The Austin-Healey 100S was created by Donald Healey as a purpose built racer to show the potential of his relatively new 100/4, only 50 chassis would be built in the 100S series for homologation purposes and the first one was raced in anger at the 12 Hours of Sebring in 1954 (the “S” in 100S stood for this circuit).
In order to improve the performance of the already mightily quick 100/4, Healey and his engineers went on a weight-saving spree and managed to boost power output from the Austin A90 engine up to 132hp and 168 foot pounds of torque – figures the original engine designer had never even dreamed possible.
Much of the weight-loss was achieved through the liberal use of aluminium, the bodies were all shaped from the lightweight metal using traditional English wheeling machines, the engine’s heavy cast iron cylinder head was replaced with an alloy unit, and the overdrive was left out of the gearbox.
The improved power from the 4-pot came by way of larger valves, high-performance SU H6 carburettors, forged-steel connecting rods, bespoke alloy pistons, an all-new high-lift camshaft, a race-spec crankshaft and a Weslake eight-port alloy head. Stopping power was provided by 4-wheel disc brakes – making the Austin-Healey 100S the first production car to ever use them on all four wheels, the suspension was also upgraded and a close-ratio C-Series gearbox sent power to the rear wheels.
Donald Healey’s desire to use the new 100S to gain racing notoriety worked exceptionally well, the model would achieve a slew of race wins and podium place finishes – and it continues to do so to this day thanks to vintage motorsport events. It would finish 1st in class at the 12 Hours of Sebring in ’54, it took 1st and 2nd place at the Mille Miglia in the same year and it took a popular win at Goodwood.
The car you see here is one of the relatively rare green examples, most of these left the factory with a two-tone white over blue paint scheme. The car also has the only racing number any serious fan of Douglas Adams would want – it is the answer to life the universe and everything, after all.
If you’d like to see more of this particular car or register to bid on it you can click here to visit RM Auctions.
Photo Credits: Clint Davis ©2015 Courtesy of RM Auctions.
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