Austin-Healey 100 M 1956
Chassis no. BN 2 L 228308
Engine no. 1B 228308M
•Genuine factory-built 100 M
•Delivered new to North America
•Restored by JME Healeys in 2002/2003
•Registered in Switzerland
Following the Austin-Healey 100's sensational debut in 1952, the works entered two mildly modified cars in the 1953 Le Mans 24-Hour Race. They finished in 12th and 14th places, a highly praiseworthy achievement for what were recognisably production sports cars. Accordingly, the name 'Le Mans' was chosen for a bolt-on tuning kit, by means of which private owners could bring their cars up to a specification approaching that of the works entries. The kit included a pair of 1¾" SU HD6 carburettors plus special inlet manifold and cold air box, high-lift camshaft, stronger valve springs, and a distributor with alternative ignition advance curve. With the kit installed, power increased from the standard 90 to 100bhp.
From October 1955 the conversion was available factory-fitted on the successor BN2 model in the form of the 100 M. In addition to the Le Mans kit, the latter boasted high-compression pistons, a stiffer front anti-roll bar, special Armstrong front dampers, and a louvred bonnet. Power increased to 110bhp and top speed, with windscreen folded flat, to within a whisker of 120mph. The number of BN1s converted by their owners is unknown but 1,159 cars, mostly BN2s, were built or subsequently modified to 100 M specification between 1955 and 1956. Of these, approximately 640 were completed at the factory, some 544 of which were exported to the USA.
A BN2 model, chassis number '228308' comes with a BMIHT certificate confirming that it was fitted with a louvred bonnet and thus is a genuine factory-built 100 M (or Le Mans) model. A laminated windscreen and a heater are also listed under details of factory equipment, while the original colour scheme was black with a red interior. A left-hand drive model, the car was completed in September 1955 destined for export to North America.
Many years later, having returned to Europe, '228308' was restored by one of the most respected specialists in the business: JME Healeys of Warwick. Invoices on file testify to the no-expense-spared approach to the rebuild, which was undertaken in two stages (in 2002 and 2003). Totalling almost £48,000, JME's two bills run to 19 pages, describing the restoration process in exemplary detail (inspection recommended). More recently, in January 2010, the convertible hood was replaced by a Swiss specialist (bill on file).
The private vendor describes the Healey as in very good condition. Accompanying documentation includes Swiss registration papers, a FIVA Identity Card, and the aforementioned restoration bills and BMIHT certificate. A rare opportunity to acquire a genuine factory-built Austin-Healey 100 M, restored by recognised specialists.
Please note this motor car is subject to the reduced local import tax should it remains in the EU.
Bonhams is the guarantor of the customs duties and taxes clearance: consequently, this motor car cannot be released to the buyer or his transporter immediately after the sale.
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