Donald Healey and his small team at the Donald Healey Motor Company in Warwick, England, were on a roll. Late 1952 brought the combining of Austin and Healey into the new marque of Austin-Healey. Part of the agreement between the newly formed British Motor Corporation and the DHMC was that the Healey team would have the responsibility for experimentation and competition.
By the end of 1956, close to 14,650 four-cylinder Austin-Healey 100s had been built, and the new six-cylinder 100/6 had been on the market for close to six months. Regular meetings occurred between Donald Healey and BMC boss Leonard Lord, and it was at one of these that both expressed concern about the rising costs of sports cars and they agreed that there was a need for a small, low-cost car—something akin to such Austin 7 derivatives as the Meteor and Ulster from 20 or so years earlier. Both Lord and Healey were probably just musing over a glass of Scotch whiskey, but it certainly got the latter thinking.