Austin-Healey

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For the rugby player, see Austin Healey.
Ahealey Motif.jpg
1965 Austin-Healey 3000 Mk III

Austin-Healey was a 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 the Donald Healey Motor Company, a renowned automotive engineering and design firm.

Austin-Healey cars were produced 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 bodies for the "big Healeys" since their inception in 1952, and became their chairman in 1972.

Models built[edit]

Austin-Healey 100[edit]

Main article: Austin-Healey 100
  • 1953–1955 BN1 Austin-Healey 100
  • 1955 Austin-Healey 100S (Limited production—50 race-prepared cars)
  • 1955–1956 BN2 Austin-Healey 100 and 100M

Austin-Healey 100-6[edit]

Main article: Austin-Healey 100-6
  • 1956–1957 BN4 Austin-Healey 100-6 (2+2 roadster)
  • 1957–1959 BN4 Austin-Healey 100-6 Change to 1 34-inch SU Carbs (2+2 roadster)
  • 1958–1959 BN6 Austin-Healey 100-6 6-Cylinder (2-seater roadster)

Austin-Healey 3000[edit]

Main article: Austin-Healey 3000
  • 1959–1961 BN7 Mark I (2-seater roadster), BT7 Mark I (2+2 roadster)
  • 1961–1962 BN7 Mark II (2-seater roadster), BT7 Mark II (2+2)
  • 1962–1963 BJ7 Mark II (2+2 convertible)
  • 1963–1967 BJ8 Mark III (2+2 convertible)

Austin-Healey Sprite[edit]

Main article: Austin-Healey Sprite
  • 1958–1960 AN5 Mark I (UK: "Frogeye"; US: "Bugeye")
  • After the Frogeye, the AH Sprite was a badge engineered twin to the MG Midget (hence the term "Spridget"). The MG was aimed slightly upmarket, and as there was no bugeye midget, the "mark" numbers are offset by 1; for example, except for the badges and price a fully optioned Mk II Sprite was identical to a base level Mk I Midget.
  • 1961–1964 AN6–AN7 Mark II
  • 1964–1966 AN8 Mark III (roll-up windows)
  • 1966–1969 AN9 Mark IV
  • 1969–1971 AN10 Mark V (UK only)

Concept Cars[edit]

Racing[edit]

The Austin Healey was extensively raced by the Donald Healey Motor Company in Europe at Le Mans and in Sebring in the U.S., in classic rallies by the BMC competitions department, and was recognized from the very beginning by the Sports Car Club of America (SCCA). Healey models raced in club racing in D, E, and F production classes, winning National Championships in both D and E Production. The last Big Healey to win an SCCA National Championship was the class E Production Austin-Healey 100-6 driven by Alan Barker at the Daytona ARRC in 1965.

In 1953, a special streamlined Austin-Healey set several land speed records at the Bonneville Salt Flats in Utah, USA.

Successors[edit]

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.[citation needed]

In June 2007, Nanjing and Healey Automobile Consultants / HFI Automotive signed a collaborative agreement that aims to recreate the Austin Healey and Healey marquees alongside NAC's MG. No timeline has been given as to when the Healey and Austin-Healey brands will return, although MG will be back on the market in China and the UK by the year's end.[citation needed]

In popular culture[edit]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Rorke, Robert (April 14, 2014). "10 things that made us cheer on the ‘Mad Men’ Season 7 premiere". New York Post.