Saturday, 27 November 2010
On the 20th of July 1958 Norris Crosby Chief Engineer at Orangeburg Plastics loaded up the trunk of his Austin Healey 100-Six and headed for the 'Old' Thompson Raceway in the North East corner of Connecticut, on the way he picked up Ed Arnaudin who took these wonderful photographs kindly provided by his son Steve for us to enjoy.
The Austin Healey 100 was designed as a private enterprise by Donald Healey to run on the historically disastrous Austin A90 Atlantic running gear including a 2660 cc /162 cui motor with a three speed gearbox fitted with overdrive on 2nd and 3rd gear the 100 name was chosen because the vehicle was capable of over 100 mph.
When Austin MD Leonard Lord saw the Healey Hundred prototype a deal was struck for the bodywork to be manufactured by Jenson and then shipped to Longbridge where assembly was completed alongside the Austin A90 Atlantic.
The #65 seen here is listed twice as being the 4 cylinder '100' model however the horizontal crinkled grill bars and air scoop tell us that this vehicle is actually a BN6 '100 - Six' manufactured between 1956 and 1959, fitted with a 117 hp 2639 cc / 161 cui in line 6 cylinder BMC C Series motor from the Austin Westminster and a four speed gearbox, overdrive if fitted was optional.
The car on the outside row of the grid from the #65 and the #114 are both earlier 4 cylinder '100' models with distinctive vertical radiator grill bars and no air scoops .
Norris blew his exhaust muffler during the race and came in 5th overall 3rd in Class D in Race 5 behind the race winning smaller Class E AC Bristol of E Hamburger.
(Note results corrected 03/04/11)
In this shot Norris leads F Twaits in his rare Fraser Nash 100/163 down the yet to be finished Thompson CT pit road.
Ed Arnaudin describes riding in the car with Norris on the way home on a dark, cold evening as being "loud as hell" thanks to the muffler blown during the race.
A lovely fuss free way to go racing no trailers just get in your race car pick up your buddy on the way, race and go home.
With thanks to Ed and Steve Arnaudin for taking and providing these photographs, additional material from Northeast American Sports Car Races 1950-1959 * by Terry O'Neil.
Hope you have enjoyed today's edition from the race in 1958, looking forward what tomorrow brings, don't forget to come back now !
* Please note :- I do not in anyway endorse, or have any commercial interest in the products or distributors highlighted in today's feature, I am merely passing information on as an enthusiast of all things motoring, I have no experience of handling these products nor have I used these vendors. I recommend anyone interested in these items or distributors do their own thorough investigation into suitability, reliability and particularly prices of both products and vendors before making any purchasing decisions.