Catton, a new British coachbuilding company aiming to capitalize on the growing popularity of the classic car Ristomod, has been making its own presentation of the Austin Heli 100 BN1 since the early 1950s.
The official release of Healey by Caton will take place at Salon Private in London on April 21-23, and the Brand plant at Coventry will have just 25 hand-made examples, each selling for £ 500,000.
The brand’s vision for Healey’s recovery and modernization is to remain as loyal to the original car as possible. Careful attention has been paid to subtle changes in design – such as disassembly and removal of some external handles.
The engine chosen is the smaller 2,954cc four-cylinder unit that was originally fitted to the previous generation Austin Helix. Based on an original block, the engine goes through an extensive rebuild that involves a stripdown, lightning, and balance. It also features a steel crankshaft, upgraded bearing shell, high compression piston, a race camshaft, H8 carburetor, gas flow inlet and a side-exit exhaust system. This rebuild has been combined with an upgraded five-speed manual gearbox and has improved the figures to 185bhp and 264Nm of torque, allowing the Haley by Caton to easily surpass the 100mph maximum speed of the original car.
Below, the original semi-elliptical spring rear-suspension configuration is maintained while the front suspension has been upgraded to double-wishbone and adjustable coil spring setup. A new, stronger chassis has also been installed in an effort to eliminate known weak points.
Inside, Healey by Caton offers more space than the original but continues the overall theme of reliable but effective modernization. The seats are made of natural leather which was specially chosen for its pleasant aroma.
Caton hopes to match this design and future if the original manufacturers of the car had modern equipment and technology in their hands, the aluminum body panels would have been made with a 0.2 mm tolerance. The company has partnered with Envisage Group for production and engineering support, drawing from the firm’s experience with OEM brand and classic car recovery.
Caton will use its numerous envisage features, including milling, 3D printing and paint laboratories, to create the CoachBuilt model, and like other restomas, each customer will probably be offered a huge array of personalization options.
Speaking about the collaboration with Caton, Tim Strafford, CEO of Envisage Group, said: “Caton was our investors’ vision, to create a unique brand using the perfect engineering, basic craftsmanship and British expertise to create unrivaled products in the automotive field. Even after that.
“Caton will stand out as its own, as an expert brand, inspired by precise engineering. It will offer ultra-exclusive, highly-aspiring British-designed products in and out of the automotive sector. This exciting new brand will showcase what is possible when design and technological advances are pushed to the highest possible level with exceptionally luxurious creations. ”
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