Archive for the ‘Austin Healey’ Category
A few things that caught my eye last weekend while walking around the Antique Boat Show in Tavares, FL.
Take a look —
Nothing like a Healey to stir the male nerve – a good looker for sure
Nice Plymouth woodie on the grass
Nice use of chrome
At least we think so —
I’ve always like those Car Club Badges that adorn the front bumpers of (mostly) British cars. They look sturdy and classy and just plain cool.
Arnie Brown in Maryland has a bit of history on these jewels.
Motoring had started in earnest in the early days of the 20th Century. It was natural for car owners to form themselves into clubs, and there were good reasons. The condition of the road was abysmal at best, and only by some form of united pressure could motorists hope for improvement.
The main reason behind the formation of these early organizations was to make a stand against the antagonism shown to motorists by the public at large, the legislators and by the Police whose attitude was nothing short of outright hostility.
This was particularly true in Great Britain, because in 1865, the Locomotives on Highways Act restricted mechanically propelled vehicles to a maximum speed of 5 mph on country roads and 2.5 mph in built-up areas. The act required three drivers for each vehicle. Two to travel in the vehicle and one to walk ahead carrying a red flag. (The Red Flag Act) This act was repealed in 1896 when the speed limit was raised to 14 mph.
The “Red Flag Act” was repealed after nearly two decades of strong support from horse interests. Horse-less vehicles were now free to travel faster than walking pace. The Royal Automobile Club was founded, and the first RAC London to Brighton run was held to celebrate the new era of speed.
Car badges were introduced by the Automobile Association in March of 1906 to identify members and warn them of police speed traps up ahead. If the road was clear of police, the AA man would salute the driver if his vehicle displayed an AA badge. This practice was continued until the late 1960s.
Car badges have made a comeback in recent years, and rapidly continue to become more popular as a way to dress up your car and show pride in your club membership.
Arnie Brown’s Automobilia
Austin-Healey was a brand of sports car. The marque was established through a joint venture arrangement set up in 1952 between Leonard Lord of the Austin division of the British Motor Corporation and Donald Healey, a renowned automotive engineer and designer.
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 this car the general public’s 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. This was the original ‘big Healey’ with a 2.6 litre four-cylinder engine.
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.
A more powerful version of the big Healey launched in 1959, the Austin-Healey 3000. 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.
1959 – 1961 BN7 Mark I (2 seat), BT7 Mark I (2+2 seats)
1961 – 1962 BN7 Mark II (2 seat), BT7 Mark II (2+2 seats), BJ7 Mark II (2 seat)
1962 – 1964 BJ7 Mark II (roll-up windows)
1964 – 1967 BJ8 Mark III
In 1953 a special streamlined Austin-Healey set several land speed records at the Bonneville Salt Flats in Utah, USA.
The first car for Mattel’s ‘Barbie’ Doll was an Austin Healey (pink with teal interior)