Rally Plans With Simon Arscott’s Works Big Healey

While I was in Beach Lake, PA taking part in this spring’s Penn-York Rally, Simon Arscott of Churchill Classic Cars of nearby Eldred, NY arranged a meeting to continue ongoing discussions that we have had about rallying together in his Austin-Healey 3000.  This is not just any Austin-Healey 3000, Simon’s car is a 1962 works Austin-Healey 3000 that while part of the BMC Works Rally Team was driven by the top rally drivers of the day, including the legendary Paddy Hopkirk.  Simon’s car, with British registration number 67 ARX is shown below.

Simon Arscott’s Works 1962 Austin-Healey 3000 Rally Car

Simon’s works BMC rally team ‘Big Healey’ is the sole surviving 1962 BMC rally team car.  This car, registered as ’67 ARX’ was one of a series of five works rally cars built by BMC in 1962 with registration numbers respectively ’37’, ’47’, ’57’, ’67’ and ’77 ARX’.  Evidently three of these cars (’37’, ’57’ and ’77’) were written off in 1963 and another, ’47 ARX’, was written off in 1964.  That gives you an idea how hard that these cars were rallied.

The Trunk Shape In The BMC Works Austin-Healey Rally Cars Was Modified To Accommodate An Additional Spare Tire

This car made its international rally debut in the 1962 Alpine Rally, along with its sister cars ’47’, ’57’ and ’77 ARX’. In this Alpine Rally, the car was crewed by David Seigle-Morris/Tony Ambrose, finishing 8th and contributing to BMC’s Team Prize victory. Seigle-Morris/Hercock then shared it in the grueling Liège-Sofia-Liège Rally – a notoriously punishing, virtual road race in which the organizers’ declared aim was ‘no finishers’! Seigle-Morris actually led the Liege-Sofia-Liege rally in this car until it sustained chassis damage. He nevertheless nursed it to the finish, earning a special Gold Award for having finished ‘The Liège’ in three consecutive years.

This Car Has An Impressive Rally History

This big Healey next ran in the 1962 RAC Rally, crewed by Paddy Hopkirk/Jack Scott and there they won its class and finish 2nd overall.  This was Paddy’s first significant result with the BMC team and signalled the start of a long and successful relationship, especially with the Mini. The car’s next outing was the Swedish ‘Midnight Sun’ Rally in the hands of the legendary ‘Flying Finn’, Timo Makinen, who unfortunately just passed away in early May this year.   In this event, Timo was disqualified for not having any bumpers on the car. The car had two more outings under the BMC works banner: Logan Morrison/Ross Finlay shared it on its second ‘Liège’ but crashed, while its last works event saw the Morley twins – Donald and Erle – finish 9th overall and 2nd in class to Makinen’s sister-car, ’47 ARX’.

David Seigel-Morris Driving Simon’s Healey In The 1962 Alpine Rally

Simon collects and trades collector cars, but this is a car that he wants to keep.  Simon has done some racing and rallying in England.  For example, he has competed in the Endurance Rally Association’s Flying Scotsman rally. However Simon is interested in doing some more rallies and learning more about rally navigation. Having the opportunity to rally in a significant rally car such as Simon’s Big Healey is quite an honor and I look forward to competing along side Simon.

Seigel-Morris At The 1962 Alpine Rally

At this time the plan is to compete in the LeJog rally coming up in December 2017.  The LeJog rally is reported to be the most challenging classic car rally in the United Kingdom.  The LeJog rally is based on the longest continuous drive that is possible in the United Kingdom.  The LeJog starts at Land’s End on the most southwesterly corner of England and ends at John O’Groats at the most northerly tip of Scotland.  The name of the rally “LeJog” is taken from the first letters of the words Land’s End and John OGroats.

Simon will be supported by the folks who produce the GaugePilot gauge and rally computer.  I used the GaugePilot in the recent Paris to Prague rally and I look forward to using this piece of rally equipment again in the LeJog.  Not only is the GaugePilot a very capable rally computer, it visually will look right at home in an early 1960s rally car.  And in addition to its rally navigation capabilities, the GaugePilot will provide Simon with a great deal of information about the condition of the engine in this valuable car.

In addition to the installation of the GaugePilot, it is planned to re-unite Paddy Hopkirk with this car.  Paddy is currently a brand ambassador  for GaugePilot.

If you have any questions or comments about this post, Simon’s car, LeJog, or the GaugePilot then please leave a comment below or you can send me a private email message at the following address: shanna12 at comcast dot net


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