Rare final-year Healey with numbers matching engine at Worldwide Auctioneers

Rare final-year Healey with numbers matching engine at Worldwide Auctioneers

1956 Austin-Healey 100 M 'Le Mans' - Offered at The Auburn Auction this September 3-4

• 1 of only 640 high-performance 100 Ms documented from the factory in 1956
• Accompanied by copies of the British Motoring Industry Heritage Trust Certificate and 100 M 'Le Mans' Registry
• An authentic restoration, well-sorted for use
• Numbers matching original engine
• A very rare final-year Healey, with fewer than 250 known to exist today

2,660cc OHV inline four-cylinder engine, 110 HP, four-speed manual gearbox, independent front suspension with coil springs and anti-roll bar, rigid rear axle with semi-elliptic leaf springs and anti-sway bar, four-wheel drum brakes; wheelbase: 90”

In a BMC-sponsored competition for an all-new sports car that would use Austin mechanical components, Donald Healey presented his “Hundred” sports roadster at the 1952 Earl’s Court Motor Show. With its sleek Gerry Coker-designed body, chassis by Barry Bilbie, and engineering led by Geoff Healey, the roadster attracted the favor of BMC’s Leonard Lord, and it was quickly renamed the Austin-Healey 100. Series-production commenced early in 1953 and immediately following introduction; Donald Healey’s “Hundred” became an unquestioned sports-car legend that was particularly beloved in North America.

Prior to the Mille Miglia and Le Mans 24 Hours in 1953, four BN-1 models were race-prepared by Donald Healey and Roger Menadue, and these cars were the first Austin-Healeys prepared for international competition. The pair entered at Le Mans and were highly successful, taking 2nd and 3rd in their class. The experience gained from these works cars resulted in the subsequent high-performance 100 M, which remains, without a doubt, the most desirable early Austin-Healey variant. Major 100 M upgrades included a high-lift camshaft, larger carburetors, high-compression pistons, free-flowing intake manifold, cold air box, and a special distributor. Engine output increased by 20 horsepower, and the suspension received larger anti-roll bars, while a Le Mans-specification leather strap retained the louvered bonnet. Production of the 100 M commenced on September 5, 1955, and when 100 M production ended on July 16, 1956, just 640 examples were factory-built, with apporoximately 250 known today.

The pedigree of this historic Healey is undeniable - with Heritage Certificates documented by the guru of 100 Ms, Bill Meade, who examined the car in 2005 and issued a Heritage Certificate and registered the car in the 100 M Le Mans Registry. Folks on the West Coast may remember the car from dozens of club events and tours over the years, wearing red paint for decades. The Healey Brothers from Ohio brought this one back to the proper Ivory White over Black Duotone we see today, just as it left the factory according to the Heritage Certificate. All the original factory metal was still there, and it still is. The sills, floors, and body panels are freshly refinished but are largely all original. This example wears proper chrome wire wheels and period tires, that cool lay-down windscreen, and the car really attracts attention with that great stance. The engine is original, numbers matching and is ready to power this Le Mans variant for any road task you choose.

If you’d like to own a highly documented British car that every sports car enthusiast will admire, it’s right here. With impeccable paint, chrome and trim, and a correctly restored interior, all wrapped around it's factory high performance engine, this might just be one of the most accurate and original 100 Ms available today.This car presents a seldom seen opportunity to acquire one of very few well documented and factory-built 100 M 'Le Mans' Healeys that still survive