Lot 273 - 1954 Austin-Healey 100/4 BN1
|Chassis Number||BN1L 154920|
|Odometer reading||18,087 miles|
|Estimate||£50,000 - £60,000|
|Result||Sold - £58,240|
The result of a partnership signed in 1952 between the head of BMC, Leonard Lord, and successful automotive engineer and 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 passing beneath the live rear axle and below the front lower wishbones. 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 three-speed manual unit with floor change, enhanced by a Laycock de Normanville overdrive on second and third gears. In High Overdrive, top speed is about 110 mph. 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 Lyon-Charbonnieres Rally, 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’. Outings at the Goodwood Nine Hour race and with American Bob Cottam in the Trifels Rally and Trifels hill climb cemented the legend.
This completely original, matching numbers, Austin- Healey 100/4 was supplied new in California, USA to the one and only owner who passed away early last year. Letters from the lawyers who dealt with the estate also confirm that the mileage of just over 18,000 miles is also correct. The importer and vendor purchased the car directly from the deceased wife and brought the car to the UK. Now UK registered, this 100/4 has the original paintwork in red with black interior and black weather equipment and is supplied with a V5C registration document, an MoT test certificate which expires in October 2018, the original handbook, a photograph of the original owner and file containing old Californian registration documents and letters from the lawyers regarding the history of the car. This is a very rare opportunity to buy a very low mileage, original 100/4 BN1 which drives very well and is eligible for a number of international classic car events including the Mille Miglia and would be welcome at club events as well at Goodwood or Bicester Sunday breakfasts.
Previous lotLot 272 - 1968 Land Rover Series IIA (88")
Interested parties should satisfy themselves as to the description and condition of each lot prior to the sale. Buyers are advised to inspect the car in person or use a professional to carry out this service.