Most enthusiasts have a favorite brand or marque they like to put in their garage. Usually it’s a slightly irrational infatuation with the way a certain company likes to build cars, like how Saab enthusiasts just raved about that center console ignition. The video below is the story of Tony Parkinson, a man who just loves Austin-Healeys. He’s hardly alone in this infatuation, but the man has caught his white whale: a 1963 Austin-Healey 3000 MkII Sebring.
At first glance, the racer probably doesn’t look too different from most road-going Austin-Healey models. Closer inspection reveals the side-exit exhaust and the roll cage, making it clear that the car is all about going faster than you ever should on public roads.
Even more importantly, there’s a lot of history in this old British sports car. It was one of only three built to compete in the 12 Hours of Sebring of 1963. To create them, the cars were removed from the regular assembly line and then were upgraded using non-homologated parts. That meant the Austin-Healey cars raced in the prototype class.
The magic for Parkinson started early, as is the case with so many enthusiasts. At the ripe age of 10 he fell in love with an Austin-Healey 100S. He was fortunate enough later in life to get the same car, fulfilling that childhood dream. But he took things even further by grabbing an Austin-Healey race car, because once you get a taste of the exhilaration it’s hard to hold back.
All in all, classic cars are some of the best pieces of history to own. While photographs and such are nice to look at, and you certainly could stare at a vehicle like an Austin-Healey, the best part is being able to climb inside and take one for an engaging drive. Preserving that past is important as we move forward and cars continue to change.
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