Donald Healey, who was once so closely associated with fast Triumphs, and who was a great Monte Carlo Rally exponent, has decided to manufacture a car of his own. In the 2.4-litre Healey he would seem to have “got something.” Lots of people regret the passing of the vintage-type car and do not quite know what will take its place. The answer seems to be streamlined moderns, the low frontal area of which will enable designers to combine high gearing and extreme performance, two very desirable factors. Working to this end, Healey built an experimental car. We saw it accelerating vividly away from an hotel in Kenilworth and imagined we had seen a new Standard. We hadn’t: We had seen the 2.4-litre Riley-Healey.
Putting a “Big Four” Riley engine into a special chassis, Healey claims to have achieved a car weighing 19 cwt. in open form and 20 cwt. as a saloon, and developing 100 b.h.p., able to reach 60 m.p.h. from rest in 10 sec., 70 in 16 sec., 80 in 28 sec., and to clock 19 sec. for the s.s. 1/4 mile. The chassis is entirely special, with trailing-link, coil spring, independent front suspension and a normal rear axle sprung on coil springs. The wheelbase measures 8 ft. 6 in., the track 4 ft. 5 in. front and 4 ft. 6 in. rear.
The gear ratios are really high: 3.5, 4.96, 7.54 and 12.76 to 1, and the Dunlop disc wheels carry 5.75 in. by 15 in. E.L.P. tyres. The fuel tank has a capacity of 16 gall. The open 2/4-seater body, wind tunnel evolved, has very advanced lines, with bulbous wings covering the wheels and a bonnet fairing which incorporates Lucas headlamps concealed beneath flaps which rise as the lamps are switched on, two built-in pass lights and flush-fitting side lamps. The steering geometry has been very carefully laid out and braking is Lockheed hydraulic. The Healey is certainly one of the most outstanding moderns, and should comfortably exceed 90 m.p.h. The saloon is equally advanced. We look forward to a road test of this well-known competition driver’s product.