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Which Cars Had Rear Disc Brakes?

Dave Richards

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An acquaintance is building a bastardized Big Healey from accumulated parts.

He has installed, what he claims, is an authentic Healey rear axle with disc brakes. He says it came from a 60's local race car.

I thought the only rear disc brakes came on the 100S's... Were the disc brakes available from the factory, or perhaps after-market?
 

dougie

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A small run of about 50 otherwise standard 100-6 cars were produced in the fall of 1957 with Dunlop disc brakes fitted all round. These cars were built around the time that Austin-Healey production was being transferred from Longbridge to Abingdon and it is suggested that the brake conversion was performed by the Healey factory at Warwick. The 1957 Mille Miglia 100-6 driven by Tommy Wisdom had Dunlop discs fitted all around and later in 1957 an "MM" upgrade kit was offered by the Healey factory which included a hard top, high lift cam, and disc brakes. There are modern kits available today which utilize Jaguar Girling calipers.
 
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Dave Richards

Dave Richards

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Thanks, that's very helpful. When he went to get pads for the calipers (from the local LBC parts guru) the pads were from a from a Jag, or a Triumph. I'll let him know what you posted.
 

Barryp

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OK!, I've been trying to find some info on the 100/6 Dunlop four wheel discs for several years now. Reason beeing I have one, unfortunately it isn't one of the 50 factory installed kits. My father ordered the kit from a dealer and installed it on his 57 BN4. I am curious though as to how many cars ended up with these kits through dealers, or how really rare are they actually are. I spoke with White Post a couple of weeks ago and they said that the 100/6 was the only car these were fitted to and were they made specifically for it. I'd be interested in any more information anyone can provide.

Thanks, Barry
 
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Dave Richards

Dave Richards

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The car the rear end came from was just pieces by the time my friends friend had acquired the rear end, so I'm afraid we can't be of any help...
 

dougie

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Well,

As with a lot of Austin-Healey history it wasn't always recorded or should I say kept for future car nuts like us. Speculation has it that when the 100-S went into production many suppliers of the specialty parts that comprised it had minimum order requirements over 50, the number of 100-S' made. This left Warwick with an over stock of replacement parts and spares. Like any great salesman Donald had to unload some of these items, and why not make them available to customers purchasing the newest model, the BN4. Dealers hardly ever kept good records of these type of installs, but the Dunlop four wheel discs are a rare item.

Dougie
 

Barryp

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So then are the 100/6 Dunlop Discs the same parts and peices that were used on the 100S?

Here's the background on what I have. My father bought this BN4 new and raced it in the NE, Central, and Mid Western SCCA divisions from 57' to 73'. The car was wrecked in 73' at Nelson Ledges in Ohio and has sat until now. My father passed away a couple of years ago and my mother wants to go for a ride in the Healey before she dies. I'm starting the prcoess of restoring it with the intent of vintage racing it a few times a year. The car was a dedicated race car from about 1960 on, so a race car spec restoration seems to make the most sense as this how the car spent the majority of it's life.

Any thoughts, suggestion, and or advise would be appreciated.

Thanks Barry
 

WhatsThatNoise

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Barryp said:
The car was wrecked in 73' at Nelson Ledges
That's my home track...:thumbsup:

And yes...
It has a wicked reputation.
 
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Dave Richards

Dave Richards

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Barryp said:
So then are the 100/6 Dunlop Discs the same parts and peices that were used on the 100S?

Here's the background on what I have. My father bought this BN4 new and raced it in the NE, Central, and Mid Western SCCA divisions from 57' to 73'. The car was wrecked in 73' at Nelson Ledges in Ohio and has sat until now. My father passed away a couple of years ago and my mother wants to go for a ride in the Healey before she dies. I'm starting the prcoess of restoring it with the intent of vintage racing it a few times a year. The car was a dedicated race car from about 1960 on, so a race car spec restoration seems to make the most sense as this how the car spent the majority of it's life.

Any thoughts, suggestion, and or advise would be appreciated.

Thanks Barry

It's a noble and worthwhile undertaking, get ready to spend some serious money. You probably won't be satisfied just driving it a few times a year...


DOUGIE: That is one beautiful 6!
 

dougie

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In short, if they are the Dunlop discs then they should be the same. Like many race cars of the 50's-60's though parts and pieces my have been switched or replaced over time. My '57 100-6 MM has Girling rear discs. Steve Pike of Marsh Restoration in Australia, the 100-S guru, might be able to help further.

Dougie
 

Barryp

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These actually have "Dunlop" cast into the caliper. I had wondered why my dad did not install a 3 liter and move up to DP from EP. But the 3 liters were not allowed to run the rear discs in SCCA as they were only offered on the 100/6.

And Dougie that car is beautiful. Is yours one of the fifty factory MM's?

I'll post some pics if I can figure out how to, apparently they are all too large.

Barry
 

dougie

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Barry-

I believe my car was a dealer install. I race with a 3 liter motor now to be competitive in "modern" vintage racing. I use the original cast iron head and twin 2" SU HD 8 carbs., but will be upgrading to a tri-carb. SU system on a Ruddspeed manifold for next season.

Dougie
 

Patrick67BJ8

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dougie said:
Barry-

I believe my car was a dealer install. I race with a 3 liter motor now to be competitive in "modern" vintage racing. I use the original cast iron head and twin 2" SU HD 8 carbs., but will be upgrading to a tri-carb. SU system on a Ruddspeed manifold for next season.

Dougie
Contact me on my PM about the Ruddspeed manifold.
Patrick
 

pan

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Dougie,
That is an interesting theory about the reason for fitting of discs to some of the 100/6 cars. Plausible, except for one thing: the 100/S has the early 4 stud, spiral bevel axle. The 100 Six of course has the later 5 stud hypoid axle!
 

Barryp

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Pure speculation, but the calipers could have been the same, and discs could have easily been supplied for the five lug hubs.

Here a shot from the mid sixties.

Barry
 

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dougie

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Barry,

Nice shot, is that your dad? Is your car a 2-seater? The big Healey was very competitive in SCCA in its day when everyone had to race fair and play by the rules. Today the clubs are full of cheaters especially
the Germans, (Porsche & BMW) tuners.













1958 SCCA D Production National Champion Dr. Dick Thompson AH 100-6
 

Barryp

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Yeah that's my dad, I think that shot is from Lyndale Farms in Michigan now closed. Here's another from Road America.

It's a four seat, not as pretty as the two seaters, but that's what it is. He traded a 55' 100/4 for it. So it's a one owner with well a documented racing history.
Time hasn't been kind to the car over the past thirty five years, but it was stored inside. I'm looking forward to the project, the chassis is straight and the body is hung but there is a lot of work to do. Time and money are going to dictate progress.
 

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dougie

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Ah yes time and money the 2 things average Joe racers never have enough of.
I'll add one more important ingredient for any successful restoration project or fledging amateur racing program, a very understanding wife. I know I've tested mine a few too many times. I love historic racing photos especially of Healeys. It looks like you have a nice collection from your fathers exploits. The wheels in the second shot at Road America must have been popular at the time. Here's a period photo of Ed Leslie in the Huffaker Healey with a simlar set.
 

Barryp

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Those wheels are kinda interesting too, they're Magnesium, and made by American Racing. I have six, one was slightly damaged when the car was wrecked though. The only other cars that I have seen pictures of them on is the "Huffaker Healey" and Merle Brennans' B production E type from that same era. I'd like to find a few more.

Barry
 

Barryp

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Doug,

I exchanged emails with you friend Steve Pike of Marsh Restorations over the weekend. Thanks for that rescource by the way, what a scource of information! Steve advised that the 100/6 four wheel Dunlop discs are definitely different from what was installed on the 100S's. He also said that in forty years of working on big Healey's he has seen two cars with this installation.

Thanks for the tip!

Barry Perkins
 
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