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​Caton Austin Healey 100 BN1 restomod revealed

The new British luxury brand has unveiled its faithfully updated version of the Austin Healey and plans to sell 25.

Caton, a new British coachbuilding company aiming capitalise on the growing popularity of classic car restomods, has revealed its own rendition of the Austin Healey 100 BN1 from the early 1950s.

The official reveal of the Healey by Caton will take place at Salon Privé London between 21-23 April, and only 25 examples will be hand-built at the brand’s plant in Coventry, with each being sold at a price of £500,000.

The brand’s approach towards the Healey’s restoration and modernisation has been to remain as faithful as possible to the original car. Careful attention has been paid to subtle alterations to the design - such as deseaming and the removal of some exterior handles.

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The chosen engine is the smaller 2,954cc four-cylinder unit that was originally fitted to earlier generation Austin Healeys. Based on an original block, the engine undergoes an extensive rebuild involving a stripdown, lightening and balancing. It also gains a steel crankshaft, upgraded bearing shells, high compression pistons, a race camshaft, H8 carburettors, gas flow inlets, and a side-exit exhaust system. This rebuild is mated to an upgraded five-speed manual gearbox and results in improved figures of 185bhp and 264Nm of torque, allowing the Healey by Caton to easily exceed the 100mph top speed of the original car. 

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Underneath, the original semi-elliptic leaf spring rear-suspension configuration has been retained while the front suspension is upgraded to a double-wishbone and adjustable coil spring setup. A new, strengthened chassis is also fitted in an effort to eradicate known weak points.

Inside, the Healey by Caton offers more space than the original but continues the overall theme of faithful but effective modernisation. The seats are finished in natural leather that was chosen specifically for its pleasant aroma.

Caton hopes that this design and future ones resemble what would’ve been possible if the cars' original creators had modern tools and technology at their disposal, with aluminium body panels crafted to tolerances of 0.2mm. The company has partnered with Envisage Group for manufacturing and engineering support, drawing from the firm’s experience with OEM brands and classic car restoration. 

Caton will utilise numerous Envisage facilities, including its milling, 3D printing and paint laboratories to create coachbuilt models, and as with other restomods, each customer will likely be offered a huge array of personalisation options.

Speaking about the collaboration with Caton, CEO of Envisage Group Tim Strafford said:  “Caton was the vision of our investors, to create a unique brand that utilises precision engineering, bespoke craftsmanship, and British skills, to create unrivalled products in the automotive sphere and beyond.

“Caton will stand on its own, as a specialist brand, inspired by precision engineering. It will offer ultra-exclusive, highly-aspirational British-designed products within the automotive sector and beyond. This exciting new brand will demonstrate what is possible when design and technical development are pushed to the highest possible levels with exceptional luxury creations.”

Which classic model do you think will be receiving the restomod treatment? Tell us in the comments..

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Shane is responsible for looking after the day-to-day running of the Auto Express website and social media channels. Prior to joining Auto Express in 2021, he worked as a radio producer and presenter for outlets such as the BBC.

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