Race Retro Classic Car Sale 2018

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1956 Austin Healey 100M 'Le Mans' Roadster

Lot No.: 538

Registration: 778 YUS
Chassis Number: BN2-L/232164
Engine Number: 1B/232164-M
Number of cylinders: 4
CC: 2660
Year of Manufacture: 1956
RHD/LHD: Left Hand Drive
Buy now for (£): 175,950Contact us
  • One of just 640 'Works' built 100M 'Le Mans' Roadsters
  • Matching numbers and restored by renowned experts JME Healeys of Warwick in 2013
  • Restored to exacting standards to factory specification according to BMIHT certificate
  • Mille Miglia eligible with FIA papers until 31st December 2018
  • Discreet upgrades including an unleaded fuel conversion, Kenlowe fan, electronic ignition, and large core aluminium radiator
  • Offered from one of the leading private collections in the United Kingdom

The 100M was a celebration of the company's Second and Third in Class finishes at Le Mans in 1953 and put  Austin-Healey on the global map. The factory upgraded their standard production car by introducing a high-lift camshaft, larger carburettors, high-compression pistons, a free-flowing intake manifold, a cold air box and a unique distributor. Engine output increased by 20hp and the suspension received larger anti-roll bars, while a Le Mans-style leather strap secured the louvred bonnet.

Factory production of the 100M lasted only from 5th September 1955 to 16th July 1956 with just 640 examples leaving the line. This works produced, 100M was equipped with overdrive and completed to 'Le Mans' specification before leaving Warwick on the 2nd May 1956 as certified by the car's British Motor Industry Heritage Trust Certificate. This matching numbers 100M is superbly finished in the original factory colours of Florida Green over Old English White with the original trim colour and mechanical specifications as confirmed by the accompanying Heritage Certificate.

This fabulous Healey has been the subject of a comprehensive and fully detailed restoration during 2013 by JME Healeys of Warwick - one of the world's leading experts in and restorers of  Austin Healey motor cars. Christopher Everard of JME Healeys offers the following statement within the documented restoration record that accompanies the vehicle:

"As a Director of JME Healeys, I am delighted to fully authenticate this vehicle as an original factory built 100M and JME Healeys are proud to have completed the total restoration to the highest possible standards. I further confirm that all upgraded 100M components are correctly fitted to this vehicle as originally built by Austin Healey on 2nd May 1956.”

The car is believed to have spent the whole of its life in dry, salt-free areas of Canada and the USA until it returned to the UK in 2012, at which point JME removed the cars original outer bodywork.  The whole body was soda blasted and the chassis sandblasted to bare metal.  At this stage, it was clear that the car was amazingly original and in exceptional condition as confirmed by JME on the 8th of May 2014. 

"There has clearly been no accident damage in the vehicles lifetime as witnessed by all the original metals and period welds. During the last 35 years, we have restored hundreds of Healeys, but we have rarely seen a chassis and body to be in such original condition, almost free of corrosion and perfectly in alignment. As such we have taken the opportunity to record measurements of the chassis for our future referencing.”

The engine, still bearing its original plate number 1B/232164M, was stripped down and inspected by JME and was immediately identified as being the original 100M unit fitted from new. This engine showed little sign of wear and had obviously been lightly used over its lifetime. It maintained good oil pressure with the original (unground) crankshaft and the liners had been overbored once to +.030 and new non-100M spec pistons had been fitted, but there was water damage to just one pot. Under instruction from the vendor, a complete and thorough engine rebuild to precise 100M specification was undertaken by JME to include new standard size liners with new 100M pistons, and new valve guides, seats and springs. The crankshaft was re-ground and all new shells fitted to the big ends and main journals from std to .010. The crank was crack tested and rebalanced with the flywheel and a complete new clutch assembly fitted. The rebuild was completed with new Millers oil and filters, full test, drain and replacement of oil and filter, tightening of all mechanical fixings to correct torque settings and reset clearances. The result is an exceptionally strong engine.

Some time was spent discussing the desirability of fitting upgrades to improve usability and eventually the decision was taken to enable the car to run on unleaded fuel and fit electronic ignition, a negative earth conversion, large-core aluminium radiator, a Kenlow fan, electric cut-out switch, and twin 12v socket supply. Further improvements include the fitting of halogen lamps within the original style headlamps for efficiency, a Dennis Welch steering box, competition front brake shoes, upgraded steering, radial tyres, and even Agriemach heat resistant matting fitted beneath the carpet for interior comfort and heat protection cementing this car's already impeachable credentials as a Mille Miglia or fast-road competition contender.

Purchased from Silverstone Auctions in 2014 to join one of the leading classic car collections in the UK, this delightful little 100M has held its own amongst our vendor’s 300 SL Roadster, Lamborghini Muira, 4.5-litre Bentley and other exotica. Having only covered some 300 miles in the car our vendor has regretfully decided to allow a new owner to enjoy it as intended. 

The next custodian of this exceptional car will receive each of the FIVA, BMIHT and FIA (valid until 31st December 2018) certifications, full inspection and authentication reports from Chris Everard of JME Healeys, plus copies of the invoices showing the, close to, £50,000 spent on this car. This car is sold on a UK V5C registration meaning it can be registered anywhere in Europe without any tax liabilities and comes to auction with a fresh MOT.