1955 AUSTIN HEALEY 100-4 BN2
Chassis No. BN2-L/228644
Engine No. 1B/228644
Red with black leather interior.
Engine: four cylinder, in-line, pushrod overhead valve, twin SU carburetors, 2,660cc, 90bhp at 4,000rpm; Gearbox: BN2 four speed with syncromesh; 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.
At the start of the 1950s, Donald Healey set out to provide 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 practicable. Healey moved quickly and on his stand at the 1952 Earls Court Motor Show a delectable sports roadster was displayed, powered by a mildly tuned version of Austin's "big four", using its gearbox, axles and other components. Smitten, Lord struck a deal with Healey, and the Austin Healey 100 was born. It handled well with a genuine 100mph and its production car-based mechanism meant that it was inexpensive and easy to look after. It cost more than the Triumph TR but much less than a Jaguar XK. Enthusiasts soon flocked to buy in tens of thousands, encouraged by the car's great record in international rallying and sports car racing. The 100 Healey went on to evolve to the BN2 which today is known as the last of the "four-bangers". A modest 3,934 units were produced during the short production run with only about 500 remaining today. The BN2 was set apart from the BN1 by the four-speed gearbox, electric overdrive and larger brake drums. Considered to be one of the most collectable of all "Big Healey's" the BN2 also marked the end of the 100 series.
According to the Heritage Certificate on file for this 100-4 BN2 Healey, it was built on September 26, 1955 and fitted with the factory equipment comprising of dual vertical dip headlights, heater and wire wheels. Its first destination was Düsseldorf, Germany. At this point much of the early history is unknown, however, this exquisite specimen of Healey's finest issue underwent a complete frame-off restoration in 1975. It was then in 2005 where it was discovered in Nevada, having apparently been laid up for 30 years. After coming under the care of it current owner the car had a comprehensive "freshening", "Happy", as the car is affectionately known, is ready to go. Most recently it received a $4,000 paint job reminiscent of a deep "Jaguar" red, complete new brake system, generator, voltage regulator, overdrive relay, SS mufflers and pipes, batteries, belts, hoses, wiring, windshield glass, molding, windshield assembly re-chromed, upholstery, carpets, panels, leaf springs as well as fresh tires.
The current owner recently recounted: "My BN2 received her nickname from one of my daughters who once commented, 'She is a happy car; she makes you happy to own and drive her and she makes others happy who see her.' It's a special experience owning this gem. She isn't so valuable that I dare not drive her regularly, which is about 5 miles a day three days a week. I drove her to two car shows, each about 300 miles round trip. She placed first in class at a major California British roadster Concours and won the "Best of the Best" awards, the People's Choice and the Niello Concours at Serrano. She is fun and inexpensive to drive and maintain. And when I drive her, everyone is happy."