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The nasty boy Healey version may very well be more true to the original intent!

drambuie

Jedi Warrior
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I was watching a video interview on YouTube with Donald Healey's brother and found it rather interesting and Informative. It seems Donald Healey was more keen on Chassis design and making a profit then anything else! In fact it seems Donald Healey really never fully thought out the cars design and intent with much passion, partly because he was running his company on a shoe string and motor design was not his real interest, just a after thought after the chassis was built with no real vision of a particular power plant for his sports car. Which tells me much about Donald Healey's car design limit skills and lack of money as well. I found it interesting that after Donald Healey designed and built the chassis he went searching for a power plant to put in it! Rather odd I think. So, Donald Healey took a cruise ship and headed for America with the intention of asking Cadillac to provide motors for his newly designed car. By chance he met a English business man during the cruise to America and turned Donald Healey on to a warehouse in England full of surplus small motors....for cheap! So, since Donald was more into this car building venture for pure profit rather then a well thought vision for his sports car, He jumped on it! So...before looking down our noses at folks who shoehorn a American V8 into their Healey's maybe all the nasty boys are more true to Donald Healey's original intent seeking a power plant from Cadillac in the first place! Even if Cadillac where not able to provide Donald Healey with a power plant, I am sure since he was in Ameriica he would have approached Ford or Chevy as well... I see a nice small block coming out of his visit which would lead to better upgrades to the original design as well! What a tragedy Donald happend to run into that English business man on his cruise to America that day! But on the other hand maybe it's best things turned out as they did depending on your personal outlook as to what a Particular English built sports car such as the Austin Healey should be? Can you imagin SS/Jaguar designing and building the Increadible E-type without total commitment to its total design, fuction, passion and vision? NO WAY! in fact the first time I inspected a E-type Jag with the bonnet up I knew full well it was designed by a very skilled and passionate person with aircraft design experience, very much like the old war birds such as the spitfire, hurricane, and P-51, even the motor in the E-type was designed by Jaguar and resembles the Merlin and Rolls Royce in those old warbirds.. Still love my Healey and want to always have one in my possession, but would sure love to add a Nice 63 E-type to my stall someday!
 
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Keoke

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Interesting but I thought that was where the Nash Healey came from???---:highly_amused:
 

HealeyRick

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Here's the well-known Nash-Healey origin story from Wikipedia:

Donald Healey and Nash-Kelvinator CEO George W. Mason met on the Queen Elizabeth, an ocean liner going from the United States to Great Britain. Healey was returning to England after his attempt to purchase engines from Cadillac, but General Motors declined his idea.[SUP][4][/SUP] His idea was to expand production of the Healey Silverstone that race car driver Briggs Cunningham had customized with Cadillac’s new 1949 overhead-valve V8 engine.[SUP][5][/SUP] Mason and Healey met over dinner and a production plan ensued during the remainder of the voyage.

It wasn't unusual for the small British builders to source engines elsewhere. DMH was using Riley motors in his cars prior to the Nash motor. AC was using Bristol and Ford motors before Shelby started putting Fords in them. There was even a Ferrari-engined Healey experiment. Shelby had approached DMH with a plan to put Chevy motors in Healeys. If DMH wan't contractually obligated to BMC, there might have been some "factory" nasty boys being turned out.
 
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drambuie

drambuie

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Yes Rick, your right! Donald went searching for a motor for the silver stone cars and ended up with (Nash).. But actually located the Austin Atlantic motor before he even designed the Healey's that were to compete in the middle nitch between the XK Jaguar and the MG at that time. I will have to do some editing on that point from my original post. I was confusing two different videos I was watching a while ago. It sure would have been nice if Donald Healey jammed in a V8 in the silver stone at the time and passed it down to the New Healey's...I think when he got a real taste of horse power he would have never looked back! But A Ferrari motor would have been fantastic!
 
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drambuie

drambuie

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How about a link for the video? Thanks.

Hi Steve, the Video on YouTube is called (Austin Healey documentary). Another great one is (British motor corporation story) for what ever reason I am having a problem sharing the links...maybe you are more tech savvy then I am and can pull those up for everyone? Also, I will have to edit some of my details in my first post about the motors for the silver stone from Nash, and the other motor Donald Healey secured from the Austin Atlantic which he designed the New Healey's around to compete in a middle nitch between the XK Jag and MG at that time.
 

vette

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From the books I have read, Donald Healey was a racer and like many racers they dreamed of building their own cars. Chassis weren't all that sophisticated back then and with straight rails and rather simple suspension the side benefit to that chassis was that a variety of engines and transmissions could be made to fit. Just read the stories of many of the vintage racing teams. An engine might be here this year, and gone the next. The whole Healey architecture is made for the four cylinder car. We wouldn't have a 6 cylinder Healey if it wasn't for the fact that Austin discontinued the 4 cylinder. the 6 cylinder car was never as competitive in its class as the 4 cylinder was. Anyway, I do believe Donald wanted to build his car to race. And I believe he liked the lyme light. I'm glad he did.
 

steveg

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Hi Steve, the Video on YouTube is called (Austin Healey documentary). Another great one is (British motor corporation story) for what ever reason I am having a problem sharing the links...maybe you are more tech savvy then I am and can pull those up for everyone? Also, I will have to edit some of my details in my first post about the motors for the silver stone from Nash, and the other motor Donald Healey secured from the Austin Atlantic which he designed the New Healey's around to compete in a middle nitch between the XK Jag and MG at that time.

Here's what I found:
Austin Healey documentary:
https://youtu.be/Ua6p-A1d8Zw

British motor corporation story:
https://youtu.be/QJ6wgLqwDYY
 

WaltCasten

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Interesting but I thought that was where the Nash Healey came from???---:highly_amused:

That's what I thought too.

I also thought, from what I read, that the intent of the 100 was to place a car to fill a perceived market void between the MG and the Jaguar. Both from a cost and a performance aspect. Sourcing and importing American V8's would have blown the cost portion of that model IMO. Maybe I am wrong.
 

MikeP

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But A Ferrari motor would have been fantastic!

But then considering the cost of engine and presumably transmission parts, not to mention those who might was the combo to transplant into replica Ferraris, how many of todays cars might not have survived to be restored and enjoyed??
 
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drambuie

drambuie

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But then considering the cost of engine and presumably transmission parts, not to mention those who might was the combo to transplant into replica Ferraris, how many of todays cars might not have survived to be restored and enjoyed??

Well, that is me just fantasizing about what motor I would prefer, of course Donald Healey was more interested in making a profit in a particular nitch between the XK and MG and of course he had to be a practical business man as well. Of course Ferrari has always been exclusive to Ferrari and would never entertain mass producing motors for another car manufacturer I assume. I just wish he would have been more forward thinking about choosing a more powerful motor, he simply wanted his car to reach 100 mph and he was happy! As I was saying in a previous post, if Donald Healey had the chance to get his hands on a American V8 for his silver stone production cars...I think he would never look back once he got a taste of more horse power and torque. Admittedly, he was no Carol Shelby or Enzo Ferrari!
 

DerekJ

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Donald Healey did try to acquire a V8, it wasn't a question of not being forward thinking. He just didn't succeed in negotiating a supply of V8s. If he had done then things might have been different. However there would have been no deal with Austin so no means of mass production. He may have ended up as a small volume producer of specialist cars like the AC Cobra.
 

Keoke

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, Edward Turner

Had developed a very powerful light weight V8 right there in England.
However,DMH did not use it, Daimler did though.---:applause:
 
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