St Johns Austin-Healey Club
       Jacksonville, Florida    

a chapter of the

Austin-Healey Club of America 








Club Member Meeting Minutes for April 3, 2023

The April 3 member meeting was called to order by President Bill Young at 7:25 p.m. at the Mandarin home of Bob and Norma Pippin. Also attending, in addition to the host couple, were Paul and Judy Sandefer, Rick and Marilynn Stevenson, Bill and Char Maroney, Tony Martini and Ron Keysor.

Treasurer Sandefer reports the club’s bank balance at $$$$, with the only expense during the past month being $72 for the shop meet luncheon held at his garage on March 14. For the record, those attending that session included Paul, Bill Young, Bill Maroney, Tom Corolla, Bob Pippin, Andy Sanfiippo, Rick Stevenson, Jim Gaff and Ron Keysor.

Membership Chair Bill Maroney reported the death of long-time SJAHC member Charles Schott, who lived in Panama City Beach. Also, Bill said he has been unable to receive any return communication from another long-time member, Bill Simcoke, Jacksonville. The club now has 35 members who are also members of our national parent, the Austin Healey Club of America (AHCA), and three who are local members. Bill, it should be noted, had sent members an updated club roster via email earlier in the day.

Activities Chair Tony Martini reported on the club’s March 23 luncheon at Donovan’s on Route 1, a gathering that included a Porsche 911 motorist who accepted an invitation to dine with we Healey owners, and a New England Healey owner, a friend of SJAHC member Ben Procter, who also dined. Those attending, in addition to Tony and Ben, were Steve Lipsky (driving a Healey he had restored once owned by his father, Bill Young, Bill Maroney, Paul Sandefer, Erling Onsager, and Jim Gaff. The secretary apologies if he failed to include the names of others who attended. The meal was followed by a cruise to the south through the World Golf Village area and shady points along the St. Johns River. Traffic, Tony noted, has increased substantially along part of the tour route.

Bill Young also gave a brief recounting of the shop meet at Paul Sandefer’s home mentioned earlier in these notes. This included an elaboration of his article on Big Healey fuel tank capacity and how to check your tank’s contents with a graduated stick. This commentary was unspoken affirmation of the notorious unreliability of the Healey petrol gauge. Even the actual capacity of these tanks is at issue, Bill said, as one of his AHCA Healey Marque column readers disputed Bill’s referring to the tank capacity as 14 gallons. This he had physically calculated by measuring what it took to fill a spare Healey tank supplied by Paul Sandefer with water. Typically Healey literature says these tanks hold 14 gallons by the U.S. measure, 12 gallons under the British Imperial measure (which calculates to 14.4 U.S. gallons). All of this is complicated, Bill explained, by the irregular internal dimensions of the tank and the likelihood that knowing when the tank is actually full has its vagaries. Exploring the matter a bit further, Bill said he mathematically calculated the internal tank capacity, making allowances for the rounded outer dimensions, etc, and came up with 14.3 gallons. He plans on further examining this topic at a seminar at the May national AHCA Conclave in Crystal River, FL.

Returning to the happenings at Paul Sandefer garage meet on March 14, Andy Sanfilippo and Rick Stevenson ran a kind of side show of disassembling, against considerable resistance, the steering components of a Healey Rick is upgrading. Also, Bill Gaff’’s Healey was put on the lift and given a through look from the underside. Nothing amiss there. Finally, Bob Pippin’s really nicely restored BJ8 got a lot of attention when a heater hose developed a leak at its bend just before it enters the firewall. After variety of fixes were explored, lots of conjecture, etc., Bob was able to make the trip home over the St. Johns River on I295 without incident.

Next, last night conversation turned to the replacement of Bob Pippin’s generator, subsequently examined in real life atop the (padded) handsome granite countertop in the Pippin kitchen. Car guys will be car guys. There it underwent a lot of poking, prodding and rotating (to better demonstrate why it was being subjected to this post mortem). Because replacement generators are difficult to obtain, including the updated versions, generators with updated alternator innards, Rick Stevenson offered a unit he had on hand, along with the mock voltage regulator. This is to be installed in Bob’s car on Tuesday, April 11, about 9 a.m.

A variety of other matters came up for discussion, including another luncheon and cruise now scheduled for Tuesday, April 18. Tony will provide an email notice closer to that date.

The May Conclave at Crystal River will run from a Sunday through Friday, which some thought a bit too long. Members interested in attending—it will likely be years before this national event comes to Florida again—should consult the AHCA Web site for details.

There will also be a Southeastern Classic, the AHCA regional event for our area, at the famed Biltmore estate outside of Asheville, N.C., later this year. Some SJAHC members will likely participate by making the two-day drive to that event (two days back, as well). More information will be forthcoming. In additional notes, Dave Morton’s plan for an overnight cruise and stay at a hotel in Fernandina Beach remains on a planning hold. A spring picnic at a desirable park site is expected in June, and an ice cream social and cruise in August, etc.

Finally, a variety of car reports were solicited, with Bill Maroney telling in some detail about the arduous task of removing a protective sealer coating from his beloved Corvette. Using a steamer provided by Dave Morton, various liquids, and four, seven-hour days of work, the Corvette emerged looking perfect, Bill said. Also, Ron Keysor reported he had replaced the bulbs and a couple of parts in his Lucas driving lights. They now work (sometimes).

The venue for the May member meeting, a restaurant as we alternate between member homes and dinner meetings, remains under discussion. One suggested location, the Caddy Shack at World Golf Village, may or may not open on Mondays, the designated day for our meetings. Members will be notified of the solution by email.

The April meeting was adjourned at 8:35 p.m., with members turned to the very appealing snacks provided by the Pippins and resumed telling their Healey stories and toying with Bob Pippin’s defunct generator. A further report on that will surely be forthcoming.

R.Keysor, Sec.

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        Last modified: 8/7/23