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Racing Healey 100 Chevrolet Restoration and History


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#1 TimLlewellyn

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Posted 16 November 2017 - 10:12

We have recently purchased a 1956 Healey Chevy from South Africa. The car is one of a set converted in period by Hickman Brothers of Salisbury Rhodesia. We are trying to get it to the correct spec to get FIA papers. We are told that some of the Hickman cars competed in Angola, Zimbabwe (Rhodesia), South Africa, and Mozambique. We are thus looking for any history, photos, info on specifications, race programs, contacts etc to help in our restoration. Also useful would be any period photos of the Arthur Kennard car that ran in New Zealand from 1958 to 67. Also anything technical on the Healey Chevrolets run in the USA by Forrest Dana, A Rose, Denny Okana, Bill Stone, Dick Stockton, John Armanino, Richard Matthews, JW Bothwell, Lonnie Glasscock, Stan Peterson, and William Wilson.All help and guidance gratefully appreciated.

Le_Mans_Sports_and_GT_2012-11-03-044.jpg


Edited by TimLlewellyn, 16 November 2017 - 11:21.


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#2 Rupertlt1

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Posted 16 November 2017 - 20:21

There were Healey-Chevs in Canada. A quick look has turned up #292 John Drynan from Dunnville, Ontario in 1960:

 

http://www.racingspo...Drynan-CDN.html

 

I'll keep looking. RGDS RLT



#3 Perruqueporte

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Posted 16 November 2017 - 20:45

The late Allan Cameron, who died last year, imported a Healey 100 Chevrolet from the USA some years ago, and put it back into original Healey specification. Allan was an accomplished Healey racer and preparer and, for a number of years, the Bugatti Owners’ Club competition secretary at Prescott. When he acquired his Healey Chevrolet it had a rare early-1950s close ratio Moss gearbox installed. Allan sold me the gearbox for my C-Type, and when we dismantled and checked it over we were astonished to find that it was in very good order and did not reflect the wear and tear we expected it to have suffered from the Chevrolet engine.

I imagine that someone in the Healey club here in the UK may recollect what happened to that car.

Christopher W.

#4 Ray Bell

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Posted 16 November 2017 - 22:10

The 100S Alan Jones imported into Australia in the seventies also had a Chevrolet V8...

It also had a seriously altered nose so it didn't really look like an Austin Healey any more. His complete restoration was completed not long before his death.

#5 Henk Vasmel

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Posted 16 November 2017 - 22:24

The book "Historia Do Esporto Motorizado Em Moçambique" contains quite some pictures and race results from the late fifties with big Healey's. Usually listed as Austin A100 though. My Portuguese is virtually non-existent, but with the names of drivers, I could try to distill something from the book.



#6 GMACKIE

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Posted 16 November 2017 - 22:29

The 100S Alan Jones imported into Australia in the seventies also had a Chevrolet V8...

It also had a seriously altered nose so it didn't really look like an Austin Healey any more. His complete restoration was completed not long before his death.

Maybe you should explain that this is not the F1 Alan Jones !



#7 Rupertlt1

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Posted 16 November 2017 - 23:00

Mosport Grand National Race Meeting, G.V.C.C. August 5th 1961:

RACE 2 - NOVICE RACE. HEAT 2. 8 LAPS

Sports cars over 3000 c.c.

#138 Entrant J.P. Webster Driver Paul Webster Agincourt, Chev. Healey 

 

RGDS RLT



#8 Rupertlt1

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Posted 16 November 2017 - 23:12

Tim, You may like:

 

https://revslib.stan...tthews Bodyshop

 

Also:

 

http://www.racingspo...-Matthews#.html

 

https://www.healey.n...e-3-bladz14.pdf

 

RGDS RLT


Edited by Rupertlt1, 16 November 2017 - 23:30.


#9 Lee Nicolle

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Posted 16 November 2017 - 23:29

I believe the Chev set up would be better than the original as the engine probably weight quite similar and the weight a little further back. I presume they used the GM gearbox as well?  The Austin diff would handle the power with a little sympathy though getting tall enough final drive may be  a little hard.

With 50 years of hindsght and components it should be a really quick car though very tyre limited!



#10 group7

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Posted 17 November 2017 - 00:33

I will unearth my "Springbok Series" book by Greg Mills,  and see if there is anything there.

 

Also there are a number of sites covering racing in Africa.

 

David Hepworth ran a Healey-Chev in hill climbs in the '60s in Britain, I have one image in my computer files.

 

Michael, in Canada.

 

 

PS: If Jerry Entin spots this he might have something for you   :wave:


Edited by group7, 17 November 2017 - 00:37.


#11 Ray Bell

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Posted 17 November 2017 - 00:57

Originally posted by GMACKIE
Maybe you should explain that this is not the F1 Alan Jones!


In not doing so, Greg, I was guided by a few things.

First, Alan always referred to himself as 'THE' Alan Jones. He would not expect any further explanation.

Second, other elements in the post (imported in the seventies, restored a Healey 100S etc) detract from any thought that might lead to confusion.

Finally, anyone reading this, and looking at the date of the post, would know it didn't refer to Alan Stanley Jones, 1980 World Champion, who still lives.

#12 Ray Bell

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Posted 17 November 2017 - 01:03

Originally posted by Lee Nicolle
I believe the Chev set up would be better than the original as the engine probably weight quite similar and the weight a little further back. I presume they used the GM gearbox as well?  The Austin diff would handle the power with a little sympathy though getting tall enough final drive may be  a little hard.


You're right about engine weight, Lee, but I don't see that it would be further back without alterations.

The gearbox would be heavier as it seems they went for Jaguar boxes. And there's more to the final drive than there might be.

The first of the Austin Healey 100s had the rear end out of the A90 Atlantic with 4-stud wheels etc. This was somewhat marginal even with the original engine in competition.

Later cars had the rear end with which you would be more familiar, as used in the big sixes and the J-vans, as far as I know the tallest ratio was a 3.54:1. Okay if the Jag box was even heavier and had an overdrive, I guess.

#13 TimLlewellyn

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Posted 17 November 2017 - 09:05

The book "Historia Do Esporto Motorizado Em Moçambique" contains quite some pictures and race results from the late fifties with big Healey's. Usually listed as Austin A100 though. My Portuguese is virtually non-existent, but with the names of drivers, I could try to distill something from the book.

That could be very helpful. Let us hold on for now and see if anyone can come up with driver names for the Hickman cars, as I have nothing yet other than Gordon Crichton.


Edited by TimLlewellyn, 17 November 2017 - 09:56.


#14 TimLlewellyn

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Posted 17 November 2017 - 09:24

I will unearth my "Springbok Series" book by Greg Mills,  and see if there is anything there.

 

Also there are a number of sites covering racing in Africa.

 

David Hepworth ran a Healey-Chev in hill climbs in the '60s in Britain, I have one image in my computer files.

 

Michael, in Canada.

 

 

PS: If Jerry Entin spots this he might have something for you   :wave:

Springbok series is not available through Amazon or ebay at present so if you could take a look that would be great.



#15 cooper997

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Posted 17 November 2017 - 09:41

Tim, have you tried these Healey enthusiasts? Might be some leads.

https://www.healey.co.za

Stephen

#16 TimLlewellyn

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Posted 17 November 2017 - 09:55

What a great article, and such useful pics. Very interesting to see all the spec changes. I had not realized that this car had had the shape of the nose changed. If nothing sensible comes up on the African research we could follow this spec for our FIA papers, but I suspect they would need us to change the front of our car to match which I would not want to do. Let us hope these spec changes turned out to be 'custom and practice'. Very many thanks.



#17 TimLlewellyn

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Posted 17 November 2017 - 09:57

Tim, have you tried these Healey enthusiasts? Might be some leads.

https://www.healey.co.za

Stephen

No, did not know of them so I will get in touch. Thanks.



#18 Rupertlt1

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Posted 17 November 2017 - 11:29

COMPETITION PRESS and AUTO WEEK, 12 Sept 1964:

100 S HEALEY CORVETTE-New 327

engine, spent $6,000 to build, special

paint, and upholstery. Real sharp, must

sell. Make offer. E. B. Parkinson, 1220

Olive ln. La Canada, Calif.; (213) 790-

3377.

 

See post #3.

 

RGDS RLT



#19 Alan Cox

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Posted 17 November 2017 - 15:19

Springbok series is not available through Amazon or ebay at present so if you could take a look that would be great.

A couple of copies available on Abebooks, Tim. Not cheap, as one might have anticipated
https://www.abebooks...a of sports car

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#20 TimLlewellyn

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Posted 17 November 2017 - 15:33

A couple of copies available on Abebooks, Tim. Not cheap, as one might have anticipated
https://www.abebooks...a of sports car

Ouch. A lot for a punt if there is nothing of interest to this project in there.



#21 group7

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Posted 17 November 2017 - 19:45

Tim, have unearthed my copy of "Springbok Series" I will get back to you.

 

Michael.



#22 group7

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Posted 17 November 2017 - 21:30

Tim, I'm sure you have done a lot of research, there is some information here, in the link below, from page 34 on, A Healey-Chev raced in South Africa does get a mention. The rest seems to deal with more current projects.

Might be worth contacting the people behind this article.

 

Michael

 

http://bighealey.org...ssue_8_2016.pdf



#23 TimLlewellyn

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Posted 17 November 2017 - 21:58

Tim, I'm sure you have done a lot of research, there is some information here, in the link below, from page 34 on, A Healey-Chev raced in South Africa does get a mention. The rest seems to deal with more current projects.

Might be worth contacting the people behind this article.

 

Michael

 

http://bighealey.org...ssue_8_2016.pdf

Many thanks. The one mentioned as racing recently is mine.The Neville Austin one I am trying to find out more about, but what I have been told and that remains unverified is that it was a more recent conversion. I am keeping digging.



#24 Ray Bell

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Posted 17 November 2017 - 22:35

Originally posted by Rupertlt1
COMPETITION PRESS and AUTO WEEK
, 12 Sept 1964:
100 S HEALEY CORVETTE-New 327
engine.....

The 100S was way less likely, I would think, to get a Chev V8 stuck in it...

For a start, the production numbers were not very high. 55 if memory serves me right.

So I wonder if this is the car later owned by Alan Jones or another one?




.

Edited by Ray Bell, 17 November 2017 - 22:36.


#25 terry mcgrath

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Posted 19 November 2017 - 09:18

where do I get a copy of this book as mentioned above

"Historia Do Esporto Motorizado Em Moçambique"

 

terry



#26 terry mcgrath

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Posted 19 November 2017 - 09:32

in later years in Australia there was a big healey with a V8 that raced regularly in the eastern states wide wheels etc and from memory it was brought to western australia by Ian Wookie c 1980


Edited by terry mcgrath, 19 November 2017 - 09:35.


#27 Henk Vasmel

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Posted 19 November 2017 - 13:59

where do I get a copy of this book as mentioned above

"Historia Do Esporto Motorizado Em Moçambique"

 

terry

I have bought it through a motoring bookshop in Portugal, called Ascari. A quick scan showed that it appears to be no longer available at that site. It is a huge book (5 kg, more than 2 in. thick) and full of information that cannot be found elsewhere. Also pictured are hundreds of period newspaper clippings. And if I were able to read Portuguese, it would provide me with a lot more information still.



#28 nexfast

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Posted 19 November 2017 - 22:17

It is indeed almost impossible to get a copy (out of print nowadays). I have a borrowed one and I do read Portuguese, so I will try to dig some information (but probably only next weekend, due to time constraints). By the way, it is "Desporto", not "Esporto".



#29 nexfast

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Posted 19 November 2017 - 22:20

Well, I stand corrected, it seems it can still be bought in Portugal as for Vitesse post in the book thread. I'm gonna order one.



#30 oldtransamdriver

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Posted 20 November 2017 - 06:41

I drove one of these beasts on the street for a few years in the early 60s.  Was an ex drag-race car built in Virgil Ontario.

Had a 301 ci Chev engine made from a 265 corvette engine that was punched out to 301 ci. with a manifold and

a 3 2bl. set-up.  Had a BW 4 speed and a cut-down Chev rear end with 3:36 gears   I drag raced it a few times at

St. Thomas, Cayuga, Niagara Falls U.S and New Baltimore Mich.  Best was 13.7 @ 108 mph in 3rd gear.

 

Also did 1 road race at the old Green Acres track in 61, and the 63 Rockwood Hillclimb.  It had been comverted back

to street use and came with  a roll bar when I purchased it

 

Sure was fun to drive !

 

Robert


Edited by oldtransamdriver, 20 November 2017 - 07:43.


#31 Henk Vasmel

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Posted 20 November 2017 - 21:17

It is indeed almost impossible to get a copy (out of print nowadays). I have a borrowed one and I do read Portuguese, so I will try to dig some information (but probably only next weekend, due to time constraints). By the way, it is "Desporto", not "Esporto".

Yes it is. Sorry, my typo.



#32 Lee Nicolle

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Posted 20 November 2017 - 22:19

You're right about engine weight, Lee, but I don't see that it would be further back without alterations.

The gearbox would be heavier as it seems they went for Jaguar boxes. And there's more to the final drive than there might be.

The first of the Austin Healey 100s had the rear end out of the A90 Atlantic with 4-stud wheels etc. This was somewhat marginal even with the original engine in competition.

Later cars had the rear end with which you would be more familiar, as used in the big sixes and the J-vans, as far as I know the tallest ratio was a 3.54:1. Okay if the Jag box was even heavier and had an overdrive, I guess.

The engine is shorter so moves the weight back 6-9".

And yes the tallest ratio is 3.55? Out of a Wolsely of some description. possibly big Healeys as well.

A Jag box even in the 60s behind a Chev would be a heavy slow shifting fragile thing. GM had T10s in the late 50s.



#33 Lee Nicolle

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Posted 20 November 2017 - 22:20

As for Alan Jones, are we referring to the broadcaster or yet another one?



#34 Ray Bell

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Posted 20 November 2017 - 22:56

Originally posted by Lee Nicolle
As for Alan Jones, are we referring to the broadcaster or yet another one?[/i]

'The' Alan Jones was a prominent member of the AHOC in Sydney through the seventies and restored a 100S which he'd imported from America and which had some serious front body mods and a had been powered by a Chev V8.

If you'd read my post you'd know he died, he was killed in a car crash after leaving the 1979 Winton Historic meeting and encountering a Torana on the wrong side of the road near Springhurst.

He had previously contributed a nice history of Austin Healeys in Australia to Racing Car News which ran over two issues, the first of which was in the same issue as his obituary.

The latter also mentioned that he had compiled a very detailed history of Australia's collection of 100S models (which differ greatly from the regular Austin Healey 100), and of which over half the remaining number in the world then resided in Australia.




.

Edited by Ray Bell, 20 November 2017 - 22:57.


#35 David Birchall

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Posted 20 November 2017 - 23:08

Ray is right about the Alan Jones 100S.  The 100S engine he finally was able to fit came from a 100 that turned up in Vancouver fitted with a 100S engine--the new owner wanted it original!

There was another 100S fitted with a Chev engine.  I tracked down the owner after a long search.  In those days (mid seventies) I was obsessed with getting a 100S and to everyone I met I would say "Hi, I'm David and I am looking for a 100S Healey!)  This led me on a lot of false leads:  Talking my way past a woman whose ex-husband had assured me that the Healey that he had left in the house she now occupied alone was a 100S.  She was very reluctant to let me in and the car turned out to be just a 100.  Another time I bs'd my way on to the bridge of a ferry after being told that the Captain had one-he didn't...  Then one day I said it to an airline pilot and he responded "My father-in-law has one of those!"  Bingo!   I traced the (ex) father-in-law to Northern California only to discover that Steve Pike had bought the car after it had sat in a barn for years--so it too went to Oz.

Edit:  It was found fitted with a Chev V8.


Edited by David Birchall, 22 November 2017 - 18:18.


#36 Ray Bell

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Posted 20 November 2017 - 23:15

Originally posted by Lee Nicolle
The engine is shorter so moves the weight back 6-9".

And yes the tallest ratio is 3.55? Out of a Wolseley of some description. possibly big Healeys as well.....


I think you're getting confused with the 6-cylinder cars here, Lee...

The 4-cylinder engine would be shorter than a Chev V8 by a couple of inches. All posts at the beginning of this thread about about the 4-cylinder cars as is the picture.

The 3.54:1 rear end was fitted to automatic versions of the A99, Wolseley 6/99 and Princess 3-litre, the manual versions of these cars had an overdrive gearbox and therefore a 3.9:1 rear end. The 6/90 and Isis had 4.1:1 behind manuals, I don't know about any automatics in those earlier models.

Later versions of the sedans were the same up till the Mk 2 version (IIRC) of the 110 series, when the manuals had a 4-speed gearbox with no overdrive and probably had the 3.54:1 rear as well.

Yes, 6-cylinder Austin Healeys probably had 3.54:1 rears, and I'd think the later run of the 4-cylinder cars might have too. I have no idea what ratios were fitted to the earlier cars.

If you want to compare the Chev V8 to the 6-cylinder engine, it was pretty much the same weight as the 327 (620lbs waterpump to clutch) and perhaps 6-8" longer than the V8. No way would the centre of gravity move back that far. Remember, these engines were much smaller in the bore size and in fact the 3000 engines had siamesed bores because of the short block length.

Where the Chev V8 bore was around 4", both Austin engines were 3.4" (having started at 3.12" in that block), so the blocks were a little short. Just for the record, the 4 and 6 engines were in no way related.

#37 Lee Nicolle

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Posted 21 November 2017 - 02:48

Healey 100s are 6cyl? 

Yes that is what I was referring too. The 'big'. Healeys with the 3 litre 6.

Were the 4 cyl ones called 100 also? They are a bit shorter in the front I think.



#38 Lee Nicolle

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Posted 21 November 2017 - 02:52

I think you're getting confused with the 6-cylinder cars here, Lee...

The 4-cylinder engine would be shorter than a Chev V8 by a couple of inches. All posts at the beginning of this thread about about the 4-cylinder cars as is the picture.

The 3.54:1 rear end was fitted to automatic versions of the A99, Wolseley 6/99 and Princess 3-litre, the manual versions of these cars had an overdrive gearbox and therefore a 3.9:1 rear end. The 6/90 and Isis had 4.1:1 behind manuals, I don't know about any automatics in those earlier models.

Later versions of the sedans were the same up till the Mk 2 version (IIRC) of the 110 series, when the manuals had a 4-speed gearbox with no overdrive and probably had the 3.54:1 rear as well.

Yes, 6-cylinder Austin Healeys probably had 3.54:1 rears, and I'd think the later run of the 4-cylinder cars might have too. I have no idea what ratios were fitted to the earlier cars.

If you want to compare the Chev V8 to the 6-cylinder engine, it was pretty much the same weight as the 327 (620lbs waterpump to clutch) and perhaps 6-8" longer than the V8. No way would the centre of gravity move back that far. Remember, these engines were much smaller in the bore size and in fact the 3000 engines had siamesed bores because of the short block length.

Where the Chev V8 bore was around 4", both Austin engines were 3.4" (having started at 3.12" in that block), so the blocks were a little short. Just for the record, the 4 and 6 engines were in no way related.

283 is 3.875 bore and 3" stroke,,, and when bored to 4" became 302ci long before GM did it officially for the Z28.



#39 Ray Bell

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Posted 21 November 2017 - 03:52

Originally posted by Lee Nicolle
Healey 100s are 6cyl? 
Yes that is what I was referring too. The 'big'. Healeys with the 3 litre 6.
Were the 4 cyl ones called 100 also? They are a bit shorter in the front I think.


When Donald Healey produced the Healey 100, first displaying it at the London Motor Show I think, Austin immediately became involved and it became the Austin-Healey 100.

The whole mechanical package was from the 4-cylinder 2.6-litre Austin A90 Atlantic. I'm not sure of the machinations of it all, but somewhere in the early phase the first gear was blanked off because of the extra torque from Healey's uprating of the engine and it was a 3-speed.

But the A90 was in the throes of being phased out anyway. So it was soon necessary to put the A90 Six/Wolesley 6/90/Morris Isis 6-cylinder engine into it, again with some extras for more power including a 12-port head at some stage. At this time the overall dimensions of the car didn't change and the car was known as the 100/6.

Boring the 2639cc engine out to 2912cc came about 1959. As far as I know, the only modification to make the engine fit was to use the Isis bellhousing to put the starter motor on the side where there was room for it. Of course, radiator changes would have taken place along with alterations for engine mounts and so on.

The overall size of the car changed when the prototype Austin-Healey 4000s were built, with 6" being grafted into the width of the car at the centreline. This car used the Princess R 4-litre Rolls-Royce six and had a different gearbox and rear end, a Salisbury rear if I recall.

Though it was a huge improvement over the 3000s, it was canned because of the Leyland takeover and the fact that BLMC then had 6-cylinder sports cars laid on, the GT6, the TR5/6, E-type and of course the magnificent MG C, which was probably the main one involved in the making of this decision.

The MG C engine was a 7-bearing version of the 2912cc engine, also used in the fabulously successful Austin 3-litre De Luxe...

With regard to engine bores, each cylinder of the early cars was over half an inch smaller than the Chev, so that's over two inches in block length assuming a similar gap between the pots. The V8 also has the extra inch or so of length to allow for the stagger between the banks, so that's over 3" that the Chev was longer. With the six, you would be looking at a full cylinder dimension saved, so I would doubt it would be any more than 5" longer than the V8.




.

Edited by Ray Bell, 21 November 2017 - 04:01.


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#40 Allan Lupton

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Posted 22 November 2017 - 09:26

As a bit more of the digression into Chev-engined six-cylinder Austin-Healeys I remember Brian Wilkinson (later of Safety Developments)  doing one in the UK "like we did in New Zealand". The combination of a lighter engine with its CG further aft gave a visibly greater ride height at the front - about an inch I think I remember.

I'm pretty sure Brian used the A-H gearbox and back axle as they were and it did have amazing acceleration - as it was a road car, top speed was of little interest since the six-cylinder car was fast enough for most people.



#41 Ray Bell

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Posted 22 November 2017 - 10:56

He must have used a 221 or a BOP engine...

The Chev was no lighter and barely further back.

#42 David Birchall

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Posted 22 November 2017 - 18:20

Of course,  by the early sixties the small block Ford was available and that was a lot lighter...



#43 Ray Bell

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Posted 22 November 2017 - 21:56

The Windsor engine, yes...

The Cleveland is heavier than the Chev.

#44 Rupertlt1

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Posted 27 November 2017 - 10:26

Mosport Grand National Race Meeting, G.V.C.C. August 5th 1961:

RACE 2 - NOVICE RACE. HEAT 2. 8 LAPS

Sports cars over 3000 c.c.

"In Heat 2, Paul Webster's Chev-Healey vanquished the A-H-Triumph of Don Vallance and Barry Rosenburg's A.C. Bristol."

 

RGDS RLT



#45 Ray Bell

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Posted 27 November 2017 - 12:25

So what Triumph was over three litres?

An answer which asks its own questions...

#46 Tim Murray

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Posted 27 November 2017 - 12:47

The same question could be asked about the AC-Bristol.

#47 Ray Bell

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Posted 27 November 2017 - 13:02

Of course...

I was so mystified by the 'A-H-Triumph' bit that I neglected that one.

#48 Rupertlt1

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Posted 27 November 2017 - 13:05

Duly coshed. Race featured all classes.

Paul Webster's Chev-Healey O/A winner, also class winner Sports cars over 3000 c.c. (only entrant).

 

RGDS RLT


Edited by Rupertlt1, 27 November 2017 - 13:07.


#49 Rupertlt1

Rupertlt1
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Posted 02 December 2017 - 13:23

Hershey Hill Climb, April 2/3 1960

See #35 Richard E. Floyd, Elizabethtown PA, A-H Corvette
 

http://www.cliffreut...lts1960.htm#her

 

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#50 Rupertlt1

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Posted 02 December 2017 - 20:30

1961 Tucson Arizona Divisionals, Tucson Municipal Airport

 

#44 Art Murphy, Phoenix, AR, Chev-Healy BM

 

http://www.cliffreut...an/arizona2.jpg

 

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