1954 AUSTIN HEALEY 100/4 LE MANS Registration: UK Taxes Pai...






Registration: UK Taxes Paid
Chassis Number: BN1/159305
Recorded Mileage: 2,578 miles recorded

- UK delivered in RHD specification
- Period ‘Le Mans’ conversion

In 1951, when the established range of Healey cars was selling steadily but out of the price range of most enthusiasts, Donald Healey realised there was a market for a relatively low-priced but high performance sports car. A readily available, reliable and tuneable engine was required and BMC agreed to supply the 2,660cc four cylinder unit from its Austin A90 model, together with Austin’s three-speed with overdrive gearbox.

For the chassis of the new car Healey and his son Geoffrey designed a simple but torsionally strong ladder frame using the A90’s independent coil spring/wishbone front suspension and a leaf-sprung rear axle located by Panhard rod, with drum brakes all round. Finally, an attractive, open two seater body was penned by Gerry Coker, the final rendition of which incorporated some last minute changes by Donald Healey himself.

The result, launched to a surprised public at the 1952 London Motor Show, caused a sensation and met with immediate approval from press and enthusiasts alike. It looked superb with performance to match; producing 94bhp at 4,000rpm, it could achieve 111mph with the windscreen folded flat and 0-60mph acceleration in 10.3 seconds.

Called simply the Healey 100, the new car also caught the attention of BMC supremo Leonard Lord who at once struck an agreement with Healey to market the car as the Austin Healey 100. Production began in May 1953 and it wasn’t long before the model was selling like hot cakes and featuring strongly in production racing on both sides of the Atlantic.

According to the British Heritage Certificate on file, chassis #159305 was built in July 1954 and distributed via Henlys Limited of Bristol, finished in Carmine Red with matching Red trim and a Black roof. 

Later the Healey found its way to the United States, where it stayed until being acquired in 2014 by our current vendor from an Iowa-based Healey specialist. Interestingly when purchased the 100/4 featured period ‘Le Mans’ options such as the correct louvred steel bonnet, larger SU HD6 1 ¾” carburettors matched to correct modified intake manifolds, modified distributor, and stiffer anti-roll bar. Another racing addition is a driving lamp fitted to the passenger side of the front bumper, possibly for participation in SCCA events in period? We note though the car is no longer fitted with the original airbox, which is now replaced by a pair of pancake air filters. 

Whilst we do not claim this to be a factory Le Mans conversion, the age of these tuning items suggests they to have been fitted many years ago, possibly before the car was shipped to the United States. Chassis #159304 is supplied with a BMI Heritage Trust certificate, previous U.S. title, UK HMRC NOVA proof of import duties, and previous bill of sale from 2014.

Having been stored in various conditions for many years, the Healey will of course require a full restoration before being returned to the road. Early RHD, home market 100/4s are relatively scarce, and one with period Le Mans features rarer still, as such this survivor will no doubt generate much interest on the day.

Auction Date: 11th Mar 2023 at 2pm

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Sale Dates:
11th Mar 2023 2pm (Lots 1 to 42)