Lot 183 - 1957 Austin-Healey 100-6S BN4

Lot 183 - 1957 Austin-Healey 100-6S BN4

Lot 183 - 1957 Austin-Healey 100-6S BN4

Lot Number 183
Registration XNX 399
Chassis Number 52533
Engine Number 52533
Odometer reading 21,000 miles
Estimate £58,000 - £65,000
Result Sold - £57,120
  • One of 50 homologation disc brake cars
  • One of the last Longbridge built cars
  • Original UK supplied right hand drive car
  • Matching Numbers

The Donald Healey Motor Company used the designations BN1 and BN2 for the first two Austin-Healey cars with BN4 for the 100-6 4 seater and BN6 for the 2 seater six cylinder cars. The 100-6 was born from the Austin-Healey 100/4, 100M and 100S models and marked the change over from the four cylinder to the six cylinder engine. The production of the BN4 had begun at Longbridge in May 1956, immediately after that of the four cylinder BN2 had stopped and it continued there until December 1957 before moving to the Abingdon plant. At introduction, only the 4 seater car was available as Donald Healey had become convinced that was what the market wanted. The BN4 was based on some of the lessons learned in the development of the BN3. For some unknown reason, the designation BN4 was given to the two-plus-two car. This is the only instance where the ‘N’ is used on a four-seater model.

Healey had ordered 100 sets of the revolutionary Dunlop ‘round pad’ braking systems to homologate the earlier 100S cars and again were looking to homologate the 100-6 cars for rallying. With 50 sets of the Dunlop brake kits left at the Warwick factory it was decided to offer these on the 100-6 to special customers with an additional benefit of allowing Healey Works to gain homologation papers for competition 100-6 cars as used in the 1957 Mille Miglia class winning car of Tommy Wisdom.  XNX 399 is one of these cars making it one of the 50 believed to have been produced.

Restored by marque specialists Orchard Restorations with the engine rebuild carried out by Oselli Egineering in the early 1990’s, XNX 399 is a very rare ‘S’ variant retaining many of the original features such as centre bonnet crease, passenger door handle key lock and amber conical reflectors. The restoration was a high quality one with the car still in remarkably good condition showing a lovely patina that belies the restoration’s age.

The accompanying Heritage Certificate confirms the car to be a UK supplied, right hand drive Longbridge car completed on 10thNovember 1957. Being a 1957 car, XNX 399 is eligible for the high profile modern Mille Miglia events. Options selected when ordering included wire wheels (72 spoke, not the more common 48 spokes on this car), overdrive gearbox, heater and a laminated windscreen. No list of specific chassis numbers has yet been compiled for the 100-6S cars making it impossible to say for certain any of these cars are genuine; however there is no doubt they were produced and all the evidence points to this car being a genuine disc brake model; the XNX number plate, chassis number (close to other known 100-6S cars), Donald Healey Motor Company registration on the original logbook and of course brake system are all pointers to the car’s authenticity. The rarity and difficulty in fitting the round pad calipers, especially the rears, along with the previous research done by experts such as Bill Piggott and Rob Sokolowski, interviews with Donald Healey and our own advice from marque experts as well as articles included in the history file, can also be taken as strong evidence. One article sourced from healeysix.net actually uses this car as well as Bill Piggott’s as an example, (see file).

No doubt as these special cars become better recognised a list will be compiled as it was with the 100S and 100M cars. Given the prices of the earlier 100S cars and the direct link in evolution to the 100-6 cars, these 100-6S models represent a wise investment.

This numbers matching car is supplied with V5C registration document, Heritage Certificate, copy of original warranty, MoT history and tax discs, original hardtop, tool kit, spare wheel, history and receipts, original keys and original logbook.

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.

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