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Marque: Austin Healey - Company History & Models - Cars By Brand

Austin Healey

Austin Healey

Donald Healey’s varied career included being a garage proprietor and building radios in Perranporth, in his native Cornwall. He was very competitive in motorsport during the 1920s and early 1930s, and indeed won the 1931 Monte Carlo Rally in an Invicta. Healey worked for the defunct Riley company from 1933, and later was employed by both Triumph and Humber. The motor company bearing the now famous…

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Jensen Healey GT

Jensen Healey GT

RATING:

6 / 10

PRICE: £1000-£6000

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Fast Facts

  • Produced:
    Jensen-Healey 1972-76; Jensen GT 1975-76
  • Bodywork:
    Two-door open sports two-door fixedhead (GT)
  • Engine:
    Twin overhead camshaft 16 valve in-line four-cylinder (Lotus) 1973cc144bhp
  • 0-60 mph:
    8.5 sec
  • Top Speed:
    120 mph
  • MPG:
    20-25

PAST: Conceived as the totally all new modern replacement for the Big Healey, the Jensen was a clever amalgamation of Lotus, Vauxhall and Sunbeam parts all wrapped up in a Spitfire-like body when launched in 1972. Power came from the new Lotus 907 16v engine based on a Vauxhall block. Mk2 of ‘74 tidied up looks and tightened iffy build quality plus gained a five-speed gearbox. GT was plusher 2+2 Sports hatch (1975) but curtain finally fell on the car in 1976 – less than 11,500 were made.

PRESENT: A good performer in its day thanks to 144bhp and car was streets ahead of the MGB/TR6.Today, they still impress with their pace and handling if in good order but refinement was never that hot.

FUTURE: Cars are finally being valued properly and prices for good ones are rising, especially rarer (473 made) GT. Spares okay and full rest os now viable.

Austin Healey Sprite

Austin Healey Sprite

RATING:

7 / 10

PRICE: £1000-£5000

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Fast Facts

  • Produced:
    Mark I (Frogeye) 948cc 1958-61; Mark II 948cc 1961-62; Mark II 1098cc 1962-64; Mark III 1098cc 1964-66; Mark IV 1966-72
  • Bodywork:
    Two-door open sports
  • Engine:
    All overhead valve, in-line four-cylinder BMC A-Series: 948cc Mark I 43 bhp; Mark II 47bhp; 1098cc Mark II 56bhp; Mark III 59bhp 1275cc 65bhp
  • 0-60 mph:
    13-21 sec
  • Top Speed:
    85-95 mph
  • MPG:
    35-45 1275cc: 35-40+

PAST: Launched in 1958 as the lovable Frog eye, the Sprite brought affordable real sports car motoring to the masses being based upon nothing more exotic than the Austin A35 with Morris Minor rack and pinion steering. Ran in tandem with MG Midget but BL cut ties with Healey
name in ‘71 so car became simply Austin Sprite before it as dropped in favour of the MG Midget.

PRESENT: Pure basic fun, that’s the Sprite. It’s much cruder than a Triumph Spitfire but it handles more faithfully while the A-Series is full of low rev punch although car is very frantic at higher speed. Post ‘65 1275 models best performers and there’s heaps you can do to the Sprite for fast road and track.

FUTURE: After a period of playing second fiddle to more popular MG, Sprite name is starting to hold a premium –but only with the Healey name attached it seems.

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