Charlie Binyon

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My Austin Healey 100/6 in the Monte Carlo Challenge

I bought my Healey back in 1990 as a project for £6000 which was a good price at the time but about 6 months later the price of classic cars dropped dramatically and it was not worth even half of that! It had just been imported from the USA, it ran (just) but was very rusty

I had it restored in the UK at the time, with the help of Steve Beresford and once it was completed in 1991, I drove it down to France. There I used it a bit and then decided to enter it into the 1993 Monte Carlo Challenge Rally the following January. I started from York with Steve as navigator, but we didn't have a clue what we were supposed to be doing, so came in right at the back - It was a gruelling 5 days drive, but at least we finished the rally!


1994-Car 140, York - Beaune - Gap - Monte Carlo; Navigator is Jon Cross, 95th overall, 11th in Class. I fitted seat belts on the way up to there, spending the night with friends in Lincoln. I had changed the cylinder head for a more modern one, and put competition linings on the brakes - which took a bit of getting used to. We lost a lot of time when the clutch Master cylinder started leaking, trying to do without, but eventually managed to find a garage who was willing to open loads of packets of seals until we found something close enough to work. Ever since, I carried a spare master cylinder in the boot. a cold and snowy run, but fun!


1995 Car 46, Noordwijk - Le Monte Dore - Vals-les Bains - Monte Carlo;-Starting in Holland I thought would be fun. Navigator is Jon Cross again. We came 43rd overall, 4th in Class which was a vast improvement. I had rebuilt the engine during that year with a high lift cam, so quite a bit of power now. We also had a roll cage. Unfortunately Jon died in a car crash that summer.


1996, car 146, St Moritz - Colmar - Annecy - Monte Carlo; Navigator is Patrick Sidney, 49th Overall, 8th in Class - Very Snowy, totally missed out the Wednesday night section and went home for a comfortable night before driving to Monte Carlo in the morning. New gearbox with overdrive on all gears, new rear springs, new Minilite wheels with Contact Tyres. John Chatham had strengthened the chassis and fitted a hard top to keep the cold out. we damaged the sump and ran out of oil on the Col de Turini, fixed in Monaco with plastic metal.


1997, Car 41, Annecy - Beaune - Valence - Monte Carlo; Navigator is Patrick Sidney again. Third in Class award: on the Podium! 52nd overall. I think we only got third as David Ratcliffe and Tim Shooter's Bentley, which previously always came in ahead of us, packed up on the Col de Turini. Note we are still running with the Minilite wheels although we were told they were illegal but would be allowed just this once. The car had had a bit of TLC by John Chatham, strengthening the chassis and fitting rally seats and a hard top. We had a slight bump with another car on a narrow track, denting the rear wing. We had an intermittent miss-fire for a long time which caused us to loose a lot of time, (eventually traced to a faulty condenser) and a bad landing on a jump knocked a small hole in the sump but we just managed to finish the stage at 2nd in class. The night loop started well with the sump temporarily repaired but a wrong slot took us (along with many others) into the middle of nowhere, and we knocked the repair off and had to retire, dropping us to 52nd overall, & 3rd in class which won us a prize. This was on Sky sports 2 which I recorded.


1998, car 67, Brooklands -Troyes - Annecy - Monte Carlo; 37th overall; 4th in Class. We set out (with new legal wheels and rally tyres) from Brooklands Museum and had a good run through rural southern England. After a quick ferry crossing and getting a few more miles under our belt we stopped overnight. A nasty accident occurred first thing in the morning in fog, when one of the teams set off on the wrong side of the road. The next two nights we stopped at Annecy and then went through the night to arrive Thursday morning at Monaco. On the night loop we made a basic error in not getting the card stamped, so finished 4th in class


2001, car 184, Cannes to Cannes, ¦28th overall, 5th in Class, Navigator is Pat Sidney. Overheating problems caused us to be too slow. 4.65 final drive fitted for better acceleration.

 

 

Pictures:

1990

the first time we fired it up  1990 at Steve's 1993 Steve waving to Camera  1993 at control point

1994 1994 1994 in the snow  1994 In the snow  1994 1996 in the snow 1997 3rd in class 1997 2001  2001 Cannes finish