Well, back to England.
Austin Motors had been around a long time making all sorts of cars, but Donald
Healey went into a kind of partnership with Leonard Lord of Austin in 1951, and
the combination turned out a great series of cars for almost 20 years.
The first, the AH 100 or 100-4 made it's debut in 1952, the last of the 'big Healeys'
the 3000 was last produced in 1967. The
Sprites went another 2 years. Donald had the idea that if you made a really nice
sporty looking car, chucked in the biggest engine around, put in good brakes and
suspension (for those old times), that you could turn out a great sports car.
And they did. This famous partnership turned out some of the prettiest and fastest
sports cars of the times. They ran early models at Le Mans, and dominated their
classes in sports car racing in England and the United States up to today and
into tomorrow. Great cars, great rides.
AUSTIN HEALEY 100-4
First of the Healeys. This is a BN-1 that I'm
making over into a 'M'. Louvered hood, larger SU carbs and cold air box
instead of air cleaners. This has a 2660 cc Four producing about 90-95
bhp. This is huge Four, same cc as the upcoming 100-6. Several unique
things about this car are the windscreen that 'folds' down, louvered hood
and leather strap for securing it.
AUSTIN HEALEY 100-6
First of the 6 cylinder Healeys. This is a BN-6.
Smaller than the later 3000 'big Healeys', but a more agile car. Inline
six cylinder 2.6 liter BMC engine with triple SU carbs. Roughly 115-120
bhp and a speed of about 100-105 mph. Like the 100-4, this is a rare two-seater.
It also has a 4 speed transmission.
AUSTIN HEALEY SPRITE
The bug-eye! Spartan as they come. No carpets
no nuthin. Just a steel tub with a couple of seats and a top. Another
total restoration, new grille to boot. New 1250cc Four with tiny twin
SU carbs. Like the Lotus Seven, your head is a little over the windscreen,
so it's like riding a motorcycle. In England, they are Frog-Eyes, probably
in honor of Toad.
AUSTIN HEALEY SPRITE
The Midget look-a-like, is why both were commonly
called 'Spridgets.' The sprite was a slightly upscale version. This has
the 1275 cc four cylinder that now turned out an amazing 65 bhp. Sound
low, well the old ones only had 59 bhp. Very nice restoration. Got a roll
bar in case it ever goes SCCA Solo II.
After finishing up the relationship with Austin, Donald
got together with Kjell Qvale, president of Jensen Motors. Kjell loved the then
old Austin Healey 3000, and thought he and Donald could do even better. This
new partnership produced the Jensen Healey from 1972 through 1976.
JENSEN HEALEY ROADSTER
Only made for 5 years, a great road car. This
was only year for the 5-speed. The car uses a 2 liter Lotus twin cam 4
cyl. dohc engine with twin SU carbs that turns out around 140 bhp that
gives a top speed of around 120. Not bad for those days. Big for a roadster
in those days, but about perfect now. A great driver!