Lot 255 - 1954 Austin-Healey 100 BN1
|Estimate||£37,000 - £44,000|
|Result||Sold - £47,040|
The Austin Healey 100 was built from 1953 until 1956 and developed by Donald Healey to be produced in-house by Healey's small car company in Warwick. Healey built a single Hundred for the 1952 London Motor Show and the design impressed Leonard Lord, Managing Director of Austin, so much, that a deal was struck with Healey to build it at Austin's Longbridge factory and renamed the Austin-Healey 100. The name came from Donald Healey who selected it due to the car's ability to reach 100mph, as opposed to the Austin-Healey 3000, duly named for its 3,000cc engine. Production Austin-Healey 100s were finished at Austin's Longbridge plant. The 100 was the first of three models later called the Big Healey's to distinguish them from the much smaller Austin-Healey Sprite. The first series 'BN1' were equipped with the same 90bhp engines and manual gearbox as the A90 although the transmission was modified to be a three-speed unit with overdrive on second and top. With only 6% of these early Healey's sold in the UK, their scarcity alone has made them hugely collectable, this combined with their competition potential in many of the worlds classic rallies makes for a desirable sportscar in any collection.
This Australian delivered righthand drive manual with overdrive BN1 was bought into the UK in 2012 by a young businessman. His intention was to fully restore the car and tour the south of France with his father. Having sourced a car from the dry climate of Kirrawee, New South Wales, it was immediately set about by renowned Healey specialists, JME Healeys of Warwickshire. JME's initial remit was to make the car both reliable and comfortable for what would have been a long pan-European jaunt. The mechanical work list included a complete suspension overhaul, steering, brakes overhaul, new rear axle, clutch and gearbox overhaul, fuel system, electrical, chassis repairs and finally a full service, the work was to be undertaken with a blank chequebook philosophy with labour alone costing £7,700. Documented and itemised in the extensive history file, the full bill, including parts and an extensive engine work also undertaken, came to a staggering £32,025. This did not include the full bare metal re-spray in British Racing Green.
Nearing completion, the owner and his father tested the car to check the work undertaken. Unfortunately, combined with his father's ailing health and the vendors 6ft 3" size, the realisation dawned on them that despite being extremely reliable and in absolute pristine condition, practicality meant they would struggle to tour for a day, let alone six weeks. Therefore, the car was only used on a few weekends this spring, partially to run in the work undertaken and also to enjoy this stunning example. An excellent opportunity for any collector and enthusiast to own one of the best early BN1 Healy's in the country and perhaps to fulfil its destiny of touring the Côte d'Azur. We highly recommended viewing this car and are assured you will not be disappointed.