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1956 Austin-Healey 100 "M"

Listed As a 100M by The British Motor Industry Heritage Trust. Pre-1957 Event Eligible.

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VIN BN2-L/232164
Exterior Color Old English White with Black Coves
Interior Color White with Red Piping
Mileage 3044 Miles
Engine 2.7 Litre Inline 4-Cylinder no. 1B/232164-M
Transmission 4-Speed
Status Sold
Stock FJ1245


1956 Austin-Healey 100 “M”
s/n BN2-L/232164, Engine no. 1B/232164-M
Old English White with Black Coves and White Interior with Red Piping

The Austin Healey is an absolute classic British sports car. The Healey 100 was launched in the Earls Court Motor Show in October 1952 where Len Lord, then chairman of Austin, offered to take over its manufacture and marketing. The car was renamed the Austin Healey 100 and the base price was reduced from £850 to £750. This first Austin Healey car has become known as the 100-4 or the BN1 and 10,688 units were built. It was fitted with an Austin A90, 2660 cc, four cylinder engine, which gave 94 bhp. The three speed gearbox was also sourced from the A90, but had first gear blanked off and overdrive fitted on second and third to give extra power.
The BN2 was launched in October 1955 and in total 3,924 units were built. The BN2 had a simple box frame chassis and was basically the same as the BN1, but fitted with larger drum brakes and a completely new four speed gearbox with overdrive as standard. The BN designation can be broken down to describe the car, the B stood for the B class engine, which meant it had a capacity between 2000 and 3000 cc. The N was the letter issued for an open topped two-seater. The engine was basically an unstressed truck unit so was excellent for reliability and high mileages. It is capable of going for around two hundred thousand miles before wear necessitates a complete overhaul.

By the time the BN2 was released, the Austin Healey 100S, a limited production run of 55 racing cars, was becoming well known for its ability at circuit rallying and racing. This led to the production of the Le Mans 100M variation of the BN2 and this Le Mans specification kit was only available with the BN2. The engine power was increased from 90 bhp to either 100 or 110 bhp, depending on the camshaft fitted. The Le Mans kits also had bigger carburetors and changes were made to the distributor, valve springs and a stiffened front anti roll bar was added; approximately 1100 of the Le Mans BN2s were originally made and an extra 100 were later modified.

According to the British Motor Industry Heritage Trust’s records, chassis number BN2-L/232164 was produced in May of 1956 as a left hand drive, North America market car, delivered new to Vancouver, Canada. It was equipped with wire wheels, a louvered bonnet, and a laminated windscreen. The Certificate of Factory Records, issued in March of 2009, goes on to state “The B.M.I.H.T. can confirm that this car is a genuine, factory built Austin Healey 100 M “Le Mans”.

The body numbers on particular this car, however, do not match that which the British Motor Industry Heritage Trust Certificate lists for this chassis, and may have been changed at some point in the car’s early years. As this example has remained under the current ownership period for the last 27 years, and the body has remained largely unaltered during that time, this came as quite a surprise to the current custodian. Nonetheless, this has lead the 100M Registry to doubt the “M” provenance of this car, despite the presence of the welded air box support, a trait associated by many experts with only authentic factory built 100Ms. Inspections are welcome to make your own determination.

The car is best described as a very good driver, having been restored some years ago by Chuck Rohn in Arizona, with just 4,700 miles logged since. According to the current owner, the restoration work included an engine rebuild, as well as paint, interior, and many other minor details. In early 2012 the car received a regular service, and four new tires. While no aspect of the car is done to show standards, the car is structurally straight and solid, with good paint, chrome, glass, and upholstery.

Included with the sale of the car are top bows from Moss Motors, and new vinyl top material (unfitted), an extra transmission, the spare wheel with tire, an original owner’s handbook, and a workshop manual.

Whether or not its provenance as a 100 “M” can be fully supported, this car is sure to provide a wonderful ownership experience as a well equipped, strong performing, and aesthetically pleasing Austin Healey, just as it has done for the last twenty seven years for the current owner. As a 1956 production, it is eligible for many of North America’s premier rally events where it will participate alongside cars many multiples its value.


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Fantasy Junction +1 510 653 7555 Emeryville, California 94608 USA

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