrees, nonetheless we were surprised at the magnitude and scope of his operations and the sheer extent of development which he has undertaken over recent years. For example, he now employs a full time machinist who prepared quality castings for literally any big Healey part from new cylinder heads - to any specification from full race downwards, to sumps, con rods, camshafts... the list is endless. The demand worldwide for these parts is high and once again his business is pushed for space, particularly in the way of storage.

The majority of the cars in the workshop were, surprise, surprise, big Healeys, ranging from race and rally cars to fast road and even basic models. There was the odd full race Jaguar E Type lurking in one corner and Denis admitted that he had expanded the business to include this model. His famous 'Bulldog' Healey was being worked on with the intent of adding a few new mods, and his single seat race car, which has lately moved him away from Healey racing, was in the showroom alongside Jeremy's racer. (Incidentally, it is reassuring to note that Jeremy appears to be 90% recovered from his serious injuries incurred during his racing shunt last year.)

It was an absorbing visit and the group were unanimous in their thanks to the Welch family and their staff for hosting the evening.

Denis Welch racing website www.bighealey.com 

Click on pics below to enlarge.

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  1.Brief intro from Mike Smith.       2. A welcome from Denis.      3. Workshop full of big Healeys.

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 4. Jeremy shows off one of their new cylinder heads.     5.Engine test bed where newly built engines are run in for 500 miles under ideal conditions.   6.The group admires the racing E type.


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 7. Showroom with Denis's single seater, Jeremy's racer and Denis's other love, vintage performance motor bikes.  8. Group discussion with Jeremy.  9. 'Bulldog' engine under wraps.  


10. Denis and Tina chatting with member Russell Earnshaw.  11. Midlands webmaster, Robin Astle, eyeing up the racks of new cylinder heads and crankshafts.


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