1956 Austin-Healey 100 M 'Le Mans'

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The details of this Austin-Healey 100M

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RM Sotheby's - Monterey


15th Aug 2015


1956 Austin-Healey 100 M 'Le Mans'








€ 182,168



1956 Austin-Healey 100 M 'Le Mans'

110 bhp, 2,660 cc OHV inline four-cylinder engine with two SU carburetors, four-speed manual transmission with overdrive, independent front suspension with wishbones, coil springs, and an anti-roll torsion bar, live rear axle with semi-elliptical leaf springs and an anti-sway track bar, and four-wheel hydraulic drum brakes. Wheelbase: 90 in. In the early 1950s, former British rally driver Donald Healey looked for a new automobile to build. Using his own talents, he cooked up a car that borrowed the powertrain of Austin’s quirky A90 Atlantic—a 2,660-cubic centimeter, four-cylinder unit that had four overhead valves and 90 brake horsepower—and new sporting bodywork in the Triumph or MG mold. This car was badged as the Healey Hundred, and it was displayed at the 1952 Earls Court Motor Show, entrancing Austin Chairman Leonard Lord, who immediately struck a deal for his company to build it as the Austin-Healey. As a car that was developed by a racing driver, the Austin-Healey was capable of everything that its designers had intended it to do. Healey, for instance, took one that was only lightly modified to the Bonneville Salt Flats in 1953, and he proceeded to set a number of speed and endurance records, with a recorded top speed of 142.636 mph. “It’s fast! It’s dependable! It’s record breaking!” ads screamed. After building more than 10,000 BN1s in three years, more than half of which were exported to the United States, Austin introduced a new Healey, known as the BN2, for 1955. This car featured a four-speed transmission and was offered both in standard trim and as a new, “hot” model, the 100 M. This model adopted larger carburetors, a high-lift cam, higher 8.1:1 compression, stiffer front suspension, and a louvered hood, which was secured by a leather strap. These engine modifications, with the exception of the high-compression pistons, could be dealer-installed as the Le Mans kit, and they were also available at the parts counter for owner application. True factory-built examples accounted for only 640 cars, which are all tracked and documented by a dedicated registry and the British Motor Industry Heritage Trust. The Austin-Healey offered here is one of those 640 examples built by the factory to Le Mans specifications. Completed on May 11, 1956, as a left-hand-drive export model, it was originally delivered to Arthur Bruggermann and Company GmbH in Dusseldorf, West Germany. As noted, it was equipped with a laminated windshield, wire wheels, speedometer in mph, a heater, and a louvered hood. Most recently, the 100 M was acquired by well-known Austin-Healey specialists Tom and Randee Rocke, of Healey Lane in Riverside, California. It has just completed a comprehensive, frame-off restoration with an array of further enhancements and upgrades, including a jet-coated exhaust; new 48-spoke chrome wire wheels with new radial tires; jet-coated brake drums; and new wiring, lighting, and electrical components. The exterior was finished in two-stage PPG paint, while the interior was freshly refinished to match, along with rebuilt and refaced gauges. The car further retains all of its original 100 M features, with proper identification numbers on the body panels, cockpit surrounds, Le Mans carburetors, camshaft, distributor, and cold air box. As verified by its BMIHT Certificate, the Austin-Healey still features its original engine and body and is noted as being a genuine factory-built 100 M Le Mans. This is a thrilling Healey!



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