Collecting Cars

1956 AUSTIN HEALEY 100/4 BN2 - 100M

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This Austin Healey 100/4 BN2 is a delightful example of the sporting roadster, which has been converted to 100M specification, and benefits from a recent engine and gearbox rebuild. Under the bonnet is a 2.7-litre inline-four producing around 110bhp, mated to a four-speed manual transmission, with overdrive on the top two gears. The odometer reads 75,885 miles (122,125 km).

This globetrotting example was first registered on 1 June 1956, where it began life in Houston, Texas as a North American export model with a heater, laminated windscreen and MPH speedometer. It is not known whether the 100M conversion was carried out by Donald Healey & Co in Warwick – the original supplying dealer – or whether it was a later upgrade, but it is recorded that the 100M features were present during a comprehensive restoration in the late 1980s. At this point, the colour was also changed from red to its current metallic ice-blue and white appearance. The nut-and-bolt chassis-off restoration is documented in a professionally produced photograph album that accompanies the car.

The 100M specification featured the ‘Le Mans Engine Modification Kit’, incorporating twin SU carburettors linked to a cold air box to improve air flow, aluminium intake manifolds, a high-lift camshaft and upgrades to the distributor, valve springs and seats. Beyond this, the 100M also included 8.1:1 high-compression pistons, a racing type anti-roll bar and revised front shock absorbers, and a louvered bonnet with a leather securing strap.

Sometime after the restoration was completed, the car returned to Europe in the hands of both German and Spanish owners. The previous owner purchased the car to participate in the Mille Miglia road rally in 2011, before being sold on and imported to the UK by the current owner in 2015. The current owner has spent over £15,000 to date including a complete engine and gearbox overhaul, as well as preparing for and participating in regularity rallies across the continent. Notably, this car completed the 2017 Modena Cento Ore – a 1,000-mile rally from Rimini via Forte dei Marmi to Modena, finishing 3rd in class and 12th overall.

Resplendent in a bright metallic ice-blue and white two-tone colour scheme, the Austin Healey presents well with only minor stone chips to be seen on the front end. As befitting a car of the 1950s, the brightwork is in superb order, with no signs of weathering or milking. This example features fog lamps, stone guard meshes over the headlights, a towing eye, and an optional driver’s headrest fairing – which could be re-fitted for high-speed driving.

The glass is also in very good condition, with historical stickers detailing the car’s participation in famous road rally events. Period-correct 100M external features are evident, such as the bonnet louvres and brown leather bonnet strap. The lithe roadster has also been fitted with an interior rain cover, which can be used to keep the weather out of the cockpit or to cover off the passenger seat. This Healey also sports a fully operational retractable hood in black and a pair of new removable side-screens. It rides on 15-inch chromed wire wheels, which are in excellent condition, as are the ‘knock-off’ hubs.

The Healey’s beautifully simple cabin has been re-trimmed to a high standard, with the only notable wear being on the central trim on the transmission tunnel housing. The brown leather seats are free of rips or tears, while the TRS harnesses add an improved level of safety. The wooden Moto-Lita steering wheel and dashboard switchgear are in very good order, with no signs of wear or damage, while the interior benefits from Branz Rally Meter timing equipment. The vendor states that this can easily be removed if not required.

It is fresh from a full service in November 2020 at 75,878 miles by Car Care of Tetbury. The engine oil, spark plugs, contact set and condenser were all replaced, as well as the gearbox oil and brake fluid. A new racing-spec oil filter was also fitted. Its current mechanical specification includes Bilstein shock absorbers at the rear.

This sports car has a well-documented service history, with the last service prior to this one carried out on 24 May 2017 – ahead of the Modena Cento Ore road rally – by Dan Howell’s Classics at 74,159 miles. Earlier in 2017, the gearbox was overhauled and rebuilt by the same garage, while a full engine rebuild had been carried out at 73,598 miles in 2016 by engine specialist Thomas Hamlin. Full details of this work can be seen in the picture gallery below.

The most recent MOT test was on 3 November 2020 at 75,878 miles, when it achieved a first-time pass with no advisories. Riding on Kenetica M&S radial tyres, these are in the correct fitment of 165/80/R15, with the spare wearing a Michelin XZX.

Accompanying the car is the British Motor Industry Heritage Trust (BMIHT) certified copy of a factory record, which shows that the car was manufactured by Austin Healey in June 1956 and was ordered in LHD for North American Export to the US via the dealer Donald Healey & Co , Warwick, with features including a heater, laminated windscreen and mph speedometer. There is service history and invoices present from 2010 onwards, as well as an old FIVA (Federation Internationale des Vehicules Anciens) Identity Card, a parts list booklet, and a reproduction owner’s manual.

Offering wonderful period charm, an international history and competitive provenance, this Austin Healey 100/4 BN2 100M is a sympathetically restored and spritely roadster. With its   recent mechanical overhaul, it is ready to continue being enjoyed on European road rallies, or would simply make a fabulous weekend classic for its next owner.

The description of this auction lot is, to the best of the seller's knowledge, accurate and not misleading. Collecting Cars requests a range of detail about the lot from the seller, and performs a level of due diligence through HPI checks and MOT history where available. However, bidders must satisfy themselves as to the accuracy of the description, and conduct any research they feel is necessary before committing to a bid. Please see our Terms and Conditions for full details.

All UK-registered cars and motorbikes on Collecting Cars are run through an online HPI check. This vehicle shows no insurance database markers for damage or theft, and has no finance owing.

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