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I Donald were still alive

Editor_Reid

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Cars such as the HMC Healey make me wonder. Why call it a Healey, unless you're just trying to trade on the name alone? Why make it look like a Healey, unless you have no ideas of your own and you want to trade on the Healey's design? Why build a car in 1999 that looks like a car last made in 1967? It's more like a tribute or - dare I say it? - a replicar.

The HMC Healey may be a fine car, and it may have a connection to Geoff Healey (think mostly $$$), but it is a "Healey" in name only. It seems to me that it would make more sense to make a fresh design and give it the name of its builders. Let it stand on its own merit and not try to gain acceptance and approval based upon the work of others from decades before.

Strictly my thoughts, but I note that there are not a lot these about, so perhaps their attempt to ride the Austin-Healey coattails was not so successful after all.
 

GregW

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Why call it a Healey, unless you're just trying to trade on the name alone?...
but it is a "Healey" in name only. It seems to me that it would make more sense to make a fresh design and give it the name of its builders.

Certainly not a unique case. Mustang, Camaro, Corvette, Challenger, Charger, Beetle, etc.
 

TimK

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Up in the back sagging in the front, yes, it looks all wrong.
What a real Healey looks like
 

HealeyRick

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IMO, if Donald were still alive, he would be producing a totally new car.

The Healey as we know it was effectively killed off by the U.S. safety regs in 1967. And we did have a "new" Healey after that, the Jensen-Healey. For various reasons, it didn't have the "soul" of a Healey and never really caught on. It's fun to speculate what a modern Healey would be like. I always thought the early BMW Z3s had a bit of Healey look to them and an I6 motor. They even had the cooking M Roadster, And even more Healey-like was the Z8. But nothing automotive goes unchanged. Think about the C1 Corvette, a contemporary of the BN1 and what today's Corvette has become.
 

glemon

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The Healey as we know it was effectively killed off by the U.S. safety regs in 1967. And we did have a "new" Healey after that, the Jensen-Healey. For various reasons, it didn't have the "soul" of a Healey and never really caught on. It's fun to speculate what a modern Healey would be like. I always thought the early BMW Z3s had a bit of Healey look to them and an I6 motor. They even had the cooking M Roadster, And even more Healey-like was the Z8. But nothing automotive goes unchanged. Think about the C1 Corvette, a contemporary of the BN1 and what today's Corvette has become.

I always though of the Z3 as somewhat of a spiritual successor to the Big Healey as well, if the Miata is the successor to the MG, the Z3 was the successor to the Healey, a bit more expensive, a bit more power, a competent, but not overly modern or sophisticated chassis. Even started with a 4 then went to a 6 cylinder. As far as "if Donald were still alive" regardless of what you think of the HMC, I don't think that is what he would have built, as already noted, though the relationship didn't last, he had already tried to move forward with the Jensen Healey, and that was in the early 70s, he wanted to build great cars by contemporary standards, not replicars, even if they were replicas of great cars he built.
 

nevets

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Totally agree with Reid's POV.
I think if DH were alive and still designing cars, he would be looking forward and striving for something fresh and striking, which is what made the Healey so amazing when first introduced.
 

Hot Wings

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Why build a car in 1999 that looks like a car last made in 1967? It's more like a tribute or - dare I say it? - a replicar.

Maybe for the same reason I'm contemplating building a 2014 Bugeye - mission creep. I'm finally in a position to restore my Bugeyes that I've had for the last 30 years. For some unexplained emotional reason of all the cars I've owned, or lusted after, the Bugeye has just been the one that fits me best.

But the engineer in me just can't seem to leave well enough alone and from the start I've planed a few "enhancements" to make it a more reliable daily driver. One thing lead to another and now I'm at the point I'm thinking it might be best if I just built a vehicle that looks and feels like my old friend, either from scratch or starting with a later model tub, then sell the Bugeyes to someone that wants original.

At one time I really wanted an old Porsche 356, but I don't have much desire or use for a car if I can't drive it. The thought of exposing a nice original 356 to the hoards at Kmart just wasn't acceptable. Even though I never followed through I knew I'd be much happier with a plastic replica with a 912 motor.

If I was fascinated by big Healeys I'd consider one of these. But I do agree with the others - it just doesn't look right.
 

BigGreen

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If, than maybe it would look like a Wiesmann ?

Wiesmann-GT-32.jpg

Wiesmann.jpg
 

HealeyRick

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This is the one I thought had at least a shot of happening, but that was 13 years ago:

warwick_bmw_side.jpg
The Sixties are back in style and Austin Healey could be set for a revival. BMW has revealed a concept which proves the company is evaluating plans to resurrect the legendary sports car brand with an M3-powered roadster.
Named Project Warwick after the Midlands town that was the birthplace of the original 1953 Austin Healey models, this stunning concept is built around the lightweight aluminium chassis of BMW's thrilling Z8 roadster.
Its bodywork is all-new, though, and clearly designed to hark back to the classic big Healeys of the Fifties and Sixties with a vertically barred grille, air vents in the wings, round tail lamps and raised arches over the rear wheels. The concept has even been given a two-tone paint job, as used on many of the original cars, and features a modern interpretation of the 'aero-screen' instead of a full windscreen.
The engine format matches that of the classic Healey 3000, too, with power provided by the advanced 3.2-litre 343bhp straight-six from the latest M3. That will keep costs down and allow a production version of the car to slot in above the Z3 and rival the Porsche Boxster S and flagship Jaguar F-Type. In order to make sure the Austin Healey appeals to the right enthusiasts, BMW has entrusted the design to its Californian studio DesignWorks.
The styling house was set up to reflect the needs of the huge US car market, particularly in terms of SUVs and roadsters. However, the Warwick proposal has yet to be given the green light by BMW's top brass. Although the company holds the rights to several famous UK marques, it is concentrating on the MINI before committing to any further British ventures.

 
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Up in the back sagging in the front, yes, it looks all wrong.
What a real Healey looks like
Indeed!

The Healey as we know it was effectively killed off by the U.S. safety regs in 1967. And we did have a "new" Healey after that, the Jensen-Healey. For various reasons, it didn't have the "soul" of a Healey and never really caught on. It's fun to speculate what a modern Healey would be like. I always thought the early BMW Z3s had a bit of Healey look to them and an I6 motor. They even had the cooking M Roadster, And even more Healey-like was the Z8. But nothing automotive goes unchanged. Think about the C1 Corvette, a contemporary of the BN1 and what today's Corvette has become.

I always though of the Z3 as somewhat of a spiritual successor to the Big Healey as well, if the Miata is the successor to the MG, the Z3 was the successor to the Healey, a bit more expensive, a bit more power, a competent, but not overly modern or sophisticated chassis. Even started with a 4 then went to a 6 cylinder. As far as "if Donald were still alive" regardless of what you think of the HMC, I don't think that is what he would have built, as already noted, though the relationship didn't last, he had already tried to move forward with the Jensen Healey, and that was in the early 70s, he wanted to build great cars by contemporary standards, not replicars, even if they were replicas of great cars he built.
I couldn't agree with both of you more. The recipe of the Z3 seems most like the evolutionary heir of the most successful Big Healey formula.

Throw in the ///M Coupe version for a tie-in with the MGB-GT, and the catalog was complete, if only for the brief four (<4) year period the legendary Motorsports branded models (& Z3 non ///M Coupes) were available.

It's certainly working for me, and just within the last two (<2) weeks, I added the Eurosport Twinscrew supercharged ///M Coupe in the foreground to the fleet (the two ///M Coupes stacked in the single bay are customer cars).

IMG_1528.jpg


IMG_1526.jpg
 

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pan

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I am fortunate enough to have met Donald Healey, Geoff & Margot Healey and Bic & Mary Healey. When I first him in 1977, DMH had not long retired from his position as Chairman (I think) of Jensen Motors and I can vouch for his genuine surprise that there was still a worldwide interest in the Austin-Healey car, so many years after production had ceased.
He had spent his career looking forward, so any car today that Donald Healey may have an interest in would be at the forefront of design.
The Healey 100 of 1952 was a contemporary design, limited only in the need to use propriety componentry. I believe that the Le Mans 'SR' project gives an indication of where Healey wanted to be in the world of car manufacture.
 
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