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Isolating In My Healey

Dex Kaytis | Published on 5/1/2020


Isolating In My Healey

There is a small group here in the South Bay that consists of about 25 classic car owners. We call it the Caffeine Cruisers. We have quite an assortment of cars, from Sprites to Cobras. There are 6 members of AHASC in the group. Over the past few years, we’ve gone for drives about once a month, sometimes north, sometimes south. I think our last drive was in January when we drove out Mulholland to the Camarillo Airport for lunch. Since then our drives have been curtailed.


Last Wednesday, 4/15, Phil Caliva got on the phone and called around. We wanted to have a memorial drive for a friend who just passed away (See Phil’s article). He got me and two others to go out for a drive. Phil drove his BJ8 and I had my BT7. We went up PCH to Topanga Canyon Rd, then up to Mulholland, north to Decker Canyon Rd, and down to PCH where we stopped at the Market at Trancas Canyon and bought sandwiches. We had lunch in the parking lot then drove to Westward Beach at Zuma. All parking was closed along the beach. We stopped just long enough for a picture, then drove home. The drive was just over 100 miles.


We told others about the drive and decided to do another one this Wednesday, 4/22. This time we had 10 cars. We had 5 members of AHASC out this time: Dave Beugen in his BJ7 “nasty boy”, Phil Caliva in his ’74 Alfa Romeo GTV coupe, Greg Aden in his BJ8, Stephen Magoffin in his newly acquired BJ8 and me, Dex Kaytis, in my BT7.


Mulholland is mostly easy to drive with a few tight curves, but when you get to Decker Canyon, there are some very tight turns. I came around one particularly tight curve and all traffic was stopped. Dave Beugen had spun his Healey on the curve and hit the cliff head on. He was facing the wrong way on the other side of the road. There were dirt and skid marks all over the place! Luckily, there were no injuries. His wheels were cocked to the right and the right fender and bumper were pressed into the wheel. We removed the bumper and pried out the fender with a road marker stake but the steering was busted. A tow truck was called and we waited about 2 hours for it to get there.


Dave’s car was hauled onto the flatbed. Dave went home with the tow truck. The rest of us drove on down to Malibu Country  Mart. We got take- out sandwiches and  sat on a planter wall and had a good lunch with appropriate spacing.


After lunch, we drove on home. We followed the same route as the week before. Just over 100 miles again. I’ve driven my Healey more than my daily driver in the last month!