1956 Austin-Healey 100-4 BN2
s/n BN2L 230383, engine no. 1B230383
Two Tone British Racing Green and Cream with Cream Leather Interior
The Austin-Healey 100-4 is in many ways the quintessential British sports car. Fitted with beautiful bodywork, tremendous fun to drive, and reasonably high performance, they are everything that a sports car should be. Early cars such as this one are very pure: fitted with simple but elegant dashboard, no rear seats, no external door handles, rudimentary weather equipment, and fold down windscreen, they are no frills sports cars that perfectly capture the single-minded sporting approach to motoring that makes old cars so enjoyable. Yet with 50% more power and 100% more torque than a contemporary MG, they had genuinely high performance for the day and remain usable and entertaining in modern traffic. The BN1 and BN2 were the earliest big Healeys, with numerous detail differences and the introduction of a 4-speed overdrive gearbox and larger brakes on the BN2. About 10,000 BN1s were built compared to 3924 BN2s.
This particular car is an attractively-restored example that is in excellent mechanical and cosmetic condition. The car was done to high standards and is an extremely nice driver. Its previous owner purchased it in August 2012 and has spent several thousand dollars since on mechanical and cosmetic work including some paintwork, redone radiator, new water pump, new master cylinder, and Pertronix ignition system. The work was carried out by the capable and well-regarded Austin-Healey/Jaguar specialist Mike Wilson Restorations. Under the most recent custodianship, this BN2 has shared stable space with several Ferraris including 275 GTS, a Porsche 2.7 RS Carrera, and many other collectable European automobiles.
Today, the car makes an excellent cosmetic impression with excellent paintwork on a very nice body. The paintwork was performed to high standards, with excellent finish and very little wear or surface imperfections. The only shortcoming worth mentioning is some orange peel on the trunk lid, which would likely be alleviated through color sanding. The body is straight and displays excellent fit. The chrome and bright trim are excellent throughout, as are the glass and lights. The rear-facing reflector mounting holes have been filled and painted over, although the reflectors are included with the car and would be straightforward to reinstall. The car sits on painted wire wheels with excellent vintage-style Michelin tires.
The interior was done to similarly high standards, with excellent workmanship throughout. The leather trim was capably fitted and is excellent throughout, with light patina on the seats. The carpets were installed to similarly high standards and are also excellent. The dashboard is beautifully restored, including switches and instruments. This car is not equipped with a heater. The steering wheel is excellent and the car has a full canvas tonneau cover. A new top is included but not fitted and it should be noted that rear brace that acts as the interface between the body of the car and the rear of the top is missing. The frame and canvas are both present, however.
The engine compartment is quite impressive, with polished aluminum valve cover, as well as nicely polished carburetors and air filters. The exhaust manifolds are in excellent shape and the engine itself is quite clean. The accessories are very nice as well, and the inner fenders and structure are structurally excellent but not freshly detailed. The trunk has been restored with green felt carpeting and the spare wears a recent matching Michelin tire and is secured with a new leather strap.
The car runs and drives very well. The engine is well-tuned and makes good power. The gearbox shifts well and the overdrive works properly, engaging on both 3rd and 4th gears. The chassis and steering are tight, communicative, and engaging, and the entire experience has a well-matched coherence that makes the car a pleasure to drive, even at relatively low speeds. The brakes are effective although they pull the car to the right somewhat, a drum brake issue common to these cars.
This is an excellent opportunity to acquire a high end driver level example of the most desirable variant of the early Healeys. Beautifully restored and a pleasure to drive, this car is also eligible for some of the world’s most prestigious rallies thanks to its 1956 build date. It comes with a thick file of invoices from the last few years, showing the exhaustive attention to detail with which the car has been kept. It also has a driver’s handbook, miscellaneous spare parts, car cover, awards from when it was shown, and weather equipment including soft top and full tonneau cover.
Fantasy Junction +1 510 653 7555 Emeryville, California 94608 USA
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