It has been quite a while since we last had one of these in stock, because they are getting harder and harder to find. This is a 1953 Austin-Healey 100/4 BN1, UK Supplied Right Hand Drive, finished in Reno Red with Red Interior. It has only had 2 owners in the last 38 years and is a good useable condition, ready for immediate use or gradual improvement over the winter. She is showing 78k Miles.
Before the 100 Le Mans and the Healey 100S, there was simply the Austin-Healey 100, and what an amazing car it proved to be. The result of a partnership signed in 1952 between the head of BMC, Leonard Lord, and the successful automotive engineer Donald Healey, the '100' – so named for its top-speed capability – was unveiled at the 1952 Earl's Court Motor Show as a more sporting alternative to the rather stodgy Austin A90 Atlantic Convertible. The 100 was simple and strong, the frame comprising a pair of steel rails that ran the length of the chassis about 17 inches apart, passing beneath the live rear axle and below the front lower wishbones. The alloy and steel body was supported by brackets extending outward from the main rails. The engine was the old Austin 90 long-stroke four of 2660cc, developing 90bhp at 4000rpm and 144 foot-pounds of torque at 2000rpm. Griffith Borgeson would write: "Such high torque at low engine speed is one of the competition assets of the Austin-Healey. Another is its durability...". The gear box was a 3-speed manual unit with floor shift, enhanced by a Laycock de Normanville overdrive on second and third gears. In high overdrive, top speed was about 110 mph. An endearing feature of the Austin-Healey is its lay-down windscreen, which adds greatly to its dashing, streamlined look and, not coincidentally, to its top speed.
The BN1 proved to be an able competitor. In fact, prior to the advent of the lightweight 'S' spec cars, the standard was carried by the early BN1 variant, albeit in sometimes modified form. Early outings included the Lyon-Charbonnieres Rally, the Mille Miglia, and the Le Mans 24 Hours, where Autocourse commented: "the performance of the two Austin-Healeys in the hands of Becquart/Wilkins and Gastonides/Lockett, probably the cheapest cars in the race, was remarkable." Further outings at the Goodwood Nine Hour Race and the Trifels Rally/Trifels Hill Climb with American Bob Cottam only cemented the legend.
This is a very early Healey 100, built 11th November 1953, and according to the Heritage Certificate Chassis 147402 is a UK Right Hand Drive, Home Market example, originally finished in the desirable colours of Healey Ice Blue with Blue Interior and Blue Hood, and I cant help but think it would revert to this spec when restored. The car was originally supplied to Donald Healey & Co. in Warwick and she carries the desirable and transferable Registration Number 4219 PO. Unfortunately we have next to zero history with the car, having come out of long term ownership 4 years ago, the service history is not present, one for the detectives I fear. The car appears to have been off the road during the seventies and was restored and re-registered in 1982, and as such the car arrives with a new MOT and Tax but scruffy in all details, but, importantly solid, the MOT carries no Advisories, which is a good sign. The engine is a period replacement and the gearbox has been uprated to the 4 speed Overdrive BN2 unit. The car drives and runs well, is ready for immediate use with gradual improvement over time. UK RHD 100's are a very rare beast and this car, in this price bracket, will not last a week let alone a month. Be quick if this might be for you.