‘Mouthwatering Rawles Motorsport’
by guest writer Ed Vanderspar
An invitation from Andrew Cluett to the opening of the new Rawles Motorsport showroom which turned out to be a very special event!
And what an opening it was, lovely weather and some wonderful cars! To top it all, Alan Zafer and Julian Aubanel lending insight into the most incredible line up of beautiful Austin Healeys; sunshine, champagne, delicious canapés and a celebratory birthday cake for Julian Aubanel! What more could you ask for?
The new showroom, featuring Healey themed posters but decorated neutrally with white walls and grey floors, has a slight rising gradient to the floor, somehow pulling you through the doorway to view some 15 to 20 Austin Healeys. Several Rawles restored cars were featured, in particular two 100/4’s …they were simply jaw dropping! I was not the only Healey nut attending who was salivating at the sight of these fabulous cars, while of course nibbling at those wonderful canapés.
Outside, basking in this year’s rare June sunshine, more sales cars to drool at, clients and friends’ Healeys, and the most spectacular award winning Jaguar 3.8 E type coupe recently restored in the workshop. I noticed it was parked close to the caterers preparation kitchen housed in the body shop, and their mouthwatering delicacies……yum!
Alan Zafer conducted the official opening with Deborah Cluett. He then went on to speak with eloquence and humility about his remarkable life with Healeys from literally nuts and bolts of Abingdon manufacturing days to the gradual demise of British Leyland.
His obvious love and knowledge of the Austin Healey marque shone through, as well as his pride in being a part of the history of these beautiful cars, their manufacture, development and maintenance.
Alan spoke about the people involved, both professionally and as enthusiastic owners of Austin Healeys, how the marque seems to attract dedication and professionalism and really nice people! He went on to praise the team at Rawles Motorsport for their fantastic work, showcased by the cars that surrounded us.
Julian then went on to reminisce about his friendship with Donald Healey, amusing anecdotes and stories that gave real insight into the great man who created and designed our beautiful Healeys!
Thank you Andrew and all the team at Rawles Motorsport!
Edward Vanderspar is Principal Viola for the London Symphony Orchestra, Guest Principle Viola to the World Peace Orchestra and more. Ed has worked on musical pieces for the Star Wars movie franchise and more! He’s also complete Healey nut having owned many over decades.
Our next event is the Goodwood Revival, followed by our Open Day on the 12th October 10am-2pm.