The Austin-Healey 100M is a car that occupies a place very high on the acquisition list for any serious vintage car collector, only 640 100Ms were made between September the 5th 1955 and July the 16th 1956 – these original Healeys are now amongst the most sought after post-war British cars in existence.
The “M” in the model name is a reference to Le Mans, the iconic circuit and 24 hour race that’s been running since 1923. Donald Healey entered the first Austin-Healey 100s into the race in 1953, less than a year after the model had first been shown to much public interest at the Earls Court Motorshow in 1952.
These early Le Mans entries finished a solid 2nd and 3rd in their first serious race outing, twin podium finishes further cemented the model’s sporting credentials and led Healey to set about creating special 100M models for privateer racers and enthusiastic amateur drivers.
Fitted with a 2660cc OHV inline 4-cylinder engine fed by dual SU H6 sidedraft carburettors the Austin-Healey 100M developed 110bhp at the crank – an astonishing figure for the era. In order to maximise handling potential it was fitted with independent front suspension with coil springs and a live rear axle with semi-elliptical leaf springs at the rear, 4-wheel hydraulic drums brakes sit at each corner and the 100Ms windscreen slides down to reduce drag on the long Le Mans straight.
With an estimated hammer price of $175,000 to $225,000 the car you see here is due to pass across the auction block with Gooding & Co. at the Amelia Island Auction on the 7th of March 2014. As this car is a matching-numbers example presented in immaculate, show winning condition, I suspect it may fetch just a little bit more than that when the gavel falls.
Click here to visit Gooding & Co. to read more about this car.
All images copyright and courtesy of Gooding & Company. Photos by Chip Riegel.
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