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The Quail Auction / 1956 Austin-Healey 100M BN2 Le Mans Chassis no. BN2L230648 Engine no. 1B230648

Lot 15
1956 Austin-Healey 100M BN2 Le Mans
19 August 2022, 11:00 PDT
Carmel, Quail Lodge & Golf Club

Lot to be sold without reserve

US$140,000 - US$170,000

Ask about this lot

1956 Austin-Healey 100M BN2 Le Mans
Chassis no. BN2L230648
Engine no. 1B230648

2,660cc OHV Inline 4-Cylinder Engine
2 SU Carburetors
110bhp at 4,500rpm
4-Speed Manual Transmission
Independent Front Suspension - Live Rear Axle
4-Wheel Drum Brakes

*Desirable and rare factory 100M Le Mans Healey
*One of just 640 factory Le Mans cars
*Offered with Heritage and 100M Le Mans Registry Certificates
*Matching numbers example treated to a comprehensive restoration



THE AUSTIN-HEALEY 100M LE MANS

Following the Austin-Healey 100's sensational debut at the 1952 Motor Show, the works had entered two mildly modified cars in the 1953 Le Mans 24-Hour Race. They finished in 12th and 14th places, a highly praiseworthy achievement for what were recognizably production sports cars. Accordingly, the name "Le Mans" was chosen for a bolt-on tuning kit offered through Austin-Healey dealers, by means of which private owners could bring their cars up to a specification approaching that of the works' entries. 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 a distributor with alternative ignition advance curve. With the kit installed, power increased from the standard 90 to 100bhp.

From October of 1955, the conversion was available, factory-fitted on the successor BN2 model in the form of the 100M. In addition to the Le Mans kit, the latter boasted high-compression pistons, a stiffer front anti-roll bar, special Armstrong front dampers, and a louvered bonnet. Power increased to 110bhp and top speed, with the windscreen folded flat, was within a whisker of 120mph. The number of BN1s converted by their owners is unknown, but 1,159 cars—mostly BN2s—were built or subsequently modified to 100M specification between 1955 and 1956. Of these, approximately 640 were completed at the factory, some 544 of which were exported to the USA. The genuine, factory 100M Le Mans cars – such as the arresting example offered here - remain among the most collectible British sports cars ever produced.

THE MOTORCAR OFFERED

Offered here is an extraordinary example of the rare, factory 100M Le Mans Healey, eligible for some of the most prominent motoring events around the globe. Presented in brilliant Reno Red over a black interior, this 1956 Austin-Healey 100M is documented by both a British Motor Industry Heritage Trust Certificate as well as the Austin Healey 100M Le Mans Registry Certificate. This is a matching-numbers car, complete with photographic documentation of the matching body numbers found on the cockpit trim, boot lid support and bonnet. In addition, the hand engraved numbers on the carburetor bodies are still visible and the car retains its original matching-numbers engine, as verified by the aforementioned certificates.

This is an original US market car, which was acquired in 2006 by the respected marque expert Harold Brandner of BMC Classics in Florida. Mr. Brandner purchased the vehicle from long-term owner Mr. Gerry Giroux of Maine who had owned the car since the early 1990s. While it required a full restoration, it was remarkably complete as-found, confirmed by the high number of matching original parts. Brandner sold the car a year later to Donald Redlinger of New Jersey, with the agreement that BMC Classics would fully restore the car before delivery.
The project is well-documented, as the car was carefully disassembled, media blasted and placed in a rotisserie before being rebuilt from the ground up. The restoration encompassed both mechanical and cosmetic aspects of the car. While in the current ownership by a prominent East Coast based collector or European sports cars, the 100M has seen maintenance and upkeep as needed, while kept in impeccable cosmetic condition.

Today, this sporting Factory 100M presents beautifully inside and out, with gorgeous paintwork, brightwork and accessorized by a set of rare Marchal fog/driving lamps, badge bar, headlamp stone guards, and chrome wire wheels. It includes original tools and jack, as well as a correct vinyl soft top and boot.

With this, as with any Healey 100M, the joy is in the raw, pure driving experience. With the trademark folding windscreen lowered, this 100M exemplifies the wind-in-the-hair British sports car experience. Occupants ride in bucket seats, while restored original instruments reside in the body-color fascia and a period-correct Heuer stopwatch mounts in front of the passenger seat for rally co-driving duties. The fit and finish are exemplary of a specialist restoration, with correct-style materials and detailing.

This highly desirable Factory 100M Le Mans benefits from meticulous care, and it continues to impress, even a decade after its restoration. The high-quality work by a respected specialist ensures it is true to factory specification, and that the critical components that set the 100M apart are documented and preserved. A fabulous driver's sports car, this Healey is ideal for rallies, road events, and concours, and it represents a rare opportunity to acquire a documented and authenticated factory-built 100M Le Mans Healey.

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