Classic cars zooming to Main Street
July 24, 2012
Jim Revel, activities chairman of the Bonneville Austin Healey Club, said the upcoming Classic Sports Car Show on July 28 will feature Austin Healeys, Jaguars and other eye-catching European modes of transportation.
The event is a way for car owners to share their hobby with the public, he said.
"The show is presented by the Bonneville Austin Healy Club and the Wasatch Mountain Jaguar Register and their goals are to restore and preserve Austin Healeys and Jags," Revel said during an interview with The Park Record. "Although Jaguar is still making cars, the Austin Healeys were made from 1952 until 1968, when the company went out of business."
Club members make their own decisions when it comes to rebuilding their mobile relics.
"They do everything from nothing to an entire off-frame restoration, where every nut and bolt is taken off the car and all the parts are sandblasted and repainted," Revel explained.
Both local clubs are part of national organizations.
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"We go to conclaves and conventions and fraternize with other car owners," said Revel, who has restored four Austin Healeys to date. "It’s been a great hobby for me. I’ve met a lot of interesting people and have developed a love for these cars."
The annual Classic Sports Car Show has a history with Park City.
"Before it used to be known as Healy Days, but for the past three or four years, the Jag Register has been a co-sponsor, so that’s why it has expanded," Revel explained. "A lot of people from the British Motor Club of Utah (BMCU) are also invited and have attend, and anyone else who has a sports car can display theirs, as well."
Car owners who want to show their cars need to contact Revel at (435) 640-3347 or email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
There is a $15 registration fee.
"We have room for up to 60 cars," he said. "Last year we had 52 cars on display and right now, we’ve got 23 registered.
Revel will accept any sport or period car.
"There is no year limit, but the models are mostly from the 1950s and ’60s," he said. "Anyone who registers will get a dash plaque and four tickets for opportunity drawings that will take place toward the end of the show."
The public will also get to vote on the car they like best for the People’s Choice Award.
Revel’s love for the Austin Healey began back in 1964.
"A college friend and I shared his Austin Healey, which was almost identical to the car I have now, for the summer, and we drove from Kentucky to Martha’s Vineyard," Revel remembered. "That got me started."
Then in 2003, another friend asked Revel to participate in the Colorado Grande Rally, a 1,000-mile drive along the back roads of Colorado.
"It’s not a race and it isn’t timed," he said. "It’s just a drive that features 85 cars that were built in 1960 or earlier.
"The only thing I could afford for the ride was my Austin Healy," he said. "There were two Austin Healey’s in the drive. One was worth $150,000 and the one I paid for was $11,000."
Revel recently completed a drive to Jackson Hole, Wyo., with five other Healey owners.
"They are fun to drive and not just look at, even though it’s as if you have a piece of art in your garage," he said.
In addition to the Austin Healeys, Revel has an affinity to Jaguars.
"I had a 1953 Jaguar for three years, and decided that I needed to downsize to one car, so I sold it at auction," he said. "I’ve had three Jaguars and an MGA over the years. What started in 1964 is still with me today."
The Bonneville Austin Healey Club and the Wasatch Mountain Jaguar Register will host the annual The Classic Sports Car Show on lower Main Street on Saturday, July 28, from 10 a.m. until 2 p.m. The event is open and free to the public.