In nine eventful years – 1957 to 1965 – the six-cylinder-engined Austin Healey evolved into a formidable and increasingly specialised rally car. By any standards, it was the first of the ‘homologation specials’ – a type made progressively stronger, faster, more versatile, and more suitable for the world’s toughest international rallies. This is the story...
In nine eventful years - 1957 to 1965 - the six-cylinder-engined Austin Healey evolved into a formidable and increasingly specialised rally car. By any standards, it was the first of the "homologation specials" - a type made progressively stronger, faster, more versatile, and more suitable for the world's toughest International rallies. Though the motorsport foundations had been laid by the Healey Motor Co. Ltd, the work needed to turn these cars into rock-sold 210bhp projectiles was almost all completed by the world-famous "works" BMC Competitions Department at Abingdon. It was because of their vast experience that the "Big Healeys" as they were always affectionately known - became fast and tough, nimble yet durable, so that they were capable of winning major events wherever traction could be assured. Not only did the "works" Austin Healeys win some of the world's most famous events - including Liege-Sofia-Liege, Spa-Sofia-Liege and the French and Austrian Alpine rallies, but they were also supremely fast on events like the Tulip, and came so close, so often, to winning their home event, the British RAC Rally, which traditionally ended the season. Not only did these cars turn their drivers - Pat Moss, Donald Morley, Rauno Aaltonen, Timo Makinen and Paddy Hopkirk among them - into heroes, but individual cars seemed to take on a character and reputation of their own. This book lists each and every success, each and every notable car, and traces exactly how the machinery developed, and improved, from one season to the next. Over time, the "works" cars not only adopted aluminium cylinder heads and body panels, much-modified chassis, transmission and exhaust systems, but they also became supremely strong and could withstand a true battering on the world's toughest events. This book relates how the cars were improved by the engineers, how the drivers came to love their heavy and sometimes self-willed steeds, and how the management team got the most out of everything - machinery, personnel, drivers, and regulations. . Heavily illustrated and packed with technical detail this book will make a welcome addition to any motorsport fans library.
About the author
Graham Robson possesses a worldwide reputation as a motoring historian, and has been close to the sport of rallying for many years, as a competitor, team manager, organiser, reporter, commentator and observer; in more than forty years he has never lost touch with the sport. Not only has Graham competed in many British and European events, he's also reported on marathons in South America, and acted as a travelling controller in the legendary London-Mexico World Cup Rally. As a recognised authority on many aspects of classic cars and motoring of that period, he is the most prolific of all authors, with more than 120 published books to his credit. Over the years he has owned, driven, described and competed in many of the cars featured in this Rally Giants series, and his insight into their merits is unmatched.