Lot 164A: Austin-Healey 100
The Healey 100, the first of the Big Healeys was first shown at the October 1952 Motor Show and was an instant hit, starting with Leonard Lord at the Tuesday preview. Lord was the British Motor Corporation supremo and by the opening of the Show the next day, he had agreed with Donald Healey to take over production of the new car, now to be called the Austin-Healey. Production was moved to BMC Longbridge after the first 19 prototypes were built at Healey's Warwick works, with the first production model emerging from Longbridge in June 1953. The early cars had extensive aluminium panels, which were gradually replaced with steel as production improved. Bonnets remained alloy until May 1954. This particular car, built 6 May 1954 has a steel boot lid, but alloy bonnet, and front and rear cowling. By the time the BN2 replaced the BN1 in August 1955, they were all steel and some 200lbs heavier. Later cars also had reflectors under new legislation from September 1954 onwards, rather spoiling the clean rear wing line. PAC 573 is a matching numbers (chassis, engine, body) BN1 still carrying its original Warwick registration number and livery, as shown in the Heritage Certificate. It was first delivered to the Donald Healey Motor Co, and owned by them for the first two years of its life, the first private owner appearing in the old green logbook in July 1956. In that period, the M kit was developed part number P.280, being first advertised in October 1955. The upgrade kit included larger SU carbs, camshaft with revised lift, higher compression pistons and the infamous cold air box', infamous in that they are being manufactured still now, and can easily give the appearance of a 100M car. The 100M name should be reserved for the 640 odd cars produced as such by the Longbridge works. PAC 573 carries some of the M kit, and it could well be that it was applied by the Donald Healey Motor Co. in 1955 during its ownership. The cold air box is obviously old and is rather crudely welded (as described by Clausager page 38 Original Austin-Healey). This car does not carry the louvred bonnet and leather straps, which all replica 100M's aspire to. But louvred bonnets were only applied by the works to the steel bonnets of BN2's. Further research might well be rewarding&.This car was purchased with the intention of competing in the Mille Miglia rerun, because a very similar red 1954 car with M kit and front bumper in place was entered privately in 1955 and 1956 by George Verrilli, with co-driver Bruno Ferrari. This car has front discs from a later model; drums are included in the sale. The previous owner competed the car at the Brighton Speed Trials in 1979, and in Healey club races (see photographs in file). A legacy from this period is a brake bias adjuster and booster, aluminium fuel tank and the stronger 5-stud rear axle. The engine has just been stripped and checked by a Healey race specialist and found to be in good shape, with balanced components. New big ends and rings were fitted as a precaution and the valve seats reground. The motor will need to be run-in., and the car re-commissioned before use. Body panels and gaps are good. An earlier paint is now showing some reaction with the aluminium panels, with dimples appearing overall. This is not evident from the photographs, as the dimpled paint still takes a good shine! The original colour interior is in top grade leather and the cowling has been covered in leather an unusual possible tick on the 1954 options list. Due to a change of plans this car is for sale, having covered few miles since purchase except between workshops for fettling. It has a current MOT, but will not need another one, as pre 1960 cars are now exempt.
HISTORIC COLLECTORS MOTORCARS|
Coys, Blenheim Palace, Woodstock, Oxfordshire, OX20 1PX
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