HEALEY HOMAGE

Healey Caton news (8)

All-new luxury British brand Caton reveals its first creation: an ultra-exclusive reincarnation of the iconic Austin-Healey 100 sports car. Featuring a unique combination of OEM-grade design and engineering with traditional craftsmanship techniques, Healey by Caton brings the revered sports car up to date.

Featuring precision visual and performance enhancements, wholly in keeping with the ethos of the original car, Healey by Caton is a true driver’s car: an immersive, intoxicating and highly emotional experience. It will be extremely rare too, with a very limited run set of 25 cars to be hand-built in Coventry.

Caton occupies a unique position in the market, forging new products from an exceptional skillset and state-of-the-art technology. With unmatched resources that enable it to offer a completely new luxury proposition, its first offering is in bespoke vehicles. However, Caton’s team vows to create and manufacture products that align with luxury, British craftsmanship in the foreseeable future, and not just cars. The brand brings an exceptional harmony of experience, passion, OEM-level technology and craftsmanship to bare, focusing exclusively on the sympathetic enhancement and evolution of cherished products for the modern age, the first of which is a coach-built vehicle, the Healey by Caton.

Healey Caton news (5)

Taking a forensic yet sympathetic approach, Caton’s designers have introduced a subtle smoothness to the Healey’s instantly recognisable lines, gently amplifying the visual dynamism while fully respecting the engineering and design principles of the original car’s creator, Donald Healey.

Inside, the cockpit is totally new with a focus on the very best in 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, Healey by Caton is a highly useable sports car, offering all drivers the feeling of a classic but with true comfort. The finishing touch is a high-performance engine and finely-honed suspension, all of which combines to elevate driving pleasure to another level.

Caton’s team are enormous advocates of the Healey. In 1952, Donald Healey built the first Healey 100 prototype at his company’s workshops in Warwick, located ten miles south of Caton’s Coventry HQ. Healey took his fledgling, four-cylinder-engine two-seater roadster to that year's London Earls Court Motor Show where he famously 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. With these reasons in mind, Caton chose the original four-cylinder 100 ‘BN1’ model as its foundation and inspiration.

Healey Caton news (4)

The Healey by Caton design has been directed by Darryl Scriven, who explains: “Donald Healey got so much right when he designed the car originally. We wanted to pay homage to the original vehicle while making it more comfortable to live with, more fun to drive and even more dynamic and beautiful to look at.”

For the most part, though, Caton has refined, rather than added to the Healey's body. The rear bumpers are gone, as are the external boot hinges, replaced with new internal hinges running on modern gas struts. The boot handle is deleted too, and the lid is now opened by an internal release mechanism, run by a new, modern Caton key.

The car’s beating heart is a 185bhp 195ft/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.

The engine, and most of the car's mechanical components, are the work of the world’s leading Healey specialists J.M.E. Healeys (J.M.E.), who have strong historical links with the original Healey company. Jonathan Everard, who founded J.M.E., and his father Harold, worked for the Donald Healey Motor Company in Warwick. Today, the company is run by Jonathan’s sons, Chris and Dan and is based in The Cape Works in Warwick, the original home of the Healey company.

Healey Caton news (3)

Strengthened driveshafts transfer the formidable performance to the road. In keeping with the Healey by Caton’s pure, driver-focussed appeal, there are no electronic traction or stability controls to dilute the driving experience. Exemplary stopping power is provided by four-pot alloy callipers with vented front discs at the front, with discs and three-pot alloy callipers fitted at the rear. No ABS system is fitted in keeping with the purist driving feel.

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. The unassisted steering system delivers exceptional levels of feel and feedback.

With production of the Healey by Caton limited to 25 examples, the company will liaise with customers on a highly personal, one-to-one basis, as frequently as each requires. The customer can add completely bespoke and personal touches to any of Caton’s products. Hand-built production of the Healey by Caton will commence in Q2 2022.

Healey Caton news (10)
  • Views 271
  • 1
  • Comments  0

Add a Comment

Login or register to start a conversation.

Latest Motoring News

Browse our classic cars on auction
Visit Auctions
Inviting auction consignments
Selling Guide