1956 Austin-Healey 100 Roadster  Chassis no. BN2L233439 Engine no. 1B/233439
Lot 466
'Le Mans' specification,1956 Austin-Healey 100 Roadster Chassis no. BN2L233439 Engine no. 1B/233439
Sold for US$ 82,800 inc. premium
Auction Details
1956 Austin-Healey 100 Roadster  Chassis no. BN2L233439 Engine no. 1B/233439 1956 Austin-Healey 100 Roadster  Chassis no. BN2L233439 Engine no. 1B/233439 1956 Austin-Healey 100 Roadster  Chassis no. BN2L233439 Engine no. 1B/233439 1956 Austin-Healey 100 Roadster  Chassis no. BN2L233439 Engine no. 1B/233439 1956 Austin-Healey 100 Roadster  Chassis no. BN2L233439 Engine no. 1B/233439
Lot Details
'Le Mans' specification
1956 Austin-Healey 100 Roadster
Chassis no. BN2L233439
Engine no. 1B/233439
* 2,660cc in-line four-cylinder
* Four-speed manual transmission
* Recent frame-off restoration
* Restored to 'Le Mans' specification
* The best looking Healey variant
* California Mille eligible

Donald Healey's stylish Austin-Healey 100 caused a sensation when it debuted at the 1952 London Motor Show. Intended as a low-cost high-performance sports car and aimed at the US market, which took almost 100% of production initially, the Austin-Healey 100 sourced its major components from the Austin Atlantic saloon. Low-revving and torquey, the latter's 2,660cc four-cylinder engine produced an unremarkable 90bhp, but when installed in the lighter and more streamlined Healey the result was a genuine 100mph-plus car capable of reaching 60mph in under 11 seconds. A three-speed gearbox equipped with overdrive on the top two ratios was an unusual feature of the original BN1, which was superseded by the short-lived, conventional four-speed BN2 for 1956.

In 1953 a team of drivers including Donald Healey and George Eyston set a host of international and AMA speed records at Utah's Bonneville Salt Flats driving two Healey 100s. Highlights including a maximum speed of 143.626mph and 1,000 kilometres at an average of 127.00mph achieved by the tuned car and 24 hours at an average of 104.3mph set by the AMA-selected 'off-the-showroom-floor' example. A muscular sports car to delight the purist, the 100 was not bettered by its six-cylinder successors in terms of outright performance until the introduction of the Austin-Healey 3000 in 1959.

Following the Austin-Healey 100's successful entry in the 1953 Le Mans 24-Hours, where the factory team cars finished in 12th and 14th places, a highly praiseworthy achievement for what were recognizably production sports cars, a high-performance bolt-on tuningkit was offered on new cars by the factory, through dealers and could also be retro-fitted by private owners. The kit included a pair of 1¾" SU HD6 carburetors plus special inlet manifold and cold air box, high-lift camshaft, stronger valve springs and distributor with alternative ignition advance curve. With the kit installed, power increased from the standard 90 to 100bhp. With the introduction of the BN2, Austin-Healey further developed the 'Le Mans' into the 100M, with high compression pistons, a louvered bonnet with leather bonnet straps and stiffer anti-roll bar.

Having benefited from a frame-off restoration just completed prior to being offered, this 1956 Austin-Healey 100 is smartly presented in duo-tone Gunmetal Grey over St. James Red, with the interior upholstered in Oxblood leather seats, Vynide door trim panels and matching English wool carpeting and black Armacord on the spare wheel shelf cover. The car has a new black vinyl top and tonneau cover fitted, along with new side curtains. The engine, transmission and overdrive have been rebuilt, using new parts as needed. Other notable points are Jet-coated exhausts, a 'Le Mans' specification cold air box, alloy 'Le Mans' cooling fan, a new four-row radiator and new steel exhaust system. The braking system was overhauled with new lines, new master and slave cylinder and Jet-coated drums. The fuel system benefited from new lines, fuel pump and gas tank and the electrical system was re-done with new components and cloth wiring harness. The Healey has a new steering wheel, rebuilt original gauges, new drop-down racing windshield and 'Le Mans' dash plaque. The original heavy gauge bumpers were re-chromed and the car sits on 48-spoke chrome wire wheels, with five new 185 x 15 tires.

The Healey comes with full photo documentation, a factory repair manual and a British Heritage Certificate.

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