Zippy Brits beautify Solvang during California Healey Week 2018. British car and bike enthusiast Jim Palam was on the scene.
It was just a green dot when I first spotted it moving rapidly towards me, flickering in and out of the Cedar shadows along Highway 246 in Solvang. As the throaty British roadster whooshed by me the driver shot me a big smile and I in-turn shot him a thumb’s-up.
“Nice!” I thought, “…an early Healey 100, maybe ’57 or ’58. Man, I wish I had bought one of these beauties when they were affordable.” (The first Austin-Healey 100 was produced in 1952, the last 3000 in 1967 and the last Sprite in 1971.)
As I got closer to the heart of town I began spotting more Healeys – driving, parked or being unloaded from trailers at Hotel Corque. There were model 100s, many 3000s, some “Nasty Boys” – non-Austin-motor Modifieds – and a squad of iconic Sprites. My Car Guy brain finally fired-up and I realized this is the beginning of California Healey Week 2018 and, come Saturday, I’ll hopefully be shooting pictures of these British classics.
With Hotel Corque serving as CHW 2018’s headquarters on Alisal Road, participants had quick and easy access to bucolic back roads and canyon loops that traverse the beautiful Santa Ynez Valley. The area offered endless opportunities for vineyard tours and wine tasting, visits to local automotive and motorcycles museums, exceptional dining choices and of course, “Indulgence Time” at the sinfully good Danish bakeries of Solvang.
The Austin-Healey Association of Southern California hosted California Healey Week 2018. Activities also included a cocktail-hour “Rocker Cover Racing” event (customized valve covers with wheels on a large incline track) and a 60th Anniversary Celebration for the Austin Healey Sprite. For those who couldn’t attend, CarGuyChronicles is pleased to present this look at 14 of my CHW 2018 favorites.
Words & Photos by Jim Palam, https://www.jimpalam.com/
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