Bring a Trailer NO RESERVE auction preview: Beautifully executed conversion to 215ci aluminum Buick by master machinist and engineer Ken Deringer of Dan Gurney's All America Racing.
1955 Austin Healey BN1 V8 Special
Chassis No. – 220535
Exterior Color – Black
Interior Color – Black
Engine – Buick 215 alloy block V8 w/twin 2bbl Bendix carburetors
Transmission – 5-speed Tremec T-50 manual
Current Miles – 6,380 miles TMU
Current Owner – Purchased in 2014
Miles driven under current ownership – approximately 1000 miles
Highlights for this car
A superb representation combining 100 series looks with V8 power
Beautiful construction by former Dan Gurney AAR machinist
Extensive build photos and numerous Best in Show and First place wins
Established in 1952 as a joint venture with partners Austin Motors (BMC) and the Donald Healey Motor Company, Austin-Healey built their reputation in a remarkably short period of time. Their first production offering was the smartly designed and well balanced 1953 100-4 roadster. Capable of superior performance against comparably priced cars, the combination of performance and beauty was striking and proved to be worthy not only of British sales, but quickly became the darling of North American importers.
General Overview and History of This Car
This beautifully constructed Austin Healey is the work of Ken Deringer. A talented machinist and restoration craftsman, Deringer was best known for his work with the Dan Gurney racing team All American Racers (AAR). Having joined AAR as the second employee in 1963 he worked in R&D until 1968 as an integral part of the team efforts with some of the most important race cars from this period. From 1968-1990 Deringer restored several vintage cars including tending to the collection of William Lyon. Deringer’s legendary skills, however, were not limited to racing or mechanical components as he had significant mastery of metal work and custom crafting. In 1990, Deringer located this car, then a neglected but complete project awaiting his master skills. The project would occupy much of his retirement, spanning more than a decade to complete.
Deringer spent years engineering, refining, and developing this Healey V8 to a very high level. The car was comprehensively restored but fully engineered to a very high standard allowing for the installation of a 215 cu. in. aluminum Buick V8 engine and 5-speed Tremec transmission. The entire steel and alloy body was tended to along with the steel frame which was stripped to bare metal and properly prepared with newly crafted sections specifically to house and properly support the new engine. Carefully determining the correct position for the engine, wider profile custom headers were crafted and specially formed to include a beautifully formed four in one side exit exhaust collator which entered the front inner fender and exited the sides of the car crafted to tuck inside custom made recessed rocker panels. A set of road lamps were recessed into the lower portion of the front fascia, hood louvers cut into the alloy hood, side louvers cut into the front fenders, and a laydown windscreen installed for the finishing touch.
Deringer performed all the metal work, mechanical work, and much of the detailed finish work on this car personally. The project took more than a decade to complete, but Deringer was eager to drive and enjoy the car, putting more than 5,000 miles on it proving the quality and mechanical excellence of his workmanship. Having set out to build what Deringer described as “the perfect sports car”, upon completion, even Jay Leno tried to purchase it. Deringer and his wife frequently showed the car resulting in four Best of Show awards, three First Place awards, and several other awards spanning 2002 – 2011. Deringer passed away in 2012. His widow sold the car in 2014 to the current owner who has diligently maintained it to a high standard.
In 2008, Gerry Coker, the original designer of the Healey 100, saw the car, signed the dashboard, and commented “If we’d stayed in business, this is the direction we would have gone”.
-Frenched in road lamps
-Tucked in twin exhaust side pipes
-Custom rack and pinion steering
-Custom nerf bars replacing bumpers
-Front fender louvers
-Smoothed trunk (handle delete)
-Later series Healey dashboard with extra gauges
-Gerry Coker signature on dash 2008
-Alfa Romeo seats
Recent Work and Current Ownership
In October 2022, the car was serviced extensively including the installation of four new Pirelli tires, a new clutch slave cylinder and clutch hose, radiator top tank repair, new radiator hoses, brake fluid flush, oil and filter change, chassis lube, and top off for differential and gearbox oils.
Items Included with the Car
The car is accompanied by a black tonneau cover, a photo album documenting the build, various Healey Newsletters referencing the car, a spare light, copies of service records under current ownership, and an Austin Healey Tech Talk book.
The above vehicle information is complete and accurate to the best of our knowledge at the time it is posted to this website. Corrections or additional information is always appreciated. All advertised prices exclude government fees and taxes, any finance charges, any dealer document preparation charge, and any emission testing charge. Vehicles are subject to prior sale. All advertised to be true but not guaranteed. We assume no liability for errors or omissions.
Fantasy Junction • 510-653-7555 • 1145 Park Ave, Emeryville, CA 94608