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In its 20-year stint in the auto industry, Austin Healey had rolled out some of the most exquisitely designed roadsters, from the early 1950s till the 1970s.
The British sports car brand was a joint venture between the auto engineering and design firm Donald Healey Motor Company and the British Motor Corporation's Austin division. Although the Austin-Healey brand was later on discontinued, it produced some of the best roadsters of its time and created new concepts and styles for sports cars, becoming a design inspiration for future-generation sports car models.
Let's take a look at the different Austin-Healey models:
The Austin-Healey 100 was the first of the three models that later earned the collective moniker of Big Healeys. This model was built from 1963 until 1956. The 100 was Donald Healey's concept. This was eventually picked up for mass production. The single Healey Hundred was first displayed on the 1952 London Motor Show. The car caught the eye of Leonard Lord, Austin managing director at that time. He made a deal with Donald Healey. The 100 was then produced in quantity. It was called 100 because of its capacity to reach 100 mph.
This two-seat roadster, the successor to the Austin-Healey 100, was in production from 1956 to 1959. Compared to the 100, the 100-6 had a longer wheelbase, a more powerful engine. There are some changes done to the new model that distinguish it from the 100. These included the smaller but wider radiator grille that took a lower spot, the air scoop on the hood, and the streamlined body lines, along with other Austin Healey parts and Austin Healey accessories that were used on this model.
The Austin-Healey 3000 had a 3,000 cc engine displacement. This was used to name the then-new Healey model, which was the last one to join the league of Big Healeys. This model was produced from 1959 to 1967. This was a popular Austin-Healy car, which had quite a following not only then but even today with classic car enthusiasts. It joined European rallies and was successful in its class. This Austin-Healey model can still be seen competing in classic car events today. This only goes to prove how popular this Austin-Healey model is for sports car lovers.
The Austin-Healey Sprite was designed as a small open sports car. It was meant to be a low-cost model. To maintain the cheaper cost in production, components from existing cars were used. Despite the limited cost, this design was a success. In fact, an MG version called the Midget was eventually released.
The Sprite raced in numerous events and won in some competitions, including its 12th place finish at Le Mans in 1965. With the finest assembly of Austin Healey parts, it enjoyed much success as a club level race car.
The brand was later on discontinued after the 20-year deal between Healey and Austin ended. But even if the brand no longer exists, old Austin Healey cars can still be restored. Classic car owners can order Austin Healey spare parts, Austin Healey performance parts, and Austin Healey car parts online or get them from specialty car parts stores.