Park this HMC Healey MKIV in the centre of town and it will have most passers by fooled. Save for the GRP body, flared front arches and subtly different lines there is no disguising the distinctive MKIII looks on which the HMC Healey MKIV is modelled. The question though is how does it drive, and the answer much better than you first think.
Gone is the heavy steering which means straight away this is not the bicep curling beasty like the original. It is after all bang up to date with a plush interior that includes a decent Ford sourced heater, walnut dash, Smiths dials and heated seats no less. What it does have is a TVR developed Rover 3.9 litre V8 power plant that starts to make things aurally a little more interesting. Fire it up, close your eyes and you could easily be sat in a Chimaera or Griffith, such is the noise that fills the air.
What really stands out with the HMC Healey is its build quality. This is no quasi kit car; it is a very well screwed together piece of kit. The steering, although power assisted, is direct and give it a pointy front end feel, excellent for firing into corners at speed. Just leaving you the driver poised ready to catch any tail end slip, if it does decide to break away that is.
Cue our first clue on how up to date this car is. The fully independent rear suspension will hold on doggedly in the dry regardless of how quickly apexes are sniffed out on the highway. The GRP body doing its part in keeping the overall mass of the vehicle relatively low in an era of bulky frames. The only time the steering does get a bit too pointy is when caught out by grooves left in the tarmac from lorries, causing the front of the car to dart from side to side. This could of course be dialled back out I suspect with a small tweak to the steering geometry.
With no immediate risk of exiting corners and roundabouts facing the opposite direction, whilst also keeping away from road undulations, the HMC Healey MKIV can be fully appreciated for what it is; a very accomplished cruiser. This for instance would be the perfect car to drive to the Le Mans Classic, with a two person tent strapped to the boot and a large flask of tea perched in the cockpit. If things did get characteristically wet en-route, then no problem because even the tight fitting roof is weather proof for goodness sake. How very un-classic car like is that?
What is also nice is how the HMC Healey MKIV ends up feeling very much like its own car. It is true it is not the brute like one of the originals, giving the impression it would be happier sipping wine rather than guzzling down pints of beer. Something that also separates it from TVR’s that are so loud and in your face. The HMC Healey also strikes a delicate balance between being a true classic and something you could drive regularly without too much concern about reliability or horrendous fuel economy. Don’t want to get your hands grubby and still feel part of the classic car crowd, then take a look at the HMC Healey MKIV.
The HMC Healey MKIV offers a perfect blend of old and new worlds.
How does this car make you feel?
In one word: Inspired
As a favourite meal: Chinese meal for two, not as challenging as a red hot curry but every bit enjoyable
Anything Else: If only all two seat V8 engine sports cars were built this way
Key Ingredients: Classic Healey 3000 styling combined with modern high quality mechanical and electrical systems
With thanks to Great Escape Classic Car Hire.
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