The ex-works demonstrator, Ted Worswick, 'School for Scoundrels' 1958 Austin-Healey 100/6 Rally Car Registration no. PJB 828 Chassis no. BN6/532
'PJB 828' started out her life as a works demonstrator and press car, featuring in The Motor magazine as well as the 1960 movie 'School for Scoundrels', staring Alastair Sim, Terry-Thomas and Ian Carmichael, in which it was driven by the latter. In the early 1960s Ted Worswick contacted Abingdon seeking to purchase one of the works team's rally cars but was told that none was available. What was available, however, was 'PJB 828', which Worswick bought together with sufficient special parts to rebuild it to works specification. As part of the deal Worswick got an engine and straight-cut gearbox from a written-off works 3000, plus modified rear suspension and a set of four-wheel disc brakes, which were incorporated into the revitalised 100/6. In a letter on file Ted Worswick recalls the circumstances of its acquisition: 'I bought PJB in late 1963 with a view to up-rating it to race/rally spec. As no ex-works cars were available most had been written off, Abingdon competition department was kind enough to sponsor me with the necessary parts to bring the car close to works spec. These included engine, gearbox and modified hardtop. 'PJB was stripped and reassembled incorporating the Works competition parts ready for the 1964 season. The car in fact won first time out at Oulton Park in the Spring of 1964 and was raced and occasionally hill climbed continuously throughout 1964 mostly at northern venues with very satisfactory results usually in the Marque or GT races and other suitable classes. 'PJB was of course driven to and from the circuits, as was commonplace at that time. I had never been to Goodwood but it always appealed to me as a "proper" circuit so in April 1965 I entered the car in a Marque race learning the circuit and finishing 10th. It was indeed a proper circuit and I returned in July entering three races. The results were a little better finishing 16th in the GT race, 3rd in the Marque race and 2nd in the Handicap race. A thoroughly enjoyable day I remember... 'Returning to PJB, in May 1965 the car was entered in the "Guards 1000" at Brands Hatch (500 miles on Saturday followed by 500 miles on the Sunday). My co-driver was my friend Alan Minshaw.' Although a very good car, 'PJB 828' was finally replaced by '767 KNX', an ex-works Austin-Healey Sebring 3000. In his book, 'Big Healeys in Competition', John Baggot states that 'PJB 828' was sold to John Smart, one of Worswick's support team, and next passed to John Wright, who purchased the car from a Volvo dealership in Davenham, Cheshire (see old-style logbook on file). Wright campaigned the Healey in sprints and hill climbs for a few years before selling it on in 1973. 'PJB 828' also gets a mention in 'Healey: The Handsome Brute' by Chris Harvey: 'Meanwhile, Chatham was burning up the club tracks, but not without opposition for the drivers of other Big Healeys. One of the fastest was an old 100/Six, PJB 828, driven by a young Lancastrian called Ted Worswick. PJB 828 was a former works Press car fitted with a decent engine and ancillaries. Worswick and Chatham went on to win numerous British races between them with SAL 75 and PJB 828.' Many years later, in 1987, the ex-Worswick 100/6 resurfaced in the ownership of Paul Trousdale, head mechanic at Leadhams Coaches in Ellesmere Port. Ex-Healey racer George Holt came across the car, which was undergoing restoration at that time, and assisted in the rebuild by supplying a hardtop. Some years later, after the restoration's completion and Paul Trousdale's untimely death, he was able to buy it from Paul's widow, Helen. 'PJB 828' was returned to competition, albeit of a somewhat gentler kind, taking part in the four-day 'Tour d'Espania' in 2004. George Holt wrote an article about Healey's rediscovery for Revcounter magazine (March 2008 edition, copy article available). More recently the car has participated in the Copa Classico de Tenerife (Spain), Arlberg Classic (Austria), numerous times at Gran Premio Nuvolari (Italy) etc, as well as being used for various continental and UK tours. In 2010/2011 the Healey underwent a complete mechanical revision and overhaul at marque specialists Denis Welch, using the best expert knowledge and parts available to make the car as competitive as possible. Its current specification includes a rebuilt full-race 3.0-litre engine (producing approximately 240bhp); original magnesium-bodied Weber carburettors (overhauled); competition straight-cut Sebring gearbox and racing overdrive; racing limited-slip differential; drive train and axles strengthened and upgraded to cope with the extra power; dual brake circuits, adjustable between front and rear; and a safety steering column. The exterior possesses a lovely patina, as does the un-restored interior, which features its original seats, steering wheel and dashboard. Representing a rare opportunity to acquire a works-sponsored Austin-Healey boasting factory demonstrator, press car, film appearance and in-period race history, 'PJB 828' is offered with old-style continuation logbook, BMIHT certificate, FIA HTP, current MoT/tax, Swansea V5 document, 22 pages of detailed Denis Welch invoices, and substantial history consisting of two folders of documents, correspondence, race results, etc.