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Austin Healey has become synonymous with classic British sports cars and it really does not get anymore brilliantly British than the 100-4. Donald Healey built a single unit to debut at the 1952 London Motor Show where Leonard Lord, managing director of “Austin” at the time, took a liking to the petite sports car. Healey and Lord managed to settle on a deal to commission the 100-4 to be put into production with approximately 14,600 units being built between 1953 and 1956.
Taking to the circuits worldwide as both factory racecars and privateer entrants, these cars proved their abilities on the track as agile 4-cylinder sports cars, attributing to the 100-4’s success as a road car. Given their application on track and road, many of these examples simply did not withstand the test of time, wildling down the few units that were produced. Their rarity, role in Austin Healey’s lineage, and nostalgia has made them highly sought after by classic car enthusiasts around the globe.
This example on offer, chassis number BN2L233015, engine number 1B23301M, is fresh from a complete nut-and-bolt restoration by the marque specialists at BRC of Philadelphia. No part of this car was left untouched, with the body taken down to bare metal and meticulously restored, piece by piece. The engine and additional mechanicals were completely rebuilt, with the car now running and driving perhaps better than it did when it was brand new.
This 100-4 comes accompanied by a heritage certificate to validate its authenticity, indicating this is a matching numbers example. We also learn that this car was originally finished in Reno Red over a Red interior with a black soft top. Its build date is documented to be June 7, 1956 and was later dispatched for delivery to a dealer in Los Angeles, California. The factory fitted equipment included a MPH speedometer, heater, and laminated windscreen.
Cosmetically, this 100-4 presents as a properly restored car should in every respect. The black paint is exceptional, having a glass like finish and showing crisp lines down the body of the car. All of the shut gaps are spot-on and close decisively. All rubber seals and trim have all been properly replaced. The chrome bumpers, bezels, trim, emblems, and grill have all been re-plated and polished showing as such.
The glass is crisp and clear, free of any chips or scratches. All of the lights function properly including the rare Lucas fog lamps. Inspecting the new black soft-top and soft top frame, again one will find no issues whatsoever. All four wire wheels have been refinished and mounted on a fresh set of Vredestein Sprint Classic tires. Given that this 100-4 has traveled just a few miles since its restoration was completed, it is truly difficult to fault with the only exception being at the top of either windscreen posts where one will find two small paint chips from taking the soft top on and off.
Entering the cabin, the high quality of the restoration seamlessly continues. The green leather interior has been totally reupholstered with custom hides by AutoMat. The seats are accented with black piping to match the exterior and pose no inconsistencies. Each of the door jams wears a fresh coat of paint appear very tidy, factory correct, and show no blemishes. The leather dash is like new, complimented by the painted dash face and rebuilt gauges.
Once seated in the car you are greeted by the correct steering wheel. The green rugs are flawless, free of any stains, rips, or notable blemishes. A glance down to the gearshift area reveals three vintage Breitling timepieces, adding a tasteful touch to the car and an appropriate commemoration to the 100’s historical racing prestige. The entirety of the interior is tidy, tight fitting, and finished per concours standards.
In opening the bonnet, one will notice every component is correct and colored as the factory did when new. Looking down either side of the block will show that there are no leaks, all the proper markings, correct tags present, and an attention to detail is evident throughout. Additionally, all of the numbers between the body number, chassis number, and engine number are all correct with the body number stampings “14172” being present on the trunk hinge and the side of the bonnet.
The trunk area is of the same consistency with new trim work used throughout. Removing the liner shows nicely finished surfaces as there was no area left untouched during the restoration. The condition of the underside is consistent with the rest of the car, correctly painted in the same black paint the body is finished in. The frame rails are undented (a common issue with these cars) showing straight down the length of the car. All suspension components have been replaced and refinished with no inconsistencies to report.
Mechanically, every system has been carefully gone through and sorted making this example absolutely turn-key. The engine has received a total rebuild as well as the transmission and overdrive unit. Pull the choke, turn the key, and a push of the starter button and the 4-cylinder engine quickly fires, settling to a smooth idle. Once out on the road, the new clutch feels great, the gear changes are smooth, the brakes operate as they should, and the engine responsive to inputs, holding consistent temps and pressures.
This example is equipped with electric overdrive that is fully operational and a welcomed comfort to have when an extra gear is needed; it engages and disengages without any issue. The engine is still in its “break in” period so conservative driving is encouraged until at least 500 miles have been clocked. This is really just an utter joy to drive, very much a momentum car but the visceral experience it has to offer is second to none.
Featuring a 2.6 liter, 90bhp inline 4-cylinder power plant, 4-speed gearbox, and little in the ways of creature comforts, climbing into this car whisks you back to the early days of spirited driving where it was simply the car and the driver. The 100-4 served as a major milestone for Austin Healey, setting the foundation for the 100-6 and 3000 in the ensuing years. This example’s limited production, enticing color combination, paired with the fresh concours level restoration makes it a compelling candidate for any collection. Offered with this sale are the spare wheel, heritage certificate, soft-top, and Breitling timing equipment.
|“A classic British sports car icon, fresh out of restoration, and finished in strikingly beautiful colors.” |
| Year: || 1956 || VIN (Vehicle Identification Number): || BN2-L/233015 |
| Mileage: || 1 || Interior Color: || Green |
| Make: || Austin Healey || Number of Cylinders: || 4 |
| Model: || 100-4 || Transmission: || Manual |
| Engine: || 2.6L || Body Type: || Convertible |
| Drive Type: || RWD || Warranty: || Vehicle does NOT have an existing warranty |
| Vehicle Title: || Clear || Exterior Color: || Black |
| Fuel Type: || Gasoline |