Open Roads, Fall | Lot 2073
1956 Austin-Healey 100 M 'Le Mans'
$236,500 USD | Sold
| Marina del Rey, California
11 - 20 November 2020
- Highly sought and rare factory Austin-Healey 100 M ‘Le Mans’
- One of only 640 examples produced
- Performance upgrades include Weslake cylinder head, 12-volt electrical conversion
- Accompanied by BMIHT certificate, 100 M ‘Le Mans’ Registry Certificate of Membership
The 100 M “Le Mans” was introduced in 1955 as a higher-performance version of the Austin-Healey BN2, featuring larger carburetors and a high-lift camshaft, as well as high-compression pistons and a number of other upgrades that increased engine output from 90 to 110 horsepower. It was also equipped with an upgraded anti-roll bar and a louvered bonnet secured by leather straps. While some BN2s were retrofitted with performance parts to obtain 100 M-like performance, only 640 examples of the 100 M were produced by the factory in 1955 and 1956, making them among the most sought-after of British sports cars by collectors and enthusiasts today.
This 1956 Austin-Healey 100 M “Le Mans” is a factory-built model that was completed on 12 April 1956 and delivered new to the United States. A comprehensive restoration is said to have been performed in 1997 by Spyder Autowerks of Fresno, California, that included refinishing the exterior in its original color combination of Healey Blue and Ivory White. The factory 2,660cc inline-four was also replaced with a different 100 M engine that was reportedly sourced from another 100 M (note that, at this time the tag bearing the original engine number was affixed to the replacement engine) , and the electrical system was converted to 12-volt.
Other additions include a Weslake cylinder head and 15-inch chrome wire wheels secured with two-ear knock-offs wearing Vredestein Sprint Classic tires. The car was reportedly refreshed again in 2007 by British Car Specialists of Stockton, California.
Some of the notable features on this authentic 100 M include a beautiful wood-rimmed Moto-Lita steering wheel with a factory-style horn button and turn signal switch, Smiths instrumentation comprising a 120-mph speedometer and 6,000-rpm tachometer, as well as gauges for water temperature, oil pressure, and fuel level. Additional features include a rake-adjustable windshield, chrome emergency brake and passenger grab handles, and a fire extinguisher.
The sale includes a tonneau cover, side curtains, a tool kit, a British Motor Industry Heritage Trust certificate describing the car as a “genuine factory built” 100 M “Le Mans,” a 100M "Le Mans" Registry Certificate of Membership, and refurbishment documentation. This car presents a rare opportunity to acquire one of few fully documented and factory-built 100 M “Le Mans” examples that survive today.