History of Austin Healey Automobiles

In 1952 the Earl's Court Motor Show served as the birthplace of the Austin-Healey automobile company. It was there that Leonard Lord owner of the Austin Motor Company discovered Donald Healey and the Healey 100. Lord, desperately seeking to find a sports car to compete with Jaguar and Triumph, fell in love with the Healey 100 which quickly became the star of the Show. And impromptu meeting between Healey and Lord came a few weeks later and the Austin Healey Motor Company was born.

The original design, fitted with an Austin A90 four cylinder engine, roled off the assembly line in Longbridge from 1953 through 1955. The Healey 100 BN-1 featured a three speed manual transmission with overdrive on second and third girl. It was followed up with the introduction of the Healey 100 BN-2 in 1955 upgrading to a four speed gearbox with overdrive on the top gear.

In 1956 the 4 cylinder engine was ditched in favor of the 2.6 liter Austin Westminster six cylinder engine and two addition seats were added. The Austin-Healey 100/6 BN-4 four-seater lasted only two years as it proved to not be as popular as its two seat predecessor.

The 1960's brought about all kinds of innovations to Austin-Healey produced automobiles. The most noticeable change was the introduction of front wheel disc brakes, providing better stability and increased stopping power. A second carburetor was added increasing power and performance. Later those carburetors would have swapped out for larger versions which were then synchronized. A soft convertible top became an option allowing for additional comfort and with that came about the addition of roll down windows.

In 1968 Donald Healey ended his relationship with the Austin-Healey Motor Company to join Jensen Motors who had been making the bodies and chassis for the company. The Austin-Healey name would survive until 1971, though a few Austin-Healey designs were produced under the name Austin in the early part of 1972. Its limited edition 20 year history Austin-Healey made a name for themselves in the racing world and the Automobiles themselves are more popular than ever among restorers and collectors.

There will not be any new designs, since the company dissolved over forty years ago, but there's little question that the seller made a lasting effect on the world of classic cars. Even after all these decades they look great, sleek, and still get many motorists excited at their very sight.

Source by Shane Dayton

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