Arizona

16 - 17 January 2014

Lot 35

1956 Austin-Healey 100M 'Factory' Le Mans BN2 Roadster

To be auctioned on Thursday, January 16, 2014

High Bid of $160,000

  • Chassis no. BN2-L/230818
  • Engine no. 1B/230818
  • Body no. 12340
History is important to us, and all lots offered are fully researched. All corresponding information and accessories, from certificates to tool kits, stays with the lots we sell. All of this is held at our library on site, under the Access the Knowledge banner, so please visit us there or contact us before the auction if you require further information.


110 bhp, 2,660 cc overhead-valve inline four-cylinder engine, four-speed manual transmission with overdrive, coil-spring independent front suspension, live rear axle with semi-elliptic leaf springs, and hydraulic front disc and rear drum brakes. Wheelbase: 92 in.

  • One of 640 factory-built 100M models
  • Meticulous one-and-a-half-year restoration
  • British Motor Industry Heritage Trust Certificate of Origin, 100M Le Mans Registry Certificate, and Gold 100M Certificate


Donald Healey, a top rally driver before World War II, had been the technical director of Triumph and built his own line of Riley-powered sports cars after the war. Looking for a more modern design, he worked up a new car by using the powertrain from Austin’s A90 Atlantic, which was a baroque-looking convertible that was intended for American consumption but had received a disappointing reception. The new car’s engine was a 2,660-cubic centimeter four-overhead-valve unit that could produce 90 brake horsepower, and the transmission was a three-speed version of the Atlantic’s that was coupled with a Laycock de Normanville overdrive. Healey had negotiated the supply of components with Austin’s chairman, Leonard Lord. When the car, badged as the Healey Hundred, appeared at the 1952 Earls Court Motor Show, Lord was so taken with it that the two men immediately struck a deal for Austin to produce it. The first cars, re-named Austin-Healey 100, appeared the following spring.



Donald Healey himself was timed at 142.636 mph in a lightly modified example at the Bonneville Salt Flats in 1953, and he set a number of speed and endurance records, allowing the advertising department to proclaim: “It’s fast! It’s dependable! It’s record breaking!” Production topped 10,000 in three years, with more than half of them being exported to the United States.



In 1955, a new BN2 version of the Austin-Healey, which had a four-speed transmission, was introduced. At the same time that the BN2 was introduced, a new model, which was based on the BN2 and named the 100M, was also introduced. It featured larger carburetors, a high-lift cam, and a higher 8.1:1 compression. Stiffer front suspension was fitted, with hood louvers and a leather strap completing its bona fides. The engine mods, with the exception of the high-compression pistons, could be dealer-installed as the Le Mans kit, or it was also available at the parts counter for owner application. The factory-installed Le Mans package raised the 100’s 90 brake horsepower to an impressive 110.

This 1956 100M is one of 640 made by the factory, and it was purchased by the current owner in the summer of 2011. A complete restoration commenced after the purchase, which included taking the car completely apart, including the body, frame, engine, transmission, brakes, and steering. Everything was then rebuilt, including a new fuel tank, with new parts where the old ones were not deemed 100 percent correct and in top condition. During inspection, the car was found to have all the criteria necessary to authenticate a factory 100M: all four cockpit surrounds are correctly stamped, as are the boot lid and bonnet, with the latter being the original louvered one. There are correct, marked carburetors and an induction manifold, and the engine compartment has been modified to make room for them. Additionally, this 100M retains its original and correctly stamped distributor. The engine was completely rebuilt with some performance upgrades, such as a lighter flywheel. The original four-speed overdrive gearbox was rebuilt, too.

The seats were very good, with a little bit of patina, which the owner preferred to new leather, and they have been retained. The car is painted in correct Healey Blue over white, with a dark blue interior. New high-quality paint was applied, and new carpets have been installed throughout, including a new boot lining. Extra driving lights were also fitted. A new, smaller wood steering wheel was installed to facilitate entry and exit, but the original steering wheel also accompanies the car.

The restoration was done by Greg Perry at Vintage Motor Cars, of Mesa, Arizona, and it took a year-and-a-half to complete, at a cost of about $90,000. The engine was air flowed and tuned by Jim Unsworth, of flow bench fame.

This Healey has a 100M Le Mans Registry Certificate, a British Motor Industry Heritage Trust Certificate of Origin, and a Gold 100M Certificate, as well as all of its correct factory stampings, tools, and side curtains. It is surely one of the best and most desirable examples.

Please contact our exclusive automotive transportation partner, Reliable Carriers, for a shipping quote or any other information on the transport of this vehicle.

Alain Squindo


Detroit, Michigan

Alain Squindo joined RM Auctions in 2007, after graduating from Georgetown University in Washington, D.C., with a degree in History. R... read more

Alex Classick

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United Kingdom

Alex Classick joined RM Europe in 2011 as a car specialist, after graduating from Nottingham University with a degree in Business Mana... read more

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California, USA

Alexander Weaver joined RM Auctions in 2011 as a car specialist, after graduating from Furman University in South Carolina. Born into ... read more

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Germany

With post-secondary degrees in Economic Science and Mechanical Engineering, Annette Abaci initially worked part-time at Mercedes-Benz ... read more

Augustin Sabatié-Garat

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United Kingdom

Augustin Sabatié-Garat joined RM Europe in 2012 as a senior car specialist, after more than a decade in the collector car hobby... read more

Dan Warrener

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Ontario, Canada

Possessing a degree in Economics from Brandon University, Dan Warrener spent the initial stages of his career working around the globe... read more

Don Rose

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United States

Don Rose joined RM Auctions in 2006, after many years of professionally trading sports and classic cars, and after earning a reputatio... read more

Donnie Gould

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Florida, USA

Donnie Gould joined the RM team in 2002 as a partner and Car Specialist after more than two decades in the vintage automobile auction ... read more

Gord Duff

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Ontario, Canada

Gord joined RM Auctions in 1998, initially responsible for the transportation and logistics of the company’s auction and restora... read more

Ian Kelleher

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New York, United States

Ian Kelleher began his automotive career immediately following his graduation from Oberlin College, with a B.A. in Politica... read more

Jack Boxstrom

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Ontario, Canada

Jack Boxstrom joined RM Auctions in late-1996 to assist with the recently acquired, and subsequently record-breaking, auction in Monte... read more

Max Girardo

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United Kingdom

Max Girardo started his career in the vintage automobile industry in 1998, joining Brooks Auctioneers (now Bonhams) as a car specialis... read more

Mike Fairbairn

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Ontario, Canada

As one of the three founding partners of RM Auctions, Mike Fairbairn has a longstanding interest in the classic car industry. Graduati... read more

Peter Wallman

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United Kingdom

Peter Wallman joined RM Europe in 2007, following nearly two decades in the international advertising industry, read more

Rob Myers

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Ontario, Canada

As chairman and founder of the RM Group of Companies, Rob Myers’s entire career has been devoted to the classic car industry. Ro... read more

Shelby Myers

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California, USA

Shelby Myers literally grew up with the classic car industry infused into every aspect of his life. He had the unique opportunity to w... read more

Vinnie Mandzak

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California, USA

Vinnie Mandzak joined RM Auctions’ California office in 2012 as a car specialist, following more than 30 years’ experience... read more