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Lot 048: Austin-Healey 100/6 BN4

Classic Vintage Cars & Motorcycles, Brightwells Auctioneers and Valuers (27 November 2013)

Launched in 1956 to replace the four-cylinder 100/4, the Austin-Healey 100/6 looked virtually identical to the outgoing model but had a more refined BMC 'C-Series' straight-six, specially tuned for the car.  Some 2-inches longer in the wheelbase, it also had a wider, shallower radiator grille, an air scoop in the bonnet and a fixed windscreen (the 100/4 having a fold-flat 'screen). The new engine increased power to 117bhp giving the 100/6 a top speed of 111mph and a 0-60 time of 10.7 seconds when tested by The Motor magazine. At first only available as a 2+2 (BN4), a two-seat (BN6) was also available from 1958 with the vast majority of both types being left-hand drive cars destined for export, mainly to America. Initially built in Longbridge, production shifted to Abingdon at the start of 1959 coming to an end in March of that year when the new Healey 3000 was launched. As Anders Clausager states in his definitive book 'The Original Austin Healey', it is difficult to be too dogmatic about the car/engine numbers which were never issued in strict order  a situation which means that there are many discrepancies over the sequence of car identity numbers reported by Austin-Healey historians. This particular car is a case in point. While it is badged as a Healey 3000 MkI the engine number denotes that it has a 100/6 six-port 2,639cc high compression engine (on the V5C erroneously recorded as 3,000cc) mated to an overdrive gearbox, while the BN4 chassis prefix denotes a 100/6 with a 2+2 body. It is believed that the car is one of a small batch of 100/6 models that were despatched to South Africa from Abingdon in early 1959 in CKD (Completely Knocked Down) kit form. The differences between the 100/6 and the 3000 were so small (larger displacement engine and front disc brakes) that it was not unknown for some export 100/6 models to be badged as 3000s. The car was to remain in South Africa until 1994 when it returned to the UK, the dry African climate no doubt being responsible for the remarkably sound state of the car today. While in South Africa it was used as a rally car and it is believed that the engine has been somewhat uprated with a competition head amongst other modifications. The current owner acquired the car in 2002 and immediately set about a process of improvement which included a bare metal repaint, replated brightwork and a full interior retrim with black leather seats, red carpets and new seatbelts front and rear. He also removed the solid rally wheels and fitted a new set of 5 chrome wire wheels along with new tyres and a stainless steel exhaust. The front drum brakes were uprated to discs, the carburettors rebuilt and new engine mountings fitted. The engine itself was found to be in excellent health, as was the overdrive gearbox. Waxoiled throughout, the car remains in exceptionally sound condition and presents very well indeed with good panel fit, excellent chrome, a shiny paint finish and a very smart interior. Very sparingly used over the last 10 years it is said to drive beautifully with 6 months' tax and an MOT until October 2014 with no advisories recorded. Only reluctantly being sold due to an impending house move, it looks excellent value at the guide price suggested.

Lot Details
Auction Classic Vintage Cars & Motorcycles
Brightwells Auctioneers and Valuers, Herefordshire
TypeCar
Lot Number048
Outcome SOLD
Hammer Price£24500
Hammer Price (inc premium)-
Year1959
Condition rating2
Registration numberNSL 338
Mileage-
Chassis numberBN4-01374
Engine number26DRH56810
Engine capacity (cc)2639
Engine - cylinders
Number of doors2