This is the only remaining picture of my 1964 beauty and I had to scan it from my college yearbook! That's me driving, my roommate's in the "back seat" and a friend is grinning for the camera. Can you tell what color it was? Grey? Green? Red? Blue?
SO....... how does a 20 year old kid go from a 61 Sprite to a 64 Healey 3000 in one year?? Well, the Sprite had this badly slipping clutch and I spotted the 3000 sitting on the lot of Davella Volkswagen (now why would anyone in their right mind trade a Healey 3000 for a VW?). It took a lot of pleading, begging and general whining, but I finally got my Dad to go to Davella with me to look at the car. My original thought was to trade the Sprite, but after the dealer took it for a test drive he pronounced the clutch well past prime and in need of replacement. He did, however, know of a kid looking for a Sprite....... the kid's name was Carr! Yup, the same Carr that I had bought it from a year earlier was looking for another Sprite. A few phone calls later and he bought his car back for the same price I had paid a year before. I got it without first and reverse and he got it clutchless...... sounds fair to me. His $500 plus $900 from my parents and I was the proud owner of a 1964 red Austin Healey 3000. All it needed was new shocks which the dealer promptly installed (they welded one because the holes wouldn't line up....... pity the next owner!).
This car never failed me (well almost never) through two northern Vermont winters. Yea.... I went through a couple of fuel pumps and mufflers, but it always started and ran. It didn't like damp days and it wasn't the best in the snow, but it got me everywhere I needed to go. After graduating and getting married in June of 1969, I came to the painful realization that I couldn't afford to maintain and insure it. So off my Dad and I went to a dealer to see what I could get for the car............. would you believe, $800! The last words the dealer said after paying me was....... "kid, never take the first offer"! A painful lesson learned but not forgotten. And what does a 1964 3000 go for these days? Oh, anywhere from $12,000 to $20,000 and higher. My current search for a new LBC started with Healeys, but the financial reality led me to my second favorite....... Triumphs. The worst part about selling the Healey was that my new bride and I were driving her Ford Falcon Futura! And so began my 28 years without a Little British Car.