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Lot Number
26
Body by Jensen Motor Company
1954 Austin-Healey BN1
Scottsdale Auction

Offered Without Reserve

ESTIMATE: $60,000 - $80,000
CHASSIS NO: 150976
• Historic, first-generation Austin-Healey
• Original Belgian-delivery example
• Accompanied by Heritage Certificate
• Fully restored and very well-maintained
• Stunning Carmine Red paint and presentation
• One of the most influential sports cars produced

2,660 cc OHV Austin A90 inline four-cylinder engine, twin S.U. Type H4 carburetors, 90 HP at 4,000 RPM, three-speed manual gearbox with overdrive, independent coil-spring and torsion-bar front suspension, live rear axle with semi-elliptic leaf springs, Girling four-wheel hydraulic drum brakes; wheelbase: 90”


The Healey “Hundred,” as it was originally named, debuted at the 1952 London Motor Show and immediately took the world by storm as a definitive postwar sports car. It was designed to be sporting yet economical with the capability of reaching 100 mph flat out, thus the “Hundred” in the name. Importantly, the new Healey was highly responsive to tuning for greater performance and its basic engineering provided the necessary scope for further development and improvement, with the car produced in several distinct variations until early 1968. When the car was introduced, Donald Healey was still not completely satisfied with the car, particularly the grille, so he placed the car in the London Motor Show display to obscure the grille from view. However, this trick did little to diminish the appeal of the car to show attendees. Leonard Lord, the head of Austin and the man who approved the use of the Austin A90 engine in the car to begin with, was so impressed by the display he agreed to produce the car as the Austin-Healey 100. The model code ‘BN1’ meant the car was equipped with an Austin engine between 2,000-3,000 cc, was fitted with two-seat bodywork, and was the first model of the series.

Production began in May 1953 and continued until August 1955 with just over 10,000 cars produced, a smashing sales success for the fledgling Austin-Healey marque. As the name of the car promised, no less than Donald Healey himself piloted a modified 100 to a speed of 142.636 mph over the measured mile. Cementing the car’s model name, a stock 100 managed to average 104.3 mph over a 24-straight hour endurance run. With performance and handling that almost rivaled a six-cylinder Jaguar ‘XK’ of the era and offered in the size and price range of an MG, the Austin-Healey 100 was a spectacular achievement and unqualified sales success.
Offered without reserve, this captivating 1954 Austin-Healey 100 BN1 Roadster is an extremely desirable and historic first-generation example with uncanny purity of design and purpose, with flowing lines and an incomparable sense of adventure with its characteristic folding windscreen. According to a recent conversation, the consignor was smitten with the car’s rakish good looks and condition that led to his purchased in 2012. The Healey has been used only sparingly since then, but maintained in ready-to-drive condition nonetheless. As offered, it continues to benefit handsomely from a complete “nut-and-bolt” restoration that was performed sometime prior to 2012, with a presentation that still far surpasses the work of the Birmingham, England factory where the car was originally produced, with the underside of the Healey matching the appearance and quality of the rest of the car. The concours-quality body is striking in its Carmine Red paint finish over the spartan black-upholstered cockpit, consistent with the British Motor Industry Trust Heritage Certificate that accompanies the sale of the car at auction. Smart red piping adorns the black bucket seats and lends a decidedly sporting flair to the Healey, as does the three-spoke, wood-rimmed steering wheel and businesslike instrument panel facing the driver. Silver painted wire wheels are a classic British sports car touch and provide a wonderful contrast to the red paint finish. As expected, the engine bay and powerful twin-carbureted engine are clean, highly attractive, and factory-correct in appearance, featuring the iconic polished “Austin-Healey” scripted rocker cover, plus correct ancillary components, finishes, and fittings throughout. The consignor reports that the Healey has required nothing during his ownership, with the car remaining lovely throughout and ready to drive or show with enthusiasm, as originally intended.

1954 Austin-Healey BN1
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