Tuesday, 14 March 2017

Air-ride Austin-Healey

Words & photos - Daniel Bevis

Inarguably one of the coolest cars on the scene right now is Max Marshall's bagged 1958 Austin-Healey 100-6. Its unmissable hook is that it takes the engineering cues of the modern stance scene and applies them to a heavily patinated British classic; how many vaping twenty-somethings in MkIV Golfs would have had their heads turned by a Healey before this came along, d'you think...? Exactly. It's a groundbreaker.

Max's dad found the car in 2011, on sale in California. They repatriated it and, upon getting it back to the workshop, were delighted to find that the salt-free, sunny climate had preserved the thing beautifully. Furthermore, it quickly became apparent that its original schoolteacher owner had stopped using it in 1974 and it hadn't turned a wheel since - the period tax disc was evidence of this, as was the '74 newspaper wedged under the carpet!
Without an immediate plan, the car sat in the Marshall garage for a few years until inspiration struck one day at the Players Show, when Max suddenly got the urge to bag the old roadster. And so that's exactly what he did; with the engine revivified and the brakes freed off, the Healey was delivered to RIIVA Design, who fabricated custom brackets to fit the Air Lift Performance bags and 3P digital air management system. It was all ready by last year's Players Classic, and to say that it dropped jaws is a vast understatement. It's a clear demonstration that adding air-ride to a stock body with stock wheels and tyres can really do the business if you choose an unexpected base car. Max is basically just winning at life with this Healey.

Spotted at the 2016 Players Show - more pics here.

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