Battersea Evolution
5 September 2018
Lot 205

1956 Austin-Healey 100 M 'Le Mans'


£97,750 GBP | Sold

United Kingdom Flag | London, United Kingdom



Chassis No.
Engine No.
  • One of 640 genuine, factory-built Austin-Healey 100 M ‘Le Mans’ models
  • Prepared by Dennis Welch Motorsports for historic motorsport use
  • Accompanied by a half-roll cage, an original front screen and its original engine
  • Eligible for a variety of historic racing events, including the Mille Miglia
Addendum: We are pleased to announce that this lot has recently been granted an FIA Historic Technical Passport. Please refer an RM Sotheby's representative for further information.

The 100 M traces its roots directly back to the 1953 24 Hours of Le Mans where two lightly modified examples of the new Austin-Healey 100 stunned the motoring world by finishing 12th and 14th overall in a field composed of purpose-built race cars.

Subsequent customer enthusiasm for performance upgrades for their standard cars resulted in marketing the ‘Le Mans Engine Modification Kit’ that incorporated the modifications made to those two Le Mans entries. Such was the demand for these upgrades that in 1955 the Donald Healey Motor Company and the British Motor Corporation partnered to produce a new model that incorporated those upgrades plus high-compression pistons, a louvered bonnet and bonnet strap, a larger anti-sway bar and special-setting shock absorbers. The new model was designated the 100 M, also known as the Le Mans, and was introduced at the 1955 London Motor Show at Earls Court. Sold concurrent with the standard Austin-Healey 100, series BN2, a total of just 640 100 Ms were produced, representing just 14 percent of production.

Offered here is one of those factory-built 100 M ‘Le Mans’, as confirmed by the accompanying British Motor Industry Heritage Trust Certificate. Completed on 5 May 1956, chassis no. 232304 was finished in Reno Red over red trim with a black soft top and exported to Chicago, USA, and was originally fitted with a heater, laminated windscreen and the classic ‘M’ louvered bonnet.

The 100 M resided in Alabama until 1997, before being acquired and brought to the UK shortly after. The car was acquired from that previous owner by the consignor in 2010. Upon his acquisition, he commissioned Dennis Welch Motorsport to prepare the Austin-Healey to race at the 2011 Spa Six Hours. During this commissioning, a Dennis Welch Motorsport race engine and gearbox were installed; however, the original engine is included in the sale. At the same time, the 100 M was also fitted with a competition-spec fuel tank and upgraded suspension. Despite the excellent commissioning, the Austin-Healey has not raced again, and has undergone a light re-commissioning pre-sale at Valoroso Race and Restoration Services Limited.

Complete with all documentation from current ownership and supplied with an original front screen and the original engine, alongside a half-roll cage for competition, this 1956 Austin-Healey 100 M ‘Le Mans’ is ready to hit the track.