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1956 Austin-Healey 100M

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OVERVIEW

1956 Austin-Healey 100M

  • DESCRIPTIONThe first, and arguably the most pure, "Big Healeys" are the 1953-1956 100-4s. One Hundred cars were named after their ability to top the magical "ton" mark on the open road. With their big 2,660 CC four cylinder engine, they were revolutionary when introduced to those accustomed to the underpowered MG's of the period- finally, a true 100 MPH sports car that was attainable, unlike the Jaguar XK 120 and cars with little prancing horses on them that were only a dream to most. While the Big Healeys continued in production through 1967, after the 100/4 they gained two cylinders with the 100/6, but also gained weight, size, creature comforts, and in many cases, two extra seats to go along with the extra displacement. This makes the 100/4 cars even more unique, with their svelte shape, racy fold-down two position windscreen, proper side curtains, lack of door handles, and throaty big Four exhaust note. The car featured here was delivered to its wealthy California owner by Donald Healey in Longbridge in the spring of 1956 as part of a "European Delivery Scheme". Its livery trim was Ivory White over Black with Black Interior and Top. The happy new owner drove it around Europe before returning it to Longbridge for shipping to the US. At that time he requested the Le Mans upgrade be fitted before shipping the car to the US. Even more important is the fact that it was fitted with a Factory 100M "LeMans" kit, the same as the factory team cars had at LeMans in 1953, and is, a very important distinction among the ranks of 100/4 cars. The LeMans kit featured larger dual SU H6 carburetors on special alloy inlet manifolds, a hot camshaft, special performance ignition distributor, and an aluminum cold air box for the carburetors. This particular car was also upgraded per100M procedure to a 4 speed transmission, while retaining the factory 3rd and 4th gear overdrive, and also fitted with a stronger BN2 rear axel. Girling 11 in (279.4 mm) drum brakes are fitted all round. Front suspension is independent using coil springs and at the rear is a rigid axle with semi elliptic leaf springs. The steering is by a cam and lever system. The car was also fitted with the trademark "louvered bonnet" with leather tie down straps and the "100 Lightening Bolt" grill marquee. The shipping went "awry" and the car was caught up in US Customs after being mistakenly drop shipped to an East Coast Port of Entry. When the car finally arrived in San Francisco with carrier damage the enraged owner refused delivery. It was at this point that the car was offered (at a favorable price) to privateer/racer J.C. Kilburn who had been waiting for delivery of an ordered 100M. J.C. painted the car to his trademark "Blackburn Stables" racing colors of Black over Red with Double Red Racing Stripes and immediately began his assault on the 1957 SCCA National Championship Series. Blackburn Stables/Corrigan Racing campaigned the car extensively and ultimately sold it to its current owner's father in 1995. The car was campaigned rigorously over the following decade at Historic Race venues throughout the US including ten years of participation in the Monterey Historic Races at Laguna Seca. The current owner inherited the car upon his father's death and has maintained the vehicle to good running condition. It is most likely the best documented original privateer race car with the most extensive continuous race history of any Austin Healy ever produced. It runs and drives magnificently. The engine is smooth, powerful, and has an authoritative bark through the straight exhaust pipes. The transmission shifts crisply and cleanly, a rarity in British cars! The factory overdrive cleanly and smoothly engages and disengages with the flip of the dash-mounted switch. The brakes are positive and smooth, and the cross ply racing tyres are fitted to proper Dunlop wire wheels. Everywhere you look the details are simply amazing-this is a true original race car! A restoration could no

SPECIFICATIONS

  • STATUSProject
  • CATEGORYRace Cars
  • CONDITION

TRIM & BODY STYLE

  • BODYSTYLEConvertible

SUSPENSION

ENGINE

  • ENGINEInline 4
  • DRIVETRAIN2 wheel drive - front

TRANSMISSION

  • TRANSMISSION4 Speed Manual with Overdrive

EXTERIOR

  • EXTERIOR COLORBlack

INTERIOR

  • INTERIOR COLORBlack

OPTIONS

  • SEATS Leather Seats
  • OTHER FEATURES Custom Wheels

COMMENTS

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