1953 Austin Healey 350 V8 Conversion
1953 Austin Healey 350 V8 ConversionSource: private party
Posted: 13 Jun 2007
Have you ever wanted to own an Austin Healey without all the headaches? What if you got past the maintenance nightmares and found you yearn for more "punch"? Maybe you wished they would make a British version of a Shelby Cobra to satisfy your needs?
Well guys, your prayers have been answered. I present to you a 1953 Austin Healey Six with a Chevy 350 conversion. This is a frame off, custom built car.
CAUTION - Do not read any further if the following applies to you.
A. You like to spend more time fixing than driving.
B. You spend your Saturday nights in front of the fire reading "A Biography of Winston Churchill".
C. You wear ANY combination of driving gloves, scarf, golf hat, etc while driving.
This is not your cup of tea; "its a shot of whiskey!"
This car started life as a regular Healey. First, the entire body and interior was removed. The stock platform and mechanicals were scrapped. Simply popping a V8 into a stock Healey would twist the chassis in half. A custom boxed frame was manufactured to handle the V8s massive power.
After that, the 350 is dropped in along with a four speed Chevy transmission. I don't know what type, but shifts are short and narrow with absolutely no play. Chrome exhaust pipes are routed to the sides and their note is intoxicating.
The front end has been fitted with a coil suspension system while the rear is leaf spring. The stock "knock off" hub assembly was replaced with a five bolt unit. Disc Brakes were installed all around.
Meanwhile, the body receives cosmetic upgrades. The fenders are widened to house the huge wire wheels. The windshield has been replaced by an adjustable race adaptation. The top has been removed and fitted with a button down tonneau cover. All Guages are in working order.
Turn the key, and the V8 roars to life followed by a low burble. Close your eyes and you’d think you were standing next to a classic muscle car. Push the gas and it goes…..FAST! It hustles the roadster to triple digit speeds in with ease. It's a rollbar and harness away from being a full blown racecar. The level of power gives a feeling few will ever know. This is by far the fastest car I've ever driven, including the new Shelby GT500. It's low mass makes it a blast to toss around. No power steering, no AC, just pure driving fun.
This little car is one big attention getter. People are going to gawk, stare and point. Be prepared to answer questions like what's that, where'd you get it, is it a racecar. And best of all you'll never have to worry about keeping up with the Jonses. They've never owned one, driven one or even seen one. It has more character and style than anything on the road.
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