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Austin Healey Returns In Restomod Form By Caton With A $600k Price Tag

Caton, a Coventry-based firm that presented a resurrection of the Austin Healey 100, is the newest entrant in the burgeoning restomod market. The model will be handcrafted in a limited edition of 25 pieces for a staggering £474,000 ($615,283), which includes the cost of the donor car.

Caton may be a new brand, but it benefits from the expertise of its strategic partner Envisage Group, which provided body panels for Jaguar’s XKSS and D-Type continuation series. The Austin Healey 100 restomod preserves the majority of the original’s visual elements, which were marketed between 1953 and 1958. However, a closer examination reveals that the body has been modified to be as pure as possible, taking use of the most recent manufacturing advances.

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The new jewelry-style front grille, somewhat modified headlights with LED graphics, more sculpted bonnet, aluminium front fenders, new side gills, and bumpers, door handles, seams, and beading have all been removed for a cleaner aesthetic. The body panels were produced utilising conventional equipment such as the English Wheel for aluminium components, and owing to 3D scanning and CNC, the panel gaps are uniform throughout the bodywork. Finally, period-correct remanufactured Michelin tyres are mounted on the 72-spoke Borrani black aluminum-alloy wheels with black spinners.

The inside has also been modified, with a thinner transmission tunnel, a new racing-style pedal box, and the spare wheel and tonneau cover removed, giving the driver and passenger extra space. A 6ft tall individual, according to Caton, can sit comfortably in the driver’s seat, whereas they would struggle to fit in the original. The wider door pockets and a handful of USB outlets for charging are other nice touches, however there is no infotainment or warmth. Shrink-optimized leather covers the dashboard and door cards, while quality Bridge of Weir hide covers the seats. Naturally, each Austin Healey will be able to be customised in terms of colours and materials.

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A 2,954cc four-cylinder engine with dual carburetors sits beneath the hood, repaired and enhanced by expert J.M.E. Healeys, who also worked on the new and stronger chassis. The engine generates 182 horsepower (138 kW / 185 PS) and 264 Nm (195 lb-ft) of torque, which is more than adequate for a 920 kg car (2,028 pounds). More crucially, Caton replaced the old three-speed transmission with a new five-speed transmission that transmits power to the rear axle for a better driving experience. Double wishbones with adjustable coil springs in the front and leaf springs in the rear enhance the suspension. There are no electronic assistance or anti-lock brakes, although braking performance has been improved.

Between April 21 and 23, the Austin Healey 100 by Caton will make its public premiere at the Salon Privé London, hosted at the Royal Hospital Chelsey, before beginning on a UK tour. Starting in the second quarter of 2022, Caton’s premises in Coventry, UK, will handbuild a total of 25 restomod units.

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