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An Aero Space Engineer Cramed A Chevy Crate Engine Into A Classic Austin-Healey

Do you like lightweight British chassis powered by a big American V8 but think the Shelby Cobra is a bit to common? Do you lust after a car built by a Skunk Works engineer? Yes, that Skunk Works, as in Lockheed Martin, as in the same people who built the SR-71 Blackbird. After all the Blackbird is still one of the fastest planes in the world with a top speed of 2,193.2 MPH. Clearly having someone with that kind of speed running through their veins is capable of building one hell of a car!

Naturally the logical starting place for such a machine is an Austin-Healy 100 BN1 Roadster. Step 2 is to go bizerk with the modifications. Custom aluminum body, yup. Heavy duty, high performance suspension, its got that too. Throw in a 350 cubic inch Chevy small block and side pipes for good measure. Painstakingly build it over 6 years and you end up with a one of a kind street beast.

The body is completely removable. Not just the top, or the body panels, all of it. In theory you could drive this thing with its tube frame skeleton exposed and have no problem at all. Johnny Law may have a few things to say about it but you could do it.

Big engine in a small car, hot rodding 101

Bolted to the Chevrolet 350 crate engine is a 650 CFM Holley carburetor and drive goes through a 3 speed B&M automatic transmission. Wait, an automatic? A 3 Speed? Yes to both, in an effort to try and kinda, sorta keep this thing authentic to the period (the 60s) a 3 speed transmission was the transmission of choice. Personally I would have preferred Muncie M22 Rock crusher 4 speed manual but then again I am not an aerospace engineer, the guy who built this is. Therefore an argument could be made that he is smarter than I am and we should trust his judgement.

Sidepipes, everything is better with sidepipes.


All told this is a brilliant example of what can happen when you get one man with one vision building his dream car. This car follows the same formula as the Shelby Cobra and Sunbeam Tiger and yet it is completely unique and one of a kind. Best part it comes with world class engineering and is a total bargian. At the time of this posting the highest bid on Bring A Trailer was only $21,000.

Big engine in a small car, hot rodding 101

Source: Bring A Trailer

Written by Chad Kennedy

Chad burst from the womb wearing a racing suit and a helmet. Chad's passion for cars is in his very DNA. His father was a gear head and passed on the tradition through owning such classics as a '66 Mustang and a '59 Corvette all while taking him to various race tracks in the area. Chad likes to wrench on his rides whenever possible, forgoing the stealership. Chad is an avid motorsports fan with particular interest in endurance/sports car racing. When not online writing for Shifting Lanes, you can find him working at the local golf course teaching people how to swing or hooning a golf cart at impossible speeds.


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