Re-imaginations don’t sound very . . . well, imaginative. We’ve seen a whole slew of “continuation” cars from auto manufacturers of late (consider the efforts of Jaguar, Aston Martin, and Bentley as examples). While those may not technically be re-imaginations, they still serve to illustrate the point. Caton, however, is doing a re-imagination that maintains the original’s attitude and identity. The Healey by Caton is a roadster that brings the aesthetics of 1953 into the 21st century, and we’re here for it.
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Caton is a British design company that is part of the Envisage Group. Founded in 2009, Envisage offers bespoke engineering services, and Caton has come to be known as a luxury brand. For the Healey by Caton, the original manufacturing techniques—including using the English Wheel to roll out the car’s aluminium panels—were blended with modern approaches. The result is a car that resembles the original in nearly every detail, right down to the size. However, there are some notable differences.
The elimination of the front bumper makes it appear a touch wider and more aggressive. The front fenders no longer have beads and seams, and the rear fenders are actually wider, giving the tiers an impression of being fatter. The Healey still has just two seats though the interior has more space, making it more comfortable for taller drivers. Modern LED lighting is used in the front and rear. The trunk lid uses internal hinges and gas struts can be operated remotely with a key fob. Under the hood is a four-cylinder 2,954cc engine that is capable of 185bhp and 195 ft-lbs of torque, mated to a five-speed transmission.
“The Healey by Caton is a car for those who appreciate beautiful objects and exquisite works of art,” says Tim Strafford, the CEO of Envisage Group. “It is also for those who love the smell of petrol and the sound of a high-performance engine running on carburettors.” Only 25 examples of this “re-imagined” Healey will be made. According to reports, the car will run around £474,000 (AUD$810,000), but it will also come with plenty of personal touches as Caton says they will “add completely personal touches to any aspect of the car, from the exterior paint to interior materials and trim.”