1954 AUSTIN HEALEY 100 BN1
Chassis No. BN1-158875
Engine No. 1B214474
Spruce green with green leather interior and green top
Engine: four cylinder in line, pushrod overhead valve, 2660cc, twin SU carburetors, 90bhp at 4000rpm; clutch: single plate; Gearbox: three speed manual with overdrive; suspension: front independent with wishbones and coil springs, half elliptics to live rear axle, telescopic dampers all round; brakes: disc front, drum rear. Left hand drive.
As the 1950s opened Donald Healey decided he needed a modern, lower-priced sports car to replace the successful but fairly costly Healey tourers and sports models he had been making in his Warwick factory. Not far away at Longridge, Austin chief Leonard Lord was burdened with sluggish demand for his Austin A90 models and hinted he might be interested in building a sporting two-seater using as many of the A90's components as practical. Healey moved fast and on his stand at the 1952 Earls Court Motor Show showed a delectable sports roadster powered by a mildly tuned version of Austin's "big four" and using its gearbox, axles and other components. Smitten, Lord struck a deal with Healey and the Austin Healey 100 was born. It handled well, a genuine 100mph was there for the asking, and its production car-based mechanism meant that it was cheap and easy to look after. Costing more than the Triumph TR but much less than a Jaguar XK, enthusiasts flocked to buy them in the tens of thousands as they were encouraged by the car's great record in international rallying and sports car racing.
The Austin Healey offered here has been subject to a complete body-off, nut and bolt restoration, using as many correct date-coded parts as possible. Completed to the factory specifications, it retains its original panels and floors according to the vendor. Finished in a rare, but correct, color combination of spruce green (also known as British Racing Green) and green trim, the Healey retains its original 53 year-old top which is remarkably well-preserved and in show condition. The paint, body, trim and bright work are completed to the highest standards, demonstrated by its winning numerous awards including Best in Class at the 2005 Amelia Island Concours d'Elegance, the Winter Park Concours and an AACA Senior First Place award. Similarly, the engine bay is spotless and has been completely rebuilt with NOS parts. The restoration was documented by photographs which are included in the sale. Likewise the installed badge bar with lights, original tool kit and glove box owners manual are in excellent condition and included, as well as a new heritage certificate.
Donald Healey considered the 100-4 to be the best looking Healey in large part because of its mixture of a long bonnet and muscular haunches. With the clever adjustment for the angle of the windscreen, the 100-4 is the epitome of a classic sports car. This Austin Healey 100-4 is one of the finest examples and Christie's recommends a close inspection of this stunning car.