Saturday, April 26, 2008

Good, Good, Good Vibrations!

I wrote the little ditty below a long time ago to commemorate one of the rare occasions when we got Mom to the beach. Though we lived in Ft. Walton Beach, FL, Mom didn't like the beach because the sand would hitchhike in your swimsuit and make a mess in the house when you got home. Sand in the house was strictly verboten! This is an early '70s memory when muscle cars like the GTO prowled the streets sucking down the cheap, cheap gas. My sisters and I loved the Healey, though. I think it was a '61 3000. It was black with a red interior and a gorgeous wooden dash. It had four seats and the engine featured the infamous SU carburetors that required Dad to "tweak" them regularly.

Summer Saturday in the Austin-Healey

Dad's got on his sunshades,
Mom has dawned a scarf.
The top is down on the little car
And we will soon be off.

We girls will sit on the trunk,
With just our feet in the seat,
Waving just like beauty queens
We're going to the beach!

Today I am sure that we would be arrested long before we got to the beach. We not only weren't wearing seatbelts (I don't think the Healey even had any), we weren't wearing a seat!

Background information from Wikipedia: The Austin-Healey 3000 was a sports car built from 1959 to 1967, by the Austin-Healey marque, and is the best known of the 'big' Healey models. The 3000 was a successful car which won its class in many European rallies in its heyday - and is still used in competition by enthusiasts today. The car was originally to be called the "Mille Miglia" after the famous sports car race, but the displacement-based "3000" name stuck instead. Both the 3000 and the 100 before it were known simply as "the Austin-Healey" in the 1950s, since the company was essentially a single-vehicle marque.

The original Austin Healey 3000 was 2912 cc (nearly 3 litres), with twin SU carburetors and front disc brakes. It was only called the Mark I after the Mark II was released. The original 3000 was built from 1959 - 1961 and has model designation BT7 (4 seat version) and BN7 (2 seater).

The 3000 Mk II came with triple SU Carburetors was built 1961 - 1963 and had model variants BT7 (4 seater version), BN7 (2 seat roadster) and BJ7 (wind up windows rather than side curtains).

The 3000 Mk III was launched in 1963, and remained in production until 1967.

The Series BJ8 was the most powerful and luxurious of the big Healeys - with a Walnut veneer dash, wind up windows, and 150 hp (112 kW).

Austin Healey 3000's have a long competition history - having raced at most major racing circuits around the world, including Sebring (USA), Le Mans (France), and Mount Panorama Circuit, Bathurst (Australia).

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