48. That’s the number of cars Ronald Marcikic has owned. Austin-Healey Sprites were among his favorite cars. This Father’s Day, his sons surprised him with 4 classics…
Ronald is perhaps best known for his love of swimming. A varsity swimmer, he founded the UCSD Masters swimming program in 1983. The program has become a hot-bed for triathletes and open-water swimmers, and San Diegans who want to have fun staying in shape.
While building a world-renowned swimming program, Ronald raised his two son’s, Troy and Curtis. Knowing Ronald’s love of cars (he keeps a photo album with pictures of all the cars he has owned handy), love of the outdoors, and San Diego, Troy and Curtis came to us with a special plan to make their father’s day.
The Austin-Healey Sprite, also known as a “Bug Eyed Sprite” due to the smiling grill below two eye-like headlights, is a classic British roadster from the ’60s that evokes memories of cruising and, well… the travails of British roadsters. As with many Bug Eyed Sprite enthusiasts, Ronald owned 3 Sprites at the same time. One to drive, one to work on, one for parts. Despite that, or perhaps because of it, the Bug Eye was his favorite car. “You want to see a little oil on the ground. If it’s not leaking oil, that’s because it has no oil left,” said Ronald.
We connected Troy and Curtis with the San Diego chapter of the Austin Healey Club. Bug Eyed Sprite enthusiasts are a great group and they were happy to help. Four car enthusiasts travelled to Mission Beach from as far away as Vista and Chula Vista to show off their cars to a surprised Ronald.
Ronald thought he was simply going paddleboarding with his family. “My dad was surprised and it was awesome to hear him talk shop like that to some cool car guys,” said Troy.
Sickie and the Bugeyed enthusiasts talked about cars for hours! It was like they already knew each other. His reaction to the Bug Eyed Sprites was priceless.
Troy and Curtis took pictures from Ronald’s photo album of cars and made a collage in the shape of another of Ronald’s favorite cars, a VW Bus.
Fish Attack Sushi, one of Ronald’s favorite restaurant’s, supplied the group with a special sushi birthday cake.
A very special THANK YOU to everyone who helped make Ronald’s Father’s day extra special.
Austin Healey Club of San Diego
Troy, Curtis, and Dale Marcikic
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