AUSTIN-HEALEY RISES AGAIN
New roadster here by next summer?
Will Austin-Healey rise again? As previewed on PistonHeads in October, a new model, the 5000, could be here in time for the British Motor Show next summer.
It'll be a long-nosed, rear-driven two-seater propelled by a 385bhp 5-litre V8 modded from the Ford Mustang's quad-cam lump, and be based around the underpinnings of the MG SV coupé -- all with the aim of recreating the wonderful 100-4, which made a huge splash at the motor show in 1952.
If it's built, the 5000 will be made by a consortium consisting of the Chinese company Nanjing Automobile and GB Sports Car Company, who are close to signing an agreement to re-start production at the Rover plant at Longbridge. Nanjing, you'll remember, bought the remains of Rover for £53 million in July, while GBSCC is funded from the US but based in the UK, and was set up with the aim of kicking off sports car production at Longbridge.
It's not a done deal though. According to Autocar this week, the two companies still need to ink a binding agreement to start production, and to call it an Austin Healey, a name to which Nanjing holds the rights. So far, all they have a memorandum of understanding and full agreement is reported to be at least six weeks out.
Picture courtesy Ribble Valley Classic Car Hire