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MGA vs. Austin Healey 100-4

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bills Avatar
bills Bill Spohn
W. Vancouver, , BC, Canada   CAN
I kind of liked the old 100 engine - less so after having to work on one in my BN1 (the first version with the screwy shift pattern and a 3 speed box created by simply blocking off first gear because the engine had too much torque to stand hard starts in the very low first ratio. Wonder if that made it the first car to have a synchro first by accident?

The engine was very heavy and agricultural - and produced only 90 bhp from 2.6 using 7.5 compression ratio and revving to a heady 4,000 rpm power peak, although it could thrash along another 800 rpm to the red line, not adding any power but giving a bit of margin to allow better shifts with the limited ratios in the box. Austin tried to foist the triclops Austin A90 on the colonies - one of the most poorly thought out and lowest selling cars ever - using this engine.

But the Austin Healey looks were glorious, especially coming out of the British 'upright' period of sports cars and it made the T series MGs look like ox carts. And like I said earlier, it ran like a train on the straights. To be clear, I couldn't pass the 100 on the straight with a stock MG engine- nowhere near, but when I switched to a modified Twin Cam, they disappeared in the dust - I even had one poor guy at Portland come over after a race to ask why his Jag XK-150S (3.8) got passed handily by me on the straight. winking smiley

The reason why I gained about 4 car lengths at every sharp turn even when running a stock engine was simply brakes. And while superior brakes are a huge advantage, it doesn't always mean that you can keep the lead or win a race. I had one memorable race (also at Portland as it happens) where I was turning laps about .01 sec, faster than a friend in an injected 283 Corvette, and I passed him twice every lap under braking but of course he overtook me pretty quick after we got out of the corner. If they had the start finish line 100 feet after that corner, the MG would have won......



Bill Spohn www.rhodo.citymax.com/carstuff.html
Current: 1958 MGA Twincam (race car (170 bhp)),1962 MGA Deluxe Coupe (98 bhp)
1957 Jamaican MGA (200 bhp)1965 1971 Jensen Interceptor (350 bhp)
2009 Pontiac Solstice GXP Coupe (350 bhp)
2007 BMW Z4M coupe (340 bhp)
Recent: 1969 MGC roadster (175 bhp),Jensen CV8 (375 bhp),
1969 Lamborghini Islero S (350 bhp), 1988 Fiero GT turbo (300 bhp)
North Vancouver BC

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RJBrown Avatar
RJBrown Randy Brown
Queen Creek, AZ, USA   USA
I think the MGA is a much better looking car.
The MGA scared Donald Healey so much we got two and a half years of the TF instead of getting the MGA in 1953.
His political pull at BMC convinced the fools at the top delay the MGA by almost 3 years.

Redhawk1689 Avatar
Redhawk1689 Gold Member Steven Stockham
Salina, KS, USA   USA
1958 MG MGA 1500 "Belle"
It's a nice thought but I'm pretty sure that the culprit responsible for the necessity of the TF was Leonard Lord! Donald Healey was just trying to get his car made.

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jonathan in mass jonathan eagle
weston, MA, USA   USA
Paint your MGA, Austin-Healey Blue.
That's what I did.

Redhawk1689 Avatar
Redhawk1689 Gold Member Steven Stockham
Salina, KS, USA   USA
1958 MG MGA 1500 "Belle"
Actually, I'm extremely happy with my Blue Pearl-coat that I have! smiling smiley

Gary E Avatar
Gary E Silver Member Gary Edwards
Kernersville, ,N.C., USA   USA
I did a frame up on a 100-4 once.. What a terrible car to work on. It cut my hands every time I got close. Sold it 75% done and bought a TF.



Gary

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