Austin-Healeys from across America coming to Bancroft
From 125 to 150 Austin-Healeys are expected to be on display in and around Bancroft Park Monday, July 4 from 9:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m.
The British sports-car show will be the highlight of the annual “conclave” of the Austin-Healey Club of America, which will be in Colorado Springs for the first time July 3-8, according to Greg Lauser of Prescott, Wisc., one of the club's leaders.
Although there is no charge to view the cars, the public is invited to “buy” ballots to vote for their favorite cars, with the proceeds being donated to the nearby Old Colorado City Library.
“I was part of the group that was looking at sites for the gathering,” Lauser said in a phone interview, noting that he happens to be on the library board in Prescott. “I looked across the street and saw the Carnegie library. When I suggested we donate to the library as a way of saying thanks for having our car show here, the car club said, 'Let's go with it.'”
Why Bancroft? Lauser said the club leadership looked at other locales, but the “historic and quaint aspects of Old Colorado City go hand in glove with classic cars.”
He has since worked with the Pikes Peak Library District on plans, and library volunteers will be on hand on the day of the event, according to Jocelyne Sansing, the Old Colorado City branch manager. “We're honored to be the beneficiary for this event,” she said. “Just as the club is dedicated to upholding the sports-car preservation and traditions, the library and its staff are dedicated to preserving local history while offering modern library services.”
Another local support group for the show is the Old Colorado City Associates (OCCA) business group. Its president, Nelson Roseland, said OCCA members are “thrilled” that the show will be occurring in the Historic Shopping District, and Lauser thanked them for their “great cooperation.”
The national club, which has 3,500 members in all, “is dedicated to upholding the sports-car traditions and preservation of sports cars, other automobiles and speed boats produced by the Donald Healey Motor Company between 1940 and 1977 in the United Kingdom,” according to a Lauser press release. He elaborated in the interview that the Austin-Healey vehicle specifically was only made from 1953 to 1967. The initial model was called the 100 after it test drove at more than 100 mph, Lauser said.
This is the 36th national gathering for the club. Last year it was in Illinois.
Many of the club members will be trailering in their show cars, but Lauser himself will be driving his 1967 Austin-Healey 3000 two-seater from Wisconsin. “I've had this car for 10 years and driven it to each coast,” he said. “They were originally built as sports cars to run, and I believe in driving mine.”
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