The Original Austin Healey Parts Specialist

Future-Proofing Classics: Electrifying the Austin Healey

Posted: Tuesday, 23 April 2024 @ 16:55

Written by Briana Hilton

The thing about being vintage is that it never goes out of fashion.” — Anthony T. Hincks. The classic Austin Healey is an important part of car history. It’s a perfect example of British craftsmanship, creativity, and love for cars. However, in the present time, something new is happening to this iconic vehicle. Companies like Moment Motor Co. and Revival Autos, known for their innovative ideas, are giving this vintage carline an electric makeover.

Austin Healey BN1

The Classic Austin Healey: A Timeless Icon

In 1952, the Classic Austin Healey was born, combining the resources of the British Motor Corporation with the engineering flair of Donald Healey. The brand grew popular fast because it combined Healey’s design skills with Austin’s ability to make cars. Cars such as the 100-6 and 3000 series got lots of praise for their strong six-cylinder engines and stylish bodies. In fact, at its premiere at the 1952 London Motor Show, a model called ‘The Healey Hundred’ reached more than 100 mph at the Le Mans race track. By 1972, however, production came to an end, a victim of economic pressures and tighter safety standards and emissions laws, especially in the all-important US market.

Those 20 golden years continue to be celebrated, however, and the Austin Healey is among the most collectable marques of the 1950s and '60s. While originality is important to collectors, modifying Healeys has always been popular among owners. Those modifications are not limited to upgrading the suspension or tweaking the fuel delivery system. Some Healeys are being truly transformed and brought into the 21st Century with EV conversions.


How Moment Motor Co. Converts Austin Healeys into Electric Vehicles

Moment Motor Co., based in Austin, TX turned an Austin Healey into a battery-powered car. They started by scanning parts of the old car to find room for the power pack. They used this scan and computer modeling to see where they could put lots of small batteries. It took thoughtful planning, but Moment Motor Co. made it work. The company changed a 1961 Austin-Healey 3000 Mk II into a new electric one while keeping its period appeal intact. Moment uses professionally designed motors and reusable battery boxes with different setups that have been thoroughly tested in several different vehicles. This flexibility is necessary because these components need to fit inside cars originally built for combustion engines. Potential driving range may be between 75-100 miles at minimum up to about 175-200 miles at most, depending on how well components fit within specific models. As for pricing and timings: Costs could fall anywhere from $50K-$150K depending on each specific project’s needs.

How the Electric Austin Healey Compare with Other Electric Cars

Revival Autos in London also modified an Austin Healey into an electric car. This EV’s performance was impressive, similar to other electric cars. Its motor size was 110kW, delivering a brake horsepower of 148bhp and 320 Nm of torque). It also had a battery pack of 40 kWh that ensured acceleration on the same level as petrol models, but it provides more power than petrol versions. The team at Revival Autos is working on a new model, too. This one will be stronger with a motor size of 160KW (215bhp, with a torque of 340 Nm). Although there are no official numbers yet, they expect this Electric Austin Healey might perform far better than the original version. The vehicle offers both power and helps safeguard our environment due to being electric, so it has a lot going for it.


The Future of Classic Car Collecting

Collecting classic cars is changing. These changes come from new technology and different age groups of people who are getting interested in vintage and classic cars. It is estimated that the market could grow to $43.4 billion by the end of 2024, up from $30.9 billion in 2020. Mostly, more young people in their mid-30s and 40s are beginning to get interested in classic cars, and that’s when they start getting involved in the hobby of classic car restoration and collection. They like technological developments a lot and care about the planet’s health as well. This means the idea of sacrificing originality for electric ones is not the anathema that it might be among older generations of enthusiasts. Things like computer-aided design, 3D printing, virtual reality, and augmented reality have all also been seen as part of this change towards newer technologies to future proof our beloved classics.

With more people looking out for the environment now, more surviving Austin Healeys will surely find new life as electric cars. These conversions made possible by different companies bring these classic car models into modern times without them losing their unique charm. Purists might disagree, but surely an EV converted Healey is better than one being broken for spares or languishing unused as a static museum piece.

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