1965 to 1969
|Register||DAC 952C||ENX 415/6C|
|4 HAC||LWD 959E||LNX 629E||HAN9-R-237||HAN9-R-238||HAN9-R-250|
click on any of the above to access the individual web pages for these cars
The 10 Wind-Tunnel Cars (plus Targa cars, EAC 90C and LNX 629E):
Earlier this year (2012) I decided it was high time I did some research into the various Donald Healey Motor Company's 'works' racing Sprites to learn which cars raced where and when, with which drivers and with what results. Little did I realise the complexity of the task before me and the puzzle which would unfold. I decided to begin with the streamlined, or wind-tunnel cars built between 1965 and '69. By the end of 1964 the company had produced a number of lightweight cars and run them at Sebring in Florida in both 4 hour and 12 hour races, at Le Mans, France in the 24 Hours, and in the Targa Florio in Sicily. These were the principal events in which they chose to participate. For 1965 they produced a new wind-tunnel tested car, and as far as I can tell there were, in all, 10 of these cars all of which still survive 45 years on, though some of them have appeared in several guises and colour schemes and many of them have been re-built a number of times. I was already aware that Geoff Healey, who ran the team, was inclined to swap UK registration plates from one car to another (7080 AC had been attached to at least 4 cars over a period) but I now think he may have also changed the chassis plate on some cars when they were up-graded.
For the 1965 season DHMC built 3 wind-tunnel cars which were registered DAC 952C, ENX 415C and ENX 416C. DAC took part in the Sebring 12 Hours alongside the 1964 car 770 KNX, the new car in the hands of Rauno Aaltonen and Clive Baker. It was painted fluorescent orange, a colour the team reserved for Sebring over a number of years, and the car finished 15th overall. It was sold off to one of the US dealers after the race, possibly Fred Royston, the East Coast importer. The other two cars were entered for Le Mans and were initially painted a fluorescent lime green. The French scrutineers decreed that the colour would be a hazard on the circuit, perhaps fearing that the new model would be too fiercely competitive with the smaller French entries. As a result the cars had to be hastily repainted in a dark green in a local barn before the race. Again Rauno Aaltonen was teamed up with Clive Baker, this time in 416C which failed to finish, and the sister car 415C was driven by Paul Hawkins and John Rhodes, who came 12th overall and won the class. The cars are believed to have been sold off by DHMC soon after the race ~ to Richard Groves. During his ownership they were up-rated them with MGB overdrive gearboxes.