TransDev Chairman’s British V8 roars in Malta
V8 in Mdina Glass Concours D’Elegance, Malta
TransDev’s Chairman Ian Osborne took his 1956 Austin-Healey 100 to the Mdina Glass Concours in Malta, where the ferocious fighter plane livery and V8 turn of pace provided awards and thrills.
Like many classic cars the Austin-Healey has an intriguing history with the main clue in the striking livery. It was converted to V8 power in the Fifties by its first owner, a US airman, who bought it from Austin-Healey’s export department. He then drove it to his airbase in Spain where he flew F-100 interdiction fighters. Following this he then sent it over to the US on a military transport plane. When Sports Car Club of America (SCCA) rules changed, to allow the new wave of small block V8s, the airman swapped the original four-cylinder engine for a Chevrolet V8.
Ian expanded on this by saying, ‘This car predates the AC Cobra – in fact, Carroll Shelby approached Austin-Healey for bodyshells without engines, but they turned him down flat so he went to AC instead. Although Shelby was always going to use a Ford V8, this is similar in spirit.’
Ian and his Austin-Healey, which also features products available from TransDev such as a CONTI Pioneer belt, won Best Overseas Entrant and maintaining the car’s historic image. He collected his trophy wearing a period USAF officer’s uniform. The next day Ian took to the street track on the outskirts of Mdina, coming second in the race for modified sports cars.