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Monday, 19 August, 2002, 20:46 GMT 21:46 UK
Austin Healey marque returns
Austin Healey 3000S
The new Austin Healey has a top speed of 135mph
A legendary name in sports cars is back in production, more than 40 years after its demise.

Austin Healey fanatic John Chatham has revived the classic two-seater and is manufacturing the updated model at his small garage on the outskirts of Bristol.

The former racing ace has spent years creating his three-litre 3000S which is based on a classic roadster, the DD300.

"I couldn't bring out a Healey that wasn't up to the marque, that would be sacrilege," said Mr Chatham.

John Chatham
John Chatham wanted to update his beloved brand

"I have had a dream for some years to start making Healeys again but I wanted to wait for everything to come together and get the right parts.

"What I wanted was the look, performance and sound of the old Healey but with 2002 science."

Every detail on the 3000S has been copied from the original racing Healeys which chalked-up many victories at America's famous Sebring track.

The car, which can achieve 0-60mph in six seconds and has a top speed of 135mph, retails at more than 40,000 from the Chatham-Healey garage in Hallen.

It is constructed using Healey parts and has a state-of-the-art Australian-built 190bhp aluminium engine.

'Blood and thunder'

Earlier this month the 3000S was well-received at the Austin Healey 50th anniversary festival in Thruxton, Hants.

"People like to get out at the weekend and get into a car that's a bit 'blood and thunder'," said Mr Chatham.

"It sounds good and feels good, it bounces and rattles a bit but gives a great thrill."

Austin Healeys were manufactured until 1967 when a prototype for the Healey 4000 was vetoed by the firm's production partner British Leyland.

In all, 80,000 were built and the cars dominated track and rally events around the world.


Click here to go to Bristol
See also:

02 Jul 02 | England
25 Feb 02 | Business
30 Sep 01 | England
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