1956 Austin-Healey 100M LeMans Roadster
Rare Factory-Installed Le Mans Modifications
Body-Off Restoration Completed in 2012
Certified by the 100M Registry
Matching-Numbers Certification by the BMIHT
FIVA Inspected and Approved
Body Style: 2dr Roadster
Engine: 2,660 CC OHV Inline 4-Cylinder Engine
Two SU HS6 Carburetors (110 BHP)
Engine #: 1B229821
Exterior Color: Old English White
Interior Color: Red Leather
Transmission: 4-Speed Manual Gearbox
The Austin-Healey 100 arose from a simple maxim: go 100 mph, and look good doing it.
Donald Healey, a top rally driver before World War II, had been the technical director of Triumph and built his own line of Riley-powered sports cars after the war. Looking for a more modern design, he worked up a new car by using the powertrain from Austin’s A90 Atlantic, which was a baroque-looking convertible that was intended for American consumption but had received a disappointing reception. The new car’s engine was a 2,660-cubic centimeter four-overhead-valve unit that could produce 90 brake horsepower, and the transmission was a three-speed version of the Atlantic’s that was coupled with a Laycock de Normanville overdrive. Healey had negotiated the supply of components with Austin’s chairman, Leonard Lord. When the car, badged as the Healey Hundred, appeared at the 1952 Earls Court Motor Show, Lord was so taken with it that the two men immediately struck a deal for Austin to produce it. The first cars, re-named Austin-Healey 100, appeared the following spring.
Donald Healey himself was timed at 142.636 mph in a lightly modified example at the Bonneville Salt Flats in 1953, and he set a number of speed and endurance records, allowing the advertising department to proclaim: “It’s fast! It’s dependable! It’s record breaking!” Production topped 10,000 in three years, with more than half of them being exported to the United States.
In 1955, a new BN2 version of the Austin-Healey, which had a four-speed transmission, was introduced. At the same time that the BN2 was introduced, a new model, which was based on the BN2 and named the 100M, was also introduced. It featured larger carburetors, a high-lift cam, and a higher 8.1:1 compression. Stiffer front suspension was fitted, with hood louvers and a leather strap completing its bona fides. The engine mods, with the exception of the high-compression pistons, could be dealer-installed as the Le Mans kit, or it was also available at the parts counter for owner application. The factory-installed Le Mans package raised the 100’s 90 brake horsepower to an impressive 110.
About this Car:
This is one of 640 factory-built 100m ever produced. Equipped with a factory Le Mans Kit. 2,660 CC OHV Inline 4-Cylinder Engine. Two SU HS6 Carburetors. 110 BHP at 4,500 RPM. 4-Speed Manual Gearbox. 4-Wheel Drum Brakes. Independent Front Suspension with Coil Springs. Live Rear Axle with Semi-Elliptical Leaf Springs.
According to a trace certificate issued by the British Motor Industry Heritage Trust, this BN2 completed assembly on November 29, 1955, and was dispatched to the US. The certificate notably states, “As this car was fitted with a louvered bonnet, we can confirm that it is a genuine factory-built Austin-Healey 100 'M'.” Being a factory-equipped 100M makes this Austin-Healey much rarer and more desirable to the collectible world. Many Austin-Healey enthusiasts believe that only 250 such cars remain. FIVA paperwork prepares this 100M for vintage rallying around the world as well. This 100m had very few owners over the course of it’s life. Had a completed body-off restoration in 2012 with a beautiful refinish in its original colors of Old English White over a red interior.
It is likely that this 100M was originally retailed somewhere in the American Southwest, and in 1967, the Austin-Healey was offered for sale at a dealership in Provo, Utah. Purchased by a young racing mechanic named Duane Forsythe, the car then displayed approximately 12,000 miles. After little more than a year of street use, Mr. Forsythe noticed that the engine was developing inadequate compression, and he removed the motor with the intention of conducting a complete rebuild in his personal shop. Local race car driver Mike Carter took notice of the disassembled Austin-Healey and inquired about a sale. Unwilling to part with the car at the time, Mr. Forsythe finally sold the car to him 33 years later, and Carter commenced a body-off restoration that included refurbishment of the frame, suspension, engine, body, and paint. Unable to finish the project, he sold the 100M in 2009 to the consignor, who owns a well-respected restoration shop in Denver, Colorado. The new owner then completed the restoration, which he meticulously photo-documented in an album that is included with the car.
Inspected and certified by FIVA in December 2011, this striking factory-equipped 100M is a noteworthy example and would make the perfect candidate for concours exhibition or spirited vintage touring campaigns.
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