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Despite not having been in production for decades, Austin-Healey cars have attained an almost legendary status and are extremely popular with car enthusiasts and collectors. There are many Austin-Healey clubs all over the world. If you are in need of a replacement part for your Austin-Healey, you've come to the right place. At 1A Auto, we get you the right Austin-Healey parts for your vehicle, at a great price. You'll find a large selection of new, high quality aftermarket Austin-Healey auto parts, including mirrors, fuel pumps, weatherstripping and much more. We don't only just sell aftermarket replacement Austin-Healey parts online here at 1A Auto; we also carry a selection of new auto parts such as bike racks for your Austin-Healey vehicle as well.
Our product development team spends over 8,000 hours a year researching the best auto parts, and they are carefully selected by our trained engineers so you can rest assured that you are getting the correct, high quality part you need for your classic Austin-Healey, at a discount price. If we wouldn't put the part in our own cars, we won't sell them to anyone else. A new aftermarket replacement Austin-Healey part from 1A Auto will save you 30-50% on average over a comparable new OEM replacement Austin-Healey part that you would get at a dealership, and our new aftermarket Austin-Healey parts are also extremely durable and reliable, lasting at least 2-3 times longer on average than used OEM Austin-Healey parts. Don't overpay for Austin-Healey auto parts and save yourself from a lot of potential headaches by shopping at 1A Auto.
You can shop for your Austin-Healey auto parts online and buy safely and securely right here on our website, or you can call our customer service toll free at 888-844-3393 if you have any questions about any of our parts, or to buy over the phone. With over 150 years combined experience, 1A Auto's customer service representatives are the most qualified to answer your questions about all of our new and aftermarket Austin-Healey parts. Our representatives answer 99.9% of phone calls in less than one minute and emails are responded to within the hour because we know you need answers quickly to get your Austin-Healey in pristine condition. We also know you want your part fast for the same reason; 98% of in stock Austin-Healey auto parts ship from our warehouse within one business day, and all ground shipping in the continental U.S. is completely free. And, in the unlikely case that you are unhappy with your Austin-Healey auto part for any reason, 1A Auto also offers the only No Hassle return policy for unused items in the industry. Simply put, our competitors can't beat the 1A Advantage. Don't just take it from us - take it from over 50,000 satisfied customers!
Look no further than 1A Auto for your aftermarket replacement and new Austin-Healey auto parts and get your Austin-Healey the parts it needs today from classic car enthusiasts just like you! If you happen to be an enthusiastic Austin-Healey owner, have a deep passion for Austin-Healey vehicles, or just want to learn more about the automobile manufacturer, continue reading below for a detailed look at the brand's history and some of its past models.
Austin-Healey was a British maker of sports cars established in 1952, through the joint venture partnership agreement between the Donald Healey Motor Corporation and the Austin Motor Company, which was a division of the British Motor Corporation (BMC). Production of the cars for the American market ceased in 1968 with the joint venture dissolving completely after 1971 when the original 20 year agreement came to an end. Nowadays, Austin-Healey vehicles are some of the most popular classic cars in existence and a hot commodity amongst car enthusiasts and collectors.
The history of Austin-Healey begins with Donald Healey. Healey had been successful on the competitive driving circuit for years racing for the Invicta Motor Company. He had also gained a reputation for his sound technical automotive knowledge, having had his own automobile garage in England prior to his racing career. This reputation landed him a position at the Triumph Motor Company during the 1930s, after the closing of the Invicta Motor Company. Here, Healey helped to create the well known Triumph Southern Cross and Dolomite 8 cars. When the company was liquidated in 1939 at the outset of the Second World War, Healey began to put into motion his dream of building a high performance car of his own.
Healey’s first car featured a body and chassis of his own design, with most of the mechanical parts bought from outside suppliers. Alongside this car, another was produced featuring a closed body design and this model was finished by another firm. With the help of others, Healey managed to start up a fairly solid car production. He founded the Donald Healey Motor Corporation in 1945 and not long after, in 1946, his new cars were unveiled to the public for the first time. They were met with an extremely enthusiastic reception. Many orders were taken for the cars and the money was used to finance the acquisition of an old aircraft components factory in Warwick, England, which would become the home of his new business enterprise. During this time, the company continued producing cars, including the Healey Silverstone sports car, in its native land. Realizing that there was very little demand for sports cars in Europe, still recovering from World War II, the entrepreneurial Healey went on a mission to the United States in 1949 to try and promote his cars there and hopefully return with orders and a foot in the door for future sales in the large, lucrative U.S. auto market. There, he had a fortunate meeting with George W. Mason, chairman and CEO of the Nash-Kelvinator Corporation, and they came to an agreement to build Healey-designed sports car equipped with Nash engines. Healey expanded his facility in Warwick to produce the Nash-Healey sports car beginning in 1950 for the 1951 year, but the vehicle would suffer from low sales. The car was terminated in 1954 despite a body restyling in 1952 by Italian car design firm Pininfarina, who took over production of the bodywork at that point, continuing until the model's demise.
Despite the failure of the Nash-Healey, it provided Healey with enough revenue to begin working on the development of a new model. Thanks to his many visits to the U.S., Healey saw the need for a moderately-priced British sports car for the American market, a car that would fit between the sleek but more expensive and troublesome Jaguar XK series and the slower and now outdated MG. Healey, with the help of Gerry Coker, a young auto body engineer who designed the styling of the car that was to be produced, developed a prototype of the car, building it at his own home in order to conceal his plans from Nash who he was planning on competing against despite the fact that he was working with them on the Nash-Healey.
The new car was unveiled for the first time in 1952 at the London Motor Show at Earls Court. Leonard Lord, who at the time was director of the Austin Motor Company, a division of the British Motor Corporation (BMC), saw the beautiful car before the show started and fell in love with it. The Austin Motor Company also saw the same market opportunity that Healey had seen, and was in need of a sports car of its own. Lord saw that the Healey car had the potential to be just that and that it could be produced very soon. After the show opened, the Healey car took the crowd by storm and won rave reviews, becoming the big hit of the show. Lord decided then and there that this was the car his company needed, feeling it would sell in large numbers in the U.S. Healey, who wanted the large-scale production capabilities of an established automobile manufacturer, saw this as his big break. A deal was then struck between Lord and Healey which resulted in a partnership between BMC and the Donald Healey Motor Corporation, forming the Austin-Healey marque. The agreement was a 20 year contract which allowed BMC to use Healey’s name during that time on any cars that were produced, and to make them on a royalty basis.
The car unveiled at the 1952 show was renamed the Austin-Healey 100. The first 20 pre-production 100s were assembled at the Donald Healey Motor Corporation plant in Warwick. Then, in 1953, mass production of the car moved to the Austin factory in Longbridge, England. Not much was changed from the show car to the production model. Construction of the car involved other companies in addition to Austin and Donald Healey, including John Thompson Motor Pressings who constructed the chassis, and the Jensen Motor Company, who supplied the bodies.
The Austin-Healey 100 fit beautifully into America’s new sports car market of the early 1950s and was an instant hit when it was released to the American public in 1953. The original design of the car was produced until 1955, at which point it went through several technical development changes over the next few years. Minor cosmetic and performance changes were made to the original and a new version arrived for 1955. Since Healey loved racing and knew that wins by his cars in racing events would help sales, two special 100s were released in 1955 and in 1956. They were the Austin-Healey 100M and the extremely rare Austin-Healey 100S, a competitive racing car that could also be driven on roads. The 100s would go on to enjoy substantial success on the circuit and helped further publicize the cars. In 1956, the Austin-Healey 100/6 arrived which featured a six cylinder engine, replacing the four cylinder in the original, and two rear seats converting it into a four-seater vehicle. A larger carburetor was added to this version in 1957 and in 1958, a two-seater version of the Austin-Healey 100/6 was released, since the 2+2 seating configuration of the 100/6 models was not as popular as the seating configuration of the original 100 models.
Also in 1958, the Austin-Healey Sprite was introduced, which became known as the “Bugeye” in the United States. The car was intended to be a low-cost model that was simple and not incredibly fast,but fun to drive and easy to maintain. The car was manufactured at the MG sports car factory in Abingdon, England and the design of the car was a success. That success led MG, another division of the British Motor Corporation, to create a badge engineered version of the car, known as the MG Midget and aimed slightly more upmarket than the Sprite, in 1961. Subsequent versions of the Sprite and Midget were also released in the following years which featured additional modifications, and the two models remained quite similar throughout their production cycle.
In 1959, the Austin-Healey 3000 was released. The car became known as the “Big Healey” and was a sensational hit. The car was an evolution of the 100/6 model in terms of features and performance, and was available as both a two-seater and a four-seater. Subsequent versions of this model were also released in the following years featuring additional modifications.
The Final Years
In 1968, British Motor Holdings (BMH), which was formed when BMC purchased Jaguar in 1966 and renamed, merged with the Leyland Motor Corporation to form a new company called the British Leyland Motor Corporation (BLMC). The new company decided that they did want to produce Austin-Healey sports cars any longer and discontinued production of the Austin-Healey 3000 completely in 1968, with the last full year of production thus having taken place in 1967.
In the wake of these organizational changes, Donald Healey left the company and joined Jensen Motors, whom had been working with Austin-Healey since its inception in 1952. The Austin-Healey Sprite continued to be exported to the United States until 1969, and production of the car ceased completely in 1971. The 20 year agreement between the Donald Healey Motor Corporation and what was now BLMC, was not renewed and officially came to an end upon the completion of the 1971 year. The final Austin-Healey Sprite models that were built and sold were known as Austin Sprites, due to the end of the Austin-Healey partnership.