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Austin-Healey Reviews

Donald Healey built cars bearing his own name from 1945 onwards, but real success arrived with the launch of his Healey 100 in 1952. It was noticed by Austin boss Leonard Lord, and a deal between the two parties was soon reached where Austin would build the Healey, using its mechanical parts in Abingdon. And so, Austin-Healey as a marque was formed.

It was conceived as an Austin rival for MG. The ‘Big’ Healeys – the 100, 100/6 and 3000 models – were later joined by the smaller Austin-Healey Sprite, a small, cheap and cheerful roadster. In 1968, and with the formation of British, the 3000 dropped out of production (it was due for replacement anyway), and the Sprite only managed a further three years. Austin-Healey died when the Healey deal was cancelled.

Good: Good to drive, better to look at, excellent to drive, a proper 'English' sports car
Bad: Limited weather protection, unrestored cars will cost big money to get pristine
Good: Brilliant performance from the S, which was essentially a road-legal racing car, M - for Modified - less so, but a great canvas for racers to build upon
Bad: Spotting a genuine M is hard, quite a few replica Ss have been built so be careful, you'll pay dearly for one of the 50 100S models.
Good: Great soundtrack, and although the six added weight it also improved flexibility
Bad: Performance was - initially - no better than the original 100's
Good: More power improves the Austin-Healey 3000 considerably, roomy and fun for two, a timeless classic sports car
Bad: Many changes throughout production, you need to know exactly what you're buying, make sure it's been properly looked after by a specialist
Good: Cute (especially in Mk1 'Frogeye' form), cheap to run, easy to keep on the road thanks to MG commonality, fun to drive
Bad: Its smallness can be worrying for people used to driving modern cars, rust is an ever-present issue, performance isn't great on unmodified cars