Healey does it…

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Austin Healey’s really do it for us here at Driven Threads. With the recent Austin Healey Club of Victoria’a display at Docklands Promenade, we began to appreciate the finer points of these classics.

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The city skyline provided the perfect backdrop for these quentissentially British cars. The Healey story started when Austin (BMC) and the Donald Healey Motor Company set out to produce a quick (in its day) and desirable sports car.

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The first Austin Healey was the 100. Union Jack emblazoned. With bumpers removed and in racing trim there is something tough about a Healey.

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A little lowering doesn’t hurt the curvaceous stance of this Healey 100 either. The “100” name comes from car’s ability to reach 100 miles per hour. The first 100 models featured a 2660 cc 4 cyclinder engine.

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The 100/6 was introduced in 1956 to replace the Austin-Healey 100. As the name suggested it featured a six-cylinder engine.

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This example in the perfect two-tone retro fifties hue was our favourite.

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The highly-respected Austin-Healey 3000 was introduced in 1959, replacing the Austin-Healey 100-6. The wheelbase and body remained unchanged. Two models were available a 2+2 and a strictly two seater.

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Austin Healey 3000’s have a long competition history, and raced at most major racing circuits around the world, including our very own Bathurst. The BMC race team successfully rallied the 3000 from its introduction, but after the launch of the formidable Mini Cooper ‘S’, rallying in the big Healey was over.

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The Austin Healey 3000 was fitted with a 2912 cc I6 engine, with twin SU carburetors and Girling front disc brakes.

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Also on display was a range of Healey Sprites. The cheaper and lighter Healey Sprite, was a popular vehicle back in its day. Below is an Italian Innocenti Spider, which like the MG Midget was based on Austin-Healey Sprite with a slightly altered body designed by Ghia.

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Also invited at the Promenade were Bolwell. Now if you’re not sure what a Bolwell is, it’s an Australian car company that produced sports cars from 1962 to 1979, the brain-child of Campbell Bolwell.

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The vehicles were manufactured in Melbourne and built of fibreglass. With 240 horsepower in a featherweight body the power to weight ratio would be impressive.

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Around 700 Bolwell’s were ever produced. So understandably the Bolwell is a rare breed today, with around only 200 still on the road.

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Fully home grown, the most well known model the Nagari, was powered by a Ford V8 from 1970.

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The muscular looking convertible Nagari was available from 1972.

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Production of the Nagari concluded in 1974 in 1974 with a hundred coupes and less than twenty drop tops having been made.

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The Bolwell story continues even to day with a new company of the same name still building some pretty desirable sports cars. Check it out here.

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After checking out and admiring the cars on display, we have a new appreciation for these iconic cars. So do Healey’s do it for you too?

We hope you enjoyed our coverage.

Stay tuned for more coming soon to Driven Threads.



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