Austin-Healey recreation.

British brand Caton reveals its first creation: an ultra-exclusive reincarnation of the iconic Austin-Healey 100 sports car.

Featuring visual and performance enhancements in keeping with the original car the Caton Healey is a true driver’s car. It will be extremely rare too, with a very limited run set of 25 cars to be hand-built in Coventry.

Inside, the cockpit is totally new with a focus on contemporary and period materials. Thanks to a redesign of the transmission tunnel and new five-speed manual gearbox, there has been a transformation in cabin space. As a result, it is a useable sports car, offering all drivers the feeling of a classic but with greater comfort. The finishing touch is a high-performance engine and finely-honed suspension.

In 1952, Donald Healey built the first Healey 100 prototype at his company’s workshops in Warwick. Healey took his fledgling, four-cylinder-engine two-seater roadster to that year’s London Earls Court Motor Show. where he forged an alliance with Austin boss Leonard Lord to build it as the Austin-Healey 100.

Six iterations of the car were produced between 1953 and 1958, with the four-cylinder engine eventually replaced by a six-cylinder unit. Donald Healey was known to have favoured the four-cylinder engine, which is lighter and lends itself to performance upgrades more readily than the six-cylinder.

The car’s original quarter-length bumpers have been removed and the front remodelled to create a smoother, cleaner look. The front valance has also been elongated to hide the front of the chassis’ legs. Subtle remodelling of the headlights has created superior illumination with the integration of LED and daylight running lamps.

The execution of a cleaner, smoother look has been applied across the entire body, with all seams and beading removed. Despite being built on an English Wheel, using traditional methods, they are entirely free of the beading that ran through the centre of the original items. A new air vent and a finisher have been integrated into the flanks amplifying the dividing line that runs along the side of the car.

The rear bumpers are gone, as are the external boot hinges, replaced with new internal hinges running on gas struts. The boot handle is deleted too and the lid is now opened by an internal release mechanism.

Following a dry build to ensure absolute accuracy in final assembly, the body spends two weeks in the paint shop. It is primed, equipped with an OEM-standard anti-corrosion protection layer, and then painted. The car retains its original badging, with the subtle addition of the Caton logo to the front fenders. Period-style, lightweight 72-spoke Borrani black aluminium alloy wheels with black spinners are fitted and shod with period-correct but modern manufactured, off-the-shelf Michelin tyres.

At the car’s heart is a 185 bhp 195 ft/lbs of torque 2954cc four-cylinder engine, endowed with performance to take the car well beyond the 100mph top speed it was named for. Based on an original Austin-Healey block, the engine is completely stripped down, fully lightened, balanced, and then refurbished to zero miles. It is further enhanced with a full steel crank shaft, upgraded bearing shells, high compression pistons, a race camshaft with more aggressive lobes and roller rockers. Larger Twin H8 carburettors and gas flow inlets provide excellent throttle response. A race side-exit exhaust system adds further to the car’s considerable aural appeal.

Decades of international rally success testify to the inherent strength and durability of the Healey’s original suspension configuration. The system has been further honed by J.M.E. while retaining the original rear semi-elliptic leaf spring set-up. The Healey by Caton features a double-wishbone and adjustable coil spring configuration at the front, with a lever arm damper system and the car’s proven leaf spring system at the rear. Custom fabricated and fully rose-jointed roll bars are also fitted front and back.


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