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Lot 261: Austin-Healey 100/6 "California"

Techno Classica, Coys (2 April 2011)

Produced in-house by Healey's small car company in Warwick and based on Austin A90 Atlantic mechanicals, Donald Healey built a single Healey Hundred for the 1952 London Motor Show. The design impressed Leonard Lord, Managing Director of Austin, so much that a deal was struck with Healey to build it in quantity at Austin's Longbridge factory. The car was renamed the Austin-Healey 100. The 100 name comes from Donald Healey, who selected the name from the car's ability to reach 100 mph, then a remarkable figure for a production car. Following on from the successful Austin Healey 100, the second landmark model from this relatively new marque arrived in 1956, the 100-6. The 100-6 used a tuned version of the new BMC C-series six cylinder engine in 2639cc form. The new car had a longer wheelbase and featured a 2+2 interior, this model became known internally at BMC as the BN4. In 1958 a traditional 2 seater version (the BN6) arrived and used the six-port head that had been introduced in 1957. 100-6 cars can be distinguished from the early four cylinder cars by their chrome finished bonnet air intake and smaller grille. Although wire wheels were fitted to cars, the standard equipment for the 100-6 comprised of steel wheels and hubcaps. In 1959 the improved 3000 model arrived and production of the 100-6 in all variants ceased. This example was delivered new to the United States as a 1956 model Austin Healey BN4 100/6. Nothing of its earlier history is known, having been spotted a few years ago by the subsequent owner whilst travelling on the Amtrak train to LAX airport in California. It was parked next to a Triumph TR4 on the premises of an artist living in the Anaheim area of Orange County. At some point, possibly in the mid-1960s, the Healey underwent a re-body in steel, with styling cues taken from the contemporary Chevrolet Corvette and Jaguar E-type models. One theory (which is yet to be substantiated) is that the car was a steel styling buck for the Cougar and Monza models of the Universal Plastics Company based in Belmont, California. The Healey was prised from the owner, purchased, and transported over to the UK, and in the last year has undergone a nut and bolt rebuild by the famous and very well regarded Austin Healey racer and restorer John Chatham, using new or reconditioned parts throughout. These include a Healey 3000 Mk2 engine (balanced with an up-rated camshaft and six-branch manifold), rebuilt gearbox with overdrive, servo-assisted disk brakes, new wiring loom and lights, also an alternator and electric fan. The shell of the car was acid-dipped and Electrophoretic coated by Surface Processing Ltd. to ensure against future corrosion, and all cavities have been wax-filled. Finally it has been painted in the classic combination of grey metallic with an interior retrim in red leather, featuring genuine 100S seats, also new carpets and tonneau cover.

This model is almost certainly unique and for the serious Austin Healey collector simply cannot be allowed to slip through one's fingers.

Lot Details
Auction Techno Classica
Coys, Essen, Germany
TypeCar
Lot Number261
Estimate€35000-€45000
Outcome SOLD
Hammer Price-
Hammer Price (inc premium)€29500
Year1956
Condition rating0
Registration number
Mileage-
Chassis numberBN4L037541
Engine number
Engine capacity (cc)
Engine - cylinders
Number of doors