Old British flame

Making its presence felt at Sebring Raceway in 1954, the newly formed British outfit Austin-Healey showed ironclad stamina in the 12-hour race, with the 100s as its star performer. Driven by Lance Macklin and George Huntoon, it had to contend with the Lancia and Aston Martin teams, driven by Juan-Manuel Fangio and Carroll Shelby. In fact, Sir Stirling Moss won the race – driving an Osca – but his third place finish was considered a major success. Adopting the principle of “win on Sunday, sell on Monday”, Austin-Healey immediately put the 100s into production to mark its success, building only 55. All the cars were prestigious, despite the fact that they were primarily intended for the US market. Only four were produced for the UK, one of which is this model. The 100s has its roots in the Healey Hundred, which made its debut at the Earls Court motor show in 1952. Austin’s Leonard Lord was so impressed with the car that he bought the rights to it and overnight and changed its name to the Austin-Healey 100. Using the mechanical parts of the Austin Atlantic, the recipe for a muscular two-seater car with a purely sporting character at an affordable price was well received. It possessed only 90bhp, but in such a lightweight car it offered a top speed of over 100mph, a performance that was remarkable at the time. It is estimated that only 38 of the original 55 cars survived, making the 100s among the rarest and most sought-after of all Healeys.

Photos Courtesy of Goodwood.com