The Austin Atlantic was the car designed to wow America, but with 90% of this model, the MK3, going to the States, I’d wager this was a big hit with Americans in a way that Austin could’ve only dreamed of for the lovely little Atlantic.
One of the many brochures for these says across the front ‘for going places, the best people choose Austin Healey’ and these are people who clearly expecting the wind beneath their wings because the car is advertised in some UK brochures as doing ‘over 100mph’ or in excess of and in American brochures capable of hitting 125mph.
Even your MK1 launched in 1959 was boasting of doing 0 to 60 in 11 seconds, so by this point in production it was under 10 seconds. A little like top speed, I’ve got 2 or 3 different figures, so to err on side of caution, we’ll say under 10 seconds! The engine by the way is the six cylinder OHV 2912cc engine – which I’ll talk to you a little more about once we’re in the driving seat.
I should probably mention you’ll sometimes hear this referred to as the Big Healey and the reason for that is, is you also had your Austin Healey Sprite. I did a test of a later one of those earlier this year which you can find in my video listings if you fancy watching that afterwards. The British Motor Corporation, in my opinion, slightly knocked the good fortune out the window from this car because it replaced it with the MGC rather than keeping the Austin name on a quality, sporting vehicle.