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Peter's Marina Motors, logo.Peter's Marina Motors

800 Lincoln Blvd.
Venice Beach, California 90291
310-399-8313 Pete@EnglishCars.com

HISTORY OF THE Austin-Healey 100

At its announcement, the Healey 100 was the sensation of the 1952 London Motor Show, but it is doubtful if anyone at that time anticipated the enduring admiration and affection it would command through the following four decades up to the present day. An enthusiasm which shows every indication of being continued by future generations of enthusiasts around the world.

See pictures of an Austin Healey 100 Peter's Marina Motors restored.

The idea of the Healey 100 was conceived by Donald Healey following a visit to the United States in 1951. He envisioned a model to fill the gap in the sports car market between the MG "T" types and the more expensive but much faster Jaguar XK models. The principal product objectives were that it should have obvious sporting characteristics; be strong, reliable and constructed from proven readily available major mechanical units; be easy to maintain; have stylish appearance; be capable of 100mph and be priced at under $3000 U.S. Dollars. These objectives were successfully achieved in the creation of the Healey 100. The Healey 100 was announced in October 1952. It was well received in the U.S. , where enthusiasts found it offered everything contemporary MG's did not, including a good deal more speed.

The most striking feature of the new car was the body design which marked a radical departure from traditional British car styling. It was very modern and had smooth aerodynamic lines uncluttered by external fittings and, it was the first UK design to feature the curving "tumblehome" body sides which are now a regular characteristic of current car designs. After 40 years it still looks marvelous. The running gear was based on the Austin A90 sedan, the first BN1 models used the A90 four-speed gearbox with the top simply blanked off. The later BN2's had four forward speeds, plus Laycock overdrive. The early models were predictably the lightest; the later ones were heavier and better equipped.

During its three years production run, the Austin-Healey "100" was a source of great pride for the work people at Longbridge and was a very successful foreign currency earner for the company. By far the largest market was the North American continent with Australia as the next largest, although a long way behind in numbers. The UK market supply was somewhat restricted by the need to export as much production as possible and also to some extent by the car's price £1100. The most popular color was red following equally by Healey Blue and white and then green and black.

A total of 14,612 cars were built (BN1 10,688 and BN2 3924).

Austin-Healey 100 S

Racing derivative of the first-series BN1 Austin-Healey. Differences from the mass-production version included a different cylinder head and internal engine modifications for more power, plus a light-alloy body shell, four-speed gearbox without overdrive, and standard Dunlop disc brakes on all four wheels. Not as practical for daily driving as the tamer four-cylinder Healey's, but a worthwhile collectible for its rarity and mechanical specification. (50 were built) This car today is seldom seen on the market and is indeed very rare.

1959 Ad~Wonderful AUSTIN HEALEY Sport Car!
Vintage 1959 Ad is by British Motor Corporation, LTD. Austin-Healey!
The Sports-car of Sportsmen! 'Especially engineered to be driven by the man who lives
for swift, sure-footed action in its fullest measure ... deliberately styled to make him
the envy of everyone else!'

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