Austin-Healeys are coming to Bath County 

This weekend you may see some unique cars traveling the highways and byways of Bath County.  And you’ll also get the chance to see them up close at several events. 

Maggie Anderson is the Director of Tourism for Bath County.

“The Carolina’s Austin-Healey Club is coming and they are having what’s called a conclave,” says Anderson.  “It’s kind of like a convention, but there’s a lot of fun elements to it.  Number one, they’re bringing these really cool cars called Austin-Healeys.  Austin-Healey is a British sports car.  It’s a high performance, high speed sports car built from 1952 to 1972.  And if you’ve ever watched James Bond and Sean Connery, you’ve certainly seen an Austin-Healey because it is really that sort of very, very special car.”

The club is holding a car show on Monday, June 16 from 9 to 2 at the driving range at The Homestead.  About two hundred cars will be on display.  And then on Tuesday from 9 to 2 at Ingalls Field the club is holding several specialty races.

“They’re going to do something called a gymkhana, which is a type of speed race but it also requires that the individual who’s doing the course memorize the course in advance,” says Anderson.  “So it’s a memory test as well as a speed test.  So everyone is pitted against everyone else to see how well they both remember the course and how fast their car can go.  Then they do an acceleration run.  Anybody that’s been to a drag strip or seen car racing, it’s where you have the car stopped at a light and then the light goes green and then you take off.  And so the engine’s running, but you get to start from that stopped position and see how fast you can go.  And then they have something called a funkhana.  And the funkhana is going around cones and going backwards and forwards and doing all kinds of sort of agility tests, kind of like an equestrian event which is what it comes from, but with your car.”

The Carolina’s Austin-Healey Club will hold its annual conclave at The Omni Homestead from Sunday June, 15 to Thursday, June 19.

“They want the community to enjoy their cars as well,” says Anderson.  “So obviously we’re going to be seeing them driving around.  They’re going to be doing what’s called touring.  And that’s taking the cars and going up and down the mountains and sort of testing the cars to see how well they do in our beautiful mountain environment. And then, of course, the other part of all this is if you see these cars on the road as they are participating in their touring, I know they are planning to go out to Mountain Grove and I think they are going out to Millboro you’re going to see these cars on the road, be friendly and wave and let them know how nice Bath County is.”

The car show on Monday and the specialty races on Tuesday are free events that are open to the public.

Story By

Bonnie Ralston

Bonnie Ralston is the Assistant Station Coordinator at WVLS and a Highland County news reporter. She began volunteering at Allegheny Mountain Radio in the fall of 2005. In 2006 she became an AMR employee and worked in Bath County for eight years as the WCHG Station Coordinator and then as the news reporter there. She began working in radio while in college and has stayed connected to radio, in one way or another, for more than thirty years. She grew up in Staunton, Virginia, while spending a lot of time on her family’s farm in Deerfield, Virginia. She enjoys spending time outside, watching old TV shows and movies and tending to her chickens.

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