I am the third private custodian of the car. The second person to have the car stated that “no one should be the sole owner of such a piece of history”. So, you may be asking yourself: why one would want to have a one-of-a-kind vehicle?

It all started back in the early 1980s when I had the opportunity to meet and become friends with Donald Healey. I was living in San Diego at the time and one morning when Donald Healey was visiting the city, I got up early and went to the home in which Donald was a guest and made him breakfast. To say thank you for making him breakfast, Donald signed and personalized a copy of a book I was reading. He wrote a thank you and that my scrambled eggs were good.

Almost twenty years later, when I heard the Healey Fiesta was for sale, I started to look in my Healey books to find out more about the car. It was then I noticed Donald’s words, which he had written during his breakfast, in the book, Healey – The Specials. I also noticed the picture of the Healey Fiesta on the back dust jacket of this book. That was all it took. I immediately flew to Ohio to see the car firsthand, made an offer, and as they say, the rest is history.

The driving impressions written of the Fiesta in its heyday were that it compared to the standard older Mini. It is definitely quicker than a standard Fiesta and is handles better. A friend of mine who owned a Mini Cooper S and drove the Healey Fiesta on the street, compares it favorably to the Cooper in acceleration and braking, even though the Fiesta is somewhat heavier.

1978 Healey Fiesta
Healey Fiesta Promotional Photo

The strangest question I have been asked so far is not, “How did you come about getting the car?”, but, “Why do you have it?” After about the tenth time hearing that same question, I came up with two answers: The first one being; “I was selected by a panel of six judges to have the car” and the second one being, “Pssst…Be quiet…They don’t know it’s gone!”

So, if you see the Healey Fiesta at a British Car Show sometime soon, please don’t ask me, “Why do you have it?” Just know that I am honored to be its current custodian. Mark Miller of Ohio was correct in that no one can “own” a piece of history.

1978 Healey Fiesta
Bob Segui with his Healey Fiesta.

Bob Segui is a long-time Healey enthusiast and founder of the San Diego British Car Club Council. Bob is also the West Coast Correspondent for the classic car website Retro-Speed.