Lot 153 - 1955 Austin-Healey 100/4 BN1
|Chassis Number||BN1 222644|
|Odometer reading||9,216 miles|
|Estimate||£48,000 - £56,000|
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 24 Hours of Le Mans 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 right hand drive Austin Healey 100/4 was built on 9th February 1955 and supplied new in the UK. It spent some time in England before being exported to Australia with an emigrating family, then eventually finding its way to New Zealand being purchased by a Mr James McKinlay, who resided at the Trentham Hotel, Wellington. In 1978 the car passed to John Whiting and from there it passed through two other ownerships, a Mr Ashley Thomas and John Milligan. The car carried the very distinctive registration number of LM 1955. During Mr Milligan's ownership a restoration started in 1980 and was completed in 1990, this included a complete engine rebuild, gearbox rebuild, bare metal respray, interior retrim in Connolly Leather and numerous other components. The car remained in New Zealand for approximately nine years before returning to the UK where it was registered on 1st April 1999 and became part of a private collection. In 2014 the Healey was with Murray Scott-Nelson where the gearbox was removed, stripped for assessment by Hardy Engineering and reassembled it with new components as necessary, this came at a cost of just over £2,500. This beautifully presented 100/4 is supplied with a V5C registration document, a British Motor Industry Heritage Trust Certificate, documentation from New Zealand, a photograph album showing the works carried out and a file containing invoices and old MoT's. 100/4's are eligible for some of the most prestigious rallies and sporting events throughout the world. A comprehensive history and restoration makes this a highly collectable example.
Previous lotLot 152 - 2004 Porsche 911 / 996 Turbo
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