Austin Healey
Austin Healey is a defunct British sports car maker.  The marque was established through a joint venture arrangement, set up in 1952 between Leonard Lord of the Austin division of the British Motor Corporation (BMC) and Donald Healey, a renowned automotive engineer and designer.  Austin-Healey produced cars until 1972 when the 20-year agreement between Healey and Austin came to an end.  Donald Healey left the company in 1968 when British Motor Holdings (BMC had merged with Jaguar Cars in 1966 to form BMH) was merged into British Leyland.  Healey joined Jensen Motors who had been making the "big Healeys" since their inception in 1952, and became their chairman in 1972.

 

Incidentally, the name Austin is now owned by Nanjing who bought the assets of MG Rover Group (British Leyland's successor company) out of bankruptcy in 2005.  After Donald Healey sold his original business, Donald Healey Motor Company, the Healey brand was registered to a new firm, Healey Automobile Consultants, which the Healey family sold to HFI Automotive in 2005.

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The Austin Healey 100 was built between 1953 and 1959. It was developed by Donald Healey to be produced in-house by Healey's company on Austin A90 Atlantic mechanicals. Healey built a single "Healey 100" for the 1952 London Motor Show, and the design impressed BMC, owner of Austin, so much that the firm decided to bring production in-house.

 

The "100" name comes from Donald Healey, who named it after the fact that this was one of the few cars of the era which could maintain 100 mph (160 km/h), as opposed to the Austin Healey 3000, which is named for its 3000 cc engine.  Production Austin Healey 100s were finished at BMC's Longbridge plant alongside the A90 and based on fully trimmed and painted body/chassis units produced by Jensen in West Bromwich.  The first 100s ("BN1"), were equipped with the same 90 hp (67 kW) engines and manual transmission as the stock A90 but the transmission was modified to be a three speed unit with overdrive on second and top. The 2,660 cc 4 cylinder engine featured an undersquare 87.3 mm (3.4 in) bore and 111.1 mm (4.4 in) stroke. 

 

The final "100" models, 1956's "BN4" (2+2 seats) and 1958's "BN6" (2 seats) were six-cylinder 100-6 cars. To make room for the occasional seats the wheelbase was increased by 2 in (50.8 mm).  The bonnet had a built in air scoop and the windscreen no longer could be folded down. 

 

3000 Mk I  

 

The original Austin Healey 3000 was a 2,912 cc (nearly 3 litres) I6 engine, with twin SU carburetors and Girling front disc brakes.  It was only called the Mark I after the Mark II was released.  Wire wheels, an overdrive gearbox, detachable hard top and two tone paint were options.  The original 3000 was built from 1959 - 1961 and has model designation BT7 (4 seat version) and BN7 (2 seater).  13,650 were made.  A BT7 3000 with hardtop and overdrive tested by The Motor magazine in 1960 had a top speed of 115 mph (185 km/h) and could accelerate from 0-60 mph (97 km/h) in 11.7 seconds.  A fuel consumption of 21.6 miles per imperial gallon (13.1 L/100 km, 18.0 mpg US) was recorded.  The test car cost £1,326 including taxes.

  

3000 MkII

 

The 3000 Mk II came with triple SU carburettors was built from 1961 to 1963.  Externally, the main change was to the front grille where the bars changed to vertical.  It had model variants BT7 (4 seater version), BN7 (2 seat roadster) and the BJ7 from 1962 which had wind up windows rather than side curtains, a curved windscreen and only two carburettors.  A 3000 MkII BT7 with hardtop and overdrive tested by the British The Motor magazine in 1961 had a top speed of 112.9 mph (181.7 km/h) and could accelerate from 0-60 mph (97 km/h) in 10.9 seconds.  A fuel consumption of 23.5 miles per imperial gallon (12.0 L/100 km, 19.6 mpg US) was recorded.  The test car cost £1,362 including taxes. 11,564 were made.

  

3000 MkIII

 

The 3000 Mk III was launched in 1963, and remained in production until 1967.  The Series BJ8 was the most powerful and luxurious of the big Healeys - with a Walnut veneer dash, wind up windows, and 150 hp (112 kW) engine.  Servo assisted brakes were standard.  Only 2+2 version were made.  The Phase II version had a modified rear chassis to allow suspension travel to be increased. 17,712 were made.

 

Source: Wikipedia Austin Healey Articles

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