|It was March, 1974 when I was a callow youth enjoying my BN1 in the Australian sun. At 23 I had become expert at the intricacies of the mechanical components of my Healey. Through a friend living in the UK I learnt that the BN3/1was up for sale in London. Like most young people I spent what I earnt, but with the help of a fellow Healey owner in the finance industry the funds were soon available. (Incestuous lot Healey people are!) Not before long the vehicle was on its way to Australia on a roll on-roll off ship. Thatís right no container, something unthinkable these days. In August 1974 my ship came in with the car on it. |
Working in a tall office building in Sydney I overlooked Darling Harbour, when it actually handled cargo. I saw the BN3/1 for the first time when it was carried from the ship by forklift and deposited in the open on the wharf. I was ready to sprint down to the wharf and drive it home but due to delays with Custom paperwork I had to wait another 5 days, during which it rained solidly. With my nose pressed up to the window I had the enjoyment of watching large wharfies repeatedly try the cockpit out for size. I finally got it home after paying wharf storage and steam cleaning, by which stage the inside of the car was a sodden mess.
My first impressions? RUST, RUST and then more RUST. Badly faded red paint, rotten black carpet and cracked seat covers. However it was quick, very quick and I loved it. I had never seen so much rust in a big Healey before but then again this was during the days before classic cars were being imported in great numbers to Australia and I hadnít seen many imported rusty cars. With all my fingers crossed I did manage to register and then use it for a few months before retiring the car to await its inevitable restoration fate. In the meantime it was wedding bells for me, a new home with a suitable garage of course, bless my wife.