Austin-Healey was a British sports car maker established in 1952 through a joint venture between the Austin division of the British Motor Corporation (BMC) and the Donald Healey Motor Company (Healey), a renowned automotive engineering and design firm. Leonard Lord represented BMC and Donald Healey his firm.

BMC merged with Jaguar Cars in 1966 to form British Motor Holdings (BMH). Donald Healey left BMH in 1968 when it merged into British Leyland. Healey then joined Jensen Motors, which had been making bodies for the "big Healeys" since their inception in 1952, and became their chairman in 1972. Austin-Healey cars were produced until 1972 when the 20-year agreement between Healey and Austin came to an end.

The "Austin-Healey" inscribed badge placed on early models

Models built

Austin-Healey 100

Open 2-seater (minimal weather protection)
  • 1953–55 BN1 Austin-Healey 100
  • 1955 Austin-Healey 100S (Limited production—50 race-prepared cars)
  • 1955–56 BN2 Austin-Healey 100 and 100M

Austin-Healey 100-6

Open 2+2-seater
  • 1956–57 BN4 Austin-Healey 100-6 (2+2 roadster)
  • 1957–59 BN4 Austin-Healey 100-6 Change to ​1 34-inch SU Carbs (2+2 roadster)
  • 1958–59 BN6 Austin-Healey 100-6 6-Cylinder (2-seater roadster)
1959 Austin-Healey 3000 MkI BN7

Austin-Healey 3000

Open 2+2-seater
  • 1959–61 BN7 Mark I (2-seater roadster), BT7 Mark I (2+2 roadster)
  • 1961–62 BN7 Mark II (2-seater roadster), BT7 Mark II (2+2)
1965 Austin-Healey 3000 Mk III BJ8
Convertible 2+2-seater (wind-up windows)
  • 1962–63 BJ7 Mark II (2+2 convertible)
  • 1963–67 BJ8 Mark III (2+2 convertible)

Austin-Healey Sprite

1960 Frogeye Sprite AN5
Open 2-seater
  • 1958–61 AN5 Mark I (UK: "Frogeye"; US: "Bugeye")
  • 1961–64 HAN6–HAN7 Mark II
Convertible 2-seater
  • 1964–66 HAN8 Mark III (roll-up windows)
  • 1966–69 HAN9 Mark IV
  • 1969–70 HAN10 Mark IV (UK only)
  • 1971 AAN10 Mark IV (UK only; badged as Austin rather than Austin-Healey)


Concept Cars

  • (2005)

Racing

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

The name Austin is now owned by Nanjing, which 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, , which the Healey family sold to in 2005.[citation needed]

In June 2007, Nanjing and / signed a collaborative agreement that aims to recreate the Austin Healey and Healey marques 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

See also

References

  1. ^ Rorke, Robert (14 April 2014). "10 things that made us cheer on the 'Mad Men' Season 7 premiere". New York Post.
  2. ^ "1958 Austin-Healey 100/6 [BN4]". Internet Movie Car Database. Retrieved 31 December 2016.