Nanjing Automobile Corporation (NAC) has made a deal that will result in the revival of the Healey and Austin-Healey sports car brands.NAC is the owner of MG – last month it restarted production of the TF roadster at Longbridge – so it’s well aware of the useful publicity that comes from using famous British names.NAC’s deal is with the current owner of the Healey brand, HFI Automotive, an American firm that bought the rights to use the Healey name when it acquired Healey Automobile Consultants (established by Donald Healey and his son) in January 2006.In February 2006, HFI announced plans for several new Healey sports cars; a “high-performance sports car with the DNA of a Healey 3000 - in convertible and coupe derivatives, as well as a modern affordable replacement for the much-loved Healey Sprite.”There’s no indication yet as to what form the new Healey or Austin-Healey will take.
Healey, a brief history
Healey was founded by Briton Donald Healey, and produced cars in Warwick from 1946 to 1954. An Austin-engined prototype shown at the 1952 Earls Court motor show was adopted by BMC, and became the Austin-Healey 100. The brand was highly successful in the 1950s and early 60s, but it disappeared in 1970.Healey then collaborated with Jensen, producing the troubled Jensen-Healey from 1972 to 1976.