The original Austin Healey was the 100 produced in 1953 as a sporting alternative to the Austin A90 Atlantic which shared some components. It was named after its ability to reach 100 mph. Ex-racer Donald Healey was keen to take advantage of his racing successes and manufacture a car under his name. The One Hundred was envisioned by his small team as a competition car. The first prototype was immediately tested in Belgium and reached a top speed of 111 mph with the front windshield in its folded position. The car was designed by a small team at the Donald Healey motor company utilizing many parts available from the Austin line when BMC came on board during the production process. The small team at Healey’s included Barrie Bilbie who designed the chassis and Gerry Coker who was responsible for the body and interior shape. Three milestones marked the early evolution of the Austin-Healey: the introduction of the sleek minimalist Healey 100 at Earls Court in October 1952, the successful entry of three Healey 100s in the 1953 24 Hours of Le Mans, and the presentation of the Austin-Healey BN2 with improved performance and reliability in October 1955. When the Austin Motor Company Limited went into regular production of the Big Healey, its large 2.6-liter engine ranked it above the MG TD and Triumph TR2, but below the larger and more expensive Jaguars and Aston Martins of the period. Austin described the car as an open two-seater with individual bucket seats with an enclosed rear luggage space. Full weather protection was provided by a folding fabric top and detachable perspex side-screens. A unique feature of the 100 was it’s folding front window which made for a very sleek profile. After producing 20 prototypes for promotion duty, regular production of the BN1 began in May of 1952 at the Longbridge facility in Birmingham under the BMC banner. For ease of production, the body was manufactured in steel. Total production of the BN1 reached 10010 cars from the 27-month production from May 1952 to August 1955. With its clean minimalist lines, the 100 BN1 is recognised as the most beautiful of the Austin Healeys. This car is unmolested and useable but worthy of a proper restoration given its rarity and international market appeal.
Original & Unmolested