3000 REPLICA, FORD 302 V8, AUTOMATIC, TILT, SUPER NICE CAR, DRIVES FANTASTIC!
Austin-Healey prices are skyrocketing, but if you like the look and need something more affordable, then this nicely finished Mark III replica is a solid choice. Inspired by some of the other great Anglo-American hybrids, it sports the ideal British sports car look backed by the ferocity of a small block Ford V8.
At a glance, this example is pretty accurate. From the louvered hood to the trapezoidal grille to the gently rounded rear, it has a look any car guy can spot a mile away. It's fiberglass, of course, and they took a few liberties with the shape in the name of performance, giving it wider fender flares to house the oversized rubber needed by that big V8. Finish quality is very good, with clean bodywork that obviously had a lot of prep time and good gaps that are the product of careful work at the factory. Bright red is certainly a traditional sports car color and it certainly works well here, particularly when you hear the exhaust note. Chrome bumpers, those cool fender-mounted rear-view mirrors, and reproduction Austin-Healey badges effectively boost the illusion that this is a vintage British sportster.
Tan buckets make for a wonderfully vintage-looking interior. Complemented by door panels trimmed to match and black carpets, they got the basics right in this replica. The dashboard is real wood with a twin-cockpit feel and a few modern amenities to make it more user-friendly than an original. The Grant GT wheel feels substantial and the round-faced gauges are easy to see thanks to a tilt steering column. OK, so there weren't any automatic-equipped Healeys built back in the '50s and '60s, but it does make this a relaxed cruiser that'll go anywhere without making a fuss and it's supremely comfortable in ways that the original isn't. There's an effective heating system, for example, as well as a modern AM/FM/CD stereo that sounds great. A chrome roll bar adds stiffness to the chassis and looks racy, yet fits neatly under the tan convertible top, which stows neatly behind the package shelf. There's also a usefully-sized trunk that'll handle a few overnight bags for your next road trip to your favorite driving spot.
A 302 cubic inch Ford V8 means this bright red roadster is more akin to a Cobra than a British aristocrat. It rumbles to life with that characteristic small block sound and exhales through a pair of Flowmasters using chrome tips under the bumper for a more authentic look. The engine is brightly detailed with lots of chrome and stainless, including the polished firewall that makes it truly sparkle. A 750 Holley double-pumper feeds an Edelbrock intake and the fires are lit by a new MSD HEI ignition system. The fit is tidy and the small block moves the lightweight car with such effortless ease that you'll probably have trouble keeping your foot out of those endless reserves of torque. The automatic transmission always seems to be on its toes and in the right gear, and while the chassis brakes no new ground with a Mustang II setup in front and an 8-inch axle on leaf springs in back, it feels agile and tight going down the road. Shiny chrome wire wheels add an elegant touch and wear fat 205/70/14 front and 235/60/14 rear blackwall radials.
The point of a replica isn't to exactly duplicate another car, but rather to create something new that borrows great elements from other vehicles, and nothing succeeds like lots of power in a 2-seat sports car. Call today!
- AM/FM Radio
- CD Player
- Front Disc Brakes
- Leather Seats
- Manual Convertible Top
- Power Brakes
- Tilt Wheel
- Front Brakes
- Power Disc
- Rear Brakes
- Power Drum
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