Lot 359

Monterey 2015

1953 Austin-Healey 100 BN1


$77,000 USD | Sold

United States Flag | Monterey, California



Chassis No.
Engine No.
Body No.
  • A very early Austin-Healey 100
  • Restored by Kurt Tanner, with an engine upgraded to 100M specifications
  • Documented by a copy of its BMIHT Certificate
  • A sporting and attractive British roadster with improved power

100 bhp, 2,660 cc OHV inline four-cylinder engine with dual SU H-6 carburetors, three-speed manual transmission with overdrive, independent front suspension with coil springs, live rear axle with semi-elliptical leaf springs and an anti-sway bar, and four-wheel hydraulic drum brakes. Wheelbase: 90 in.

Widely considered the “original” Austin-Healey, the “Healey Hundred” BN1- and BN2-series cars were built from 1953 to 1956.

The big four gave the Austin-Healey 100/4 two-thirds more power than its MG TD contemporary and 120 percent more torque, all in a streamlined, lower, and better balanced package that weighed no more than the MG. It is no surprise that production got underway quickly and ramped up to the rate of 100 cars per week, mostly for the important American market, where they fit neatly into the gap between Triumph’s TR2 and the larger and more expensive Jaguar XK120 and XK140 models. Over 14,500 Austin-Healey 100s were built in two series from 1953 to 1956, before the fours were succeeded by the six-cylinder 100/6 series. The 100/4s are true two-seat roadsters, with a purity of line and sense of purpose, accentuated by a rakish fold-down windscreen, that has made them quite sought after by enthusiasts of British sports cars.

The car offered here is a very early 100 that was built on November 9, 1953, and finished, as it is today, as a left-hand-drive American model in Healey Grey and Blue. It was the subject of a comprehensive nut-and-bolt rotisserie restoration several years ago, performed by noted Austin-Healey expert Kurt Tanner. Work included an upgrade of the engine to 8:1 compression, an upgraded alloy cylinder head, and 100M Le Mans preparations, including larger carburetors and intake manifolds, a louvered hood with a bonnet strap, and a cold-air box. Reportedly, the front suspension, braking system, fuel system, and electrical systems were all fully rebuilt, while the paint and interior were properly redone to original standards.

This lovely Healey in beautiful colors, with the benefit of added Le Mans-style performance, would be an ideal car for driving along the California coastline or tearing around the local race tracks.