Roger Menadue Chat Session

This is the complete transcript of the internet chat, hosted by Les Myer’s PDLJMPR site, with Roger Menadue. Roger built Healeys with Donald and Geoff from the very beginning. The nick BIGHEALEY (ROGER’S HOST) – is the nick what his answers and comments are found.

When known by me, I changed the IRC chat nickname to real names. Let me know if your nick needs to be changed. – Patton

Les Myer – Roger, thanks for joining us – we are honored

Jim Albeck – Had a great time on the Nova Scotia tour

Patton Dickson – Hello from Texas Roger.

HOTMELT – Welcome


Les Myer – Let’s tell Roger where we are from and what we own

BILL – Hello from the hills of Virginia, Roger

Amy Turner – And from Tennessee

Les Myer – I am from Michigan and I own a MKIV Sprite

Jim Albeck – got back from NS and turned around and went to Park City

BUGEYE – I’m from Oswego, New York and I have a 60 AN5 and 61 AN6

HOTMELT – From Rochester Hills, MI with a Sprite AN5 14484

Amy Turner – Tennessee, ’59 Sprite MKI AN5L12601

Jim Albeck – Jim Albeck..Agoura, California

BILL – Nash-Healey here in Virginia

BILL – Jim Albeck in a WHAT?

Jim Albeck – Take ur pick Bill

Amy Turner – He has a 3000 with a special feature: air conditioning.

BIGHEALEY (ROGER’S HOST) – he don’t want to say he has a bighealey


Jim Albeck – also have a BUGEYE

BILL – Roger, you should see Jim’s car it is an air conditioned BJ8!!

Les Myer – So Roger, what years did you spend working on the Healeys and
which models were you involved with

Jim Albeck – and a 100 with a 289hp V8

BIGHEALEY (ROGER’S HOST) – from the first day and all models

Jim Albeck – Bill…it was at Park City

Les Myer – so, from start to finish – you saw it all


BIGHEALEY (ROGER’S HOST) – I built the first Westland

Les Myer – I always wondered what the company climate was in the final days before BMC gave the Healey the thumbs down

Les Myer – if you want to talk about it

BUGEYE – Roger, whos idea for the 1/4 eliptic springs on the sprites.

BIGHEALEY (ROGER’S HOST) – I was retiring anyway so differnce to me

Les Myer – I see

HOTMELT – Roger, my heritage certificate does not have key numbers, destination, etc. I have been told that some vehicels were sent to the US not as orders but just for sale.

BIGHEALEY (ROGER’S HOST) – not sure about the idea of the springs

BILL – Roger, Did you ever go on “test drives” with Donald?

Patton Dickson – Out of curisoty, what were the AN1’s through AN4’s before the BUGEYE (if any), prototypes?

BUGEYE – They were BN1, BN2, BN4

BIGHEALEY (ROGER’S HOST) – don’t know you will have to call the saLes dept.

BIGHEALEY (ROGER’S HOST) – Yes of course all the time

Patton Dickson – OK, that makes sence, I didn’t know if they started the Sprite models from 1 or not…

BUGEYE – Roger what was you biggest contribution to the sprite

BIGHEALEY (ROGER’S HOST) – I built the first sprite and you have to remember I was in teh Experimental Dept.

BILL – Roger, “Amy” is a lady who is very enthuastic about Sprites. She might like to hear about the Falcon bodied Sprite.

Amy Turner – I am enthusiastic…and new. I want to soak up everything I can learn here tonight!

BIGHEALEY (ROGER’S HOST) – it was bought and was fibergalss body and made to fit a sprite

BIGHEALEY (ROGER’S HOST) – it was built by the falcon co.

BILL – Bighealey…. do you have a copy of Amy’s curser? If not you might want to get one!!

Les Myer – OK Roger, here’s one that Patton and I really want to know – we both have 67 MKIV Sprites with centrifugal-only distributor and fresh air door mounted to the right of the radiator – my sources place these cars as very early production, probably in summer of 1966 – yet Patton’s Heritage certificate says his was built in summer of 1967 – any comments on their production dates?

Patton Dickson – Was the 4000 project ever really supported, or was it just a last ditch attempt to see about saving the marque? I only know a little about the car, and little is close to an overstatement.

Amy Turner – I must find pictures of the Falcon bodied Sprite. Can you recommend a book?

BIGHEALEY (ROGER’S HOST) – yes right now the car is in Ohio being restored and took first in class in each event

Patton Dickson – I’m Patton by the way. Patton is the name of the car

BIGHEALEY (ROGER’S HOST) – Roger doesn’t really know about wether it was a last ditch or not and that wasn’t the only try

Jim Albeck – Roger….what prevented Donald from putting a bigger engine in the Silverstone…a la Briggs Cunningham

BILL – Amy, More Healeys By Geoff Healey, page 97 is a color shot of the car at Le Mans.

Amy Turner – Thank you!

BIGHEALEY (ROGER’S HOST) – No money to buy v8 engines and had to do with what we had

Amy Turner – Any answer on the LES question above?

Jim Albeck – thank u …understand

Patton Dickson – Have you been by to see the Hewaley Lemans yet?

HOTMELT – Healey really was a small marque made big by the cars reception in the marketplace.

BIGHEALEY (ROGER’S HOST) – no we’re going tomorrow

Amy Turner – Roger, what is your reaction to modified Healeys? Do you feel people are fouling up your designs when we fiddle with different engines and carburetors and suspensions and such?

Patton Dickson – OK, I’ve never seen a picture of a Nash Healey Lemans before

BIGHEALEY (ROGER’S HOST) – You do what you want with your own car and do what you enjoy

BUGEYE – Roger, did you ever own any of the cars you created ?

BIGHEALEY (ROGER’S HOST) – NO definatly not never did

Les Myer – Gentlemen & Lady – I just got company – need to go – Roger, thanks for joining us – all of you please stay as long as you like

BUGEYE – Goodnight Les

HOTMELT – goodnight Les

BIGHEALEY (ROGER’S HOST) – roger says buy

Patton Dickson – Roger, did you do any designs for makes other than Healeys in your career?

Patton Dickson – Night Les

Les Myer – Parting

BILL – Jim, The “Silverstone” chassis will handle 425 BHP…. as it is the same chassis as my Nash-Healey.

Jim Albeck – I regret I have to leave y’all….Roger Godspeed and have a safe trip home…the rest of you keep the windshield clean and

Jim Albeck – the shiney side up

BIGHEALEY (ROGER’S HOST) – I didn’t design I built hands on

BIGHEALEY (ROGER’S HOST) – Roger say by Jim

BILL – Good night Roger. See you tomorrow evening. Bill & Genevieve


Jim Albeck – Bye 4 now

Jim Albeck – Parting

BUGEYE – Roger, Is there any news about the FROGEYE company Geoff was associated with.

BIGHEALEY (ROGER’S HOST) – No nothing more

BUGEYE – Does it still exist ?

Amy Turner – It’s said that Donald Healey was not proud of the Sprite bearing the Austin-Healey marque — it wasn’t a powerful car. Is that true? If so, did you share his sentiments?

Patton Dickson – What is the frogeye company???

BIGHEALEY (ROGER’S HOST) – no information as of yet

BUGEYE – They are remaking a modern Sprite Mk 1

Amy Turner – Same body style?

HOTMELT – Miata was a “copycat”


BUGEYE – Exactly

Patton Dickson – Wow… That would be amazaing to see

BUGEYE – Last chapter of Geoff Healey’s book More Healeys…

BUGEYE – Second edition.

BIGHEALEY (ROGER’S HOST) – Donald wdid like the sprite and felt nothing bad about it, but he didn’ like the first hundred

BUGEYE – The 100 was a beautiful car !

HOTMELT – That is well publicized

Patton Dickson – What was the car you were most proud of your association?

BUGEYE – You have to love that fold down windshield

Amy Turner – … and the fan-shaped grille

BILL – The “Frogeye Company car has the same body style as the AN5 , updated engine and running gear (and modern PRICE)

HOTMELT – Is it built from similar stampings?

BIGHEALEY (ROGER’S HOST) – “Old no. 10 Nash Healey” that I will be seeing tomorrow after 45 years

Frank Clarici – Joining

Frank Clarici – Hi All

Patton Dickson – Hi Frank

HOTMELT – hi frank

BUGEYE – Where did the front suspension for those cars come from ?

BILL – hi Frank

BUGEYE – Was it the same as the silverstone ?

BIGHEALEY (ROGER’S HOST) – ACTION slaps Frank around a bit with a large trout

BIGHEALEY (ROGER’S HOST) – sorry about that fat fingers

BIGHEALEY (ROGER’S HOST) – my mistake that was not Roger

BIGHEALEY (ROGER’S HOST) – that was the same as the silverstone

BUGEYE – Roger, Did you build those.

BIGHEALEY (ROGER’S HOST) – I built silverstones

BUGEYE – The front suspension was very complex wasn’t it ?

BIGHEALEY (ROGER’S HOST) – not so much complex but very expensive

BIGHEALEY (ROGER’S HOST) – Roger has to leave at 9:30

BILL – WAS! Still is, if all those bearings fall out 😉

Patton Dickson – LOL!!!


HOTMELT – Where on the ast coast are you now?

BILL – I have a Silverstone…. so I KNOW..


HOTMELT – Where on the cape?


BUGEYE – Roger, what was your role in the high speed sprites ?

HOTMELT – I used to live in Woods Hole

BIGHEALEY (ROGER’S HOST) – we were there yesterday

HOTMELT – Nice small town, did you go to the islands?

BUGEYE – Or were they Abingdon only ?

BIGHEALEY (ROGER’S HOST) – what cars are you referring to

BUGEYE – Didn’t they make some land speed sprites ?

BIGHEALEY (ROGER’S HOST) – they were Abingdon but the Healey 68 sprite did le mans at 150 mph


BUGEYE – I would say that’s high speed, considering I’ve only gone about 75 in mine.


BUGEYE – An5 with 948 and smoothcase tranny.

BUGEYE – Roger, why no rack and pinion steering on the 100 ?

BILL – Have fun with #10 tomorrow Roger.

BIGHEALEY (ROGER’S HOST) – wasn’t availiable at tghea time

Frank Clarici – Roger just a quick “hello”, I met you in 92 in Breckenridge. I was the guy that had Geof and Gerry sign my yellow BUGEYE.

HOTMELT – Take care all. Roger enjoy your stay.

HOTMELT – Parting

Amy Turner – Just curious…Roger, what’s your daily driver these days?


BUGEYE – Roger, Thank you for the visit. Have a safe trip home.

BIGHEALEY (ROGER’S HOST) – 1.3 litr Ford escort station wagon for camping and fishing


BUGEYE – Goodnight all.

Amy Turner – Enjoy your stay, Roger! Thank you!

BILL – Happy Healeying

Frank Clarici – Any chance it’s the “Healey Fiesta” ha ha.

BIGHEALEY (ROGER’S HOST) – thank you amy

BIGHEALEY (ROGER’S HOST) – no it’s not

BUGEYE – Parting

BILL and Genevieve – Night Roger


BILL – Quiting

Frank Clarici – Amy about your dipstick?

Amy Turner – Yes! Still can’t read it.

Frank Clarici – Are there any notches in it?

BIGHEALEY (ROGER’S HOST) – Roger says thanks for the chat and happy Healeying

Patton Dickson – Roger, thank you for taking the time to chat with us, sometimes we Sprite folks feel a little left out of the Healey legacy. Being born the year after the last 3000 rolled off the line, it is nice to keep the links and passions of Healeying alive.


Frank Clarici – G’night Roger

Amy Turner – Oops. So eloquent, and a moment too late!

Patton Dickson – oh well…

Frank Clarici – Thanks for the chat.

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