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Austin-Healey 100/4 BN1

Austin-Healey 100/4 BN1

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Austin-Healey 100/4 BN1Austin-Healey 100/4 BN1Austin-Healey 100/4 BN1Austin-Healey 100/4 BN1Austin-Healey 100/4 BN1
Austin-Healey 100/4 BN1Austin-Healey 100/4 BN1Austin-Healey 100/4 BN1Austin-Healey 100/4 BN1Austin-Healey 100/4 BN1
Austin-Healey 100/4 BN1Austin-Healey 100/4 BN1Austin-Healey 100/4 BN1Austin-Healey 100/4 BN1Austin-Healey 100/4 BN1
Lot number 35
Hammer value £38,500
Description Austin-Healey 100/4 BN1
Registration 384 BMF
Year 1954
Colour Black
Engine size 2,660 cc
Chassis No. BN1154432
Engine No. 1B207267
Documents V5C; MOT February 2017; Heritage Certificate; restoration invoices and photos; magazine feature; handbook

Launched at the 1952 London Motor Show, the Healey 100 sports car was developed by Donald Healey and was based on the mechanicals of the Austin A90 Atlantic.

The design so impressed Leonard Lord, managing director of Austin, that a deal was struck with Healey to build it in quantity at Austin's Longbridge factory. The car was immediately renamed the Austin-Healey 100 and was finished alongside the A90 at Longbridge based on fully trimmed and painted body/chassis units produced by Jensen in West Bromwich.

The first 100s (series BN1) were equipped with the same 2.6-litre four-cylinder engines as the stock A90, but the gearbox was modified to be a three-speed unit with overdrive on second and top. Braking was by Girling 11-inch drums all round with independent front suspension using coil springs and a rigid rear axle with semi elliptic leaf springs.

The steering was by a cam and lever system. These were built from May 1953 but were replaced by the BN2 model in mid-1955, now with a four-speed overdrive gearbox, slightly larger front wheel arches, a different rear axle and optional two-tone paint.

The BN2 was in turn replaced by the longer and heavier six-cylinder 100/6 in 1956, but many enthusiasts believe that the earlier four-cylinder car is a better balanced machine. A stock BN1 tested by The Motor magazine in 1953 had a top speed of 106mph and could accelerate from 0-60 in 11.2 seconds with fuel consumption of 22.5mpg.

A total of 10,030 BN1s were built, the vast majority in LHD, and are perhaps the most desirable of the Healey models being the purest and the most fun to drive, not to mention being eligible for many historic events including the Mille Miglia.

First registered in London in April 1954, this rare original RHD BN1 was fully restored in the early 1990s and was then featured in an interesting magazine article which can be found in the history file. Carefully used and further improved since then, she presents extremely well and benefits from more recent improvements which include: Denis Welch alloy head converted to unleaded fuel; pre-engaged starter motor; alloy fuel tank; stainless steel exhaust; refurbished interior (cost £2,700, bill on file) plus a new set of wire wheels and tyres.

On a recent, lengthy road test she was said to perform particularly well, maintaining good oil pressure and displaying none of the 'notchiness' in the gearbox often associated with these early Healeys. The accompanying History File includes: ‘before and after' restoration photos; assorted invoices; owner’s handbook; Heritage Certificate; previous MOTs; magazine article from July 1991.

Bidders are advised that at some stage in the past a V5C has been issued with the chassis number erroneously shown as BN1L, indicating a LHD car. This is wholly incorrect as borne out by the Heritage Certificate, the original chassis plate still affixed to the front chassis member and the magazine article, all of which confirm that it is an original 'matching numbers' RHD car.

Offered complete with good hood, side screens and tonneau cover, this lovely black Healey is MOT tested to February 2017 and is ready for a new owner to enjoy over the coming season.

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