1952 Healey 100
As most enthusiasts will tell you, the Healey 100 was first displayed at the 1952 Earls Court Motor Show in England, and that a deal was struck with Len Lord from Austin to build the car as the Austin Healey 100. Part of this arrangement was that The Donald Healey Motor Company would build a number of cars at it's Warwick works before before Austin took over the task of volume production. Chassis 138031, body number 24 is the first production Austin Healey 100 to be produced at Austin's Longbridge works. This Significant Vehicle in the Ancestry of the of Austin Healey vehicle range is now owned by Blair Harber from Canada, and is undergoing sympathetic restoration, with due care to the vehicles original specifications. The following web pages will document the restoration from start to finnish and Culminated ( hopefully ) with the vehicle being presented for display at the Open Road 2002 meet at Lake Tahoe in the U.S.A.
Donald Healey ran a small works company, producing only a small number of cars. Healey showed a car at the Earls Court motor show in 1952 called the 100. On seeing the general publics enthusiasm for the car, Austin thought fit to produce the car at Longbridge. This car later went on to be known as the Austin-Healey 100.
A more powerful version of the car was launched in 1959, the Austin-Healey 3000.
The original ‘big Healey’ was the Healey 100 with a 2.6 litre four-cylinder engine.
Although Austin-Healeys were built in Great Britain, they were designed to appeal to Americans-in fact, Austin-Healey exported 89 percent of their cars to the United States. Among these automobiles, the 100 and 3000 Series-or “Big Healeys”-produced from 1953 through 1968 were the fastest and most glamorous.
In 1972 Austin-Healey ceased building cars, However Healey’s name lived on with the Jensen-Healey, and Sprite parts were still to be used in the MG Midget.
Austin Healey “Frog Eyed Sprite” (above picture)
In 1958 the Sprite was released, the much-loved “Frog-Eyed-Sprite”, have enthusiasts spread around the globe. The headlights were originally intended to be retractable, but due to the costs involved the idea was shelved, and they were just bolted to the bonnet! A good job too, I think. The public sure liked the car, because the company sold almost 40,000 units.