The 4th European Austin Healey Tour – Part 2

By Linda & Eric Ritchie

Because of our mechanical problems we had long since abandoned the official route and travelled to Inverary Castle for afternoon tea. A visit to my old friend Peter Semple who owns the Renault garage in the village brought back an hour or so of nostalgia.

Wednesday was Knockhill day. We had a fantastic Healey convoy drive across to Scotland’s race circuit. I was privileged to be in the ‘advanced’ group, I’m not sure if that was because of my advanced years, or the perceived competition experience.

h3  Oliver Chatham son of the legendary John Chatham was in my group with a full blown race Healey. As I exited the hairpin for the second time Oliver lapped me! We sat at dinner with him the night before and I was ragging him about age and experience, versus youth and exuberance. He blew me an exuberant two fingered youthful victory gesture as he lapped me! Thanks Olly!

Thursday was the day I had been most looking forward to, especially as Kees and Heleen, our new Dutch friends, and the other Froggies had decided that we would travel together in convoy. We travelled east from Crieff towards Dunkeld, Kirriemuir, and Edzell.

h4

In the illustrious company of NOJ…. number 26. Our Froggies are last right.

Over the Cairn O’ Mount after a lunch halt at the Clattering Brig, and a fantastic run along the south side of the river Dee to Balmoral and Braemar. This is just such a flowing road and one that ranks up there with the very best in Scotland.  South again over Glenshee and we lost Kees in our rear view mirror. Had he succumbed to the wafts of Castrol  ‘R’ from MVK?  The supercharged Froggie had ground to halt with an apparent fuel feed malady. Kees had it fixed in 20 minutes and we blasted back to Crieff via Pitlochry, the Queens View and Aberfeldy.  Another amazing run.

Friday’s finale, took us in another incredible journey back across to the A9 and North to Blair Atholl and the House of Bruar. I think that every one of the 260 Healey’s made this journey. The weather was so kind to us as it had been for the previous few days. I can only imagine what it must have looked like if you were driving South on the A9 to meet such a convoy of classic Healey’s. What followed was simply awesome.

The Arthur Carter experience is as the title suggests an experience. If you are on the A9, make it a stopover. Mrs Carter and family wakened at dawn to prepare the most amazing lunch for us all. We were treated to an air display, a lone piper, and perhaps more importantly, a reminder that we are so very privileged.

Yet another three rows to join the assembly……… we were early!

Yet another three rows to join the assembly……… we were early!

Over 500 guests sat down to the Gala dinner on Friday night! The food was superb, the Crieff Hydro staff were simply incredible, and the whole week was certainly something we will never forget. We ended the amazing week with a night of Scottish Country dancing and a more than several glasses of Highland malt. 4 a.m. and it was time to hang up the kilt.

What an incredible experience. What an amazing week. The next event is in Alsace. We have already reserved our places.

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