1955 Austin-Healey BN1 RoadsterSOLD
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Exterior Color: Red
Interior Color: Black
Transmission: 3 speed with overdrive on 2d. and 3d.

Reference Number 132167

as of 11/10/2011

Overview
Car 1955 Austin-Healey BN1 Roadster
Mileage 1,200 miles 
Configuration Left Hand Drive (LHD) 
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Known History

Vehicle to be offered WITHOUT RESERVE and SOLD to the highest bidder August 18 - 20th, at Russo and Steele's 11th Annual "Sports & Muscle at The Marriott" in Downtown Monterey, California. Please contact us for more information.

 

The Austin-Healey sports car was the product of two very different companies. During the '40s Austin became know to United States drivers as the British producer of quaint little sedans that had been popular in Britain. Donald Healey, on the other hand, was involved in a much smaller operation. His expertise evolved from his experience in the 1930's as a racer and engineer. He was also the technical director at Triumph. After the war Healey was building small sports cars powered by Riley engines in his shop in Warwick. In 1952 British Motor Corporation, which produced the Austin, held a design competition for a new sports car that would utilize Austin components. Healeys "Hundred" won the competition and he received an award at the 1952 Earl's Court motor show in London. Before production began at Birmingham the car was renamed Austin-Healey by Leonard Lord, the head of BMC.

 

The new sports car went into production in the spring of 1953 and sold in Britain for 1323 pounds. It was powered by the 2660-cc four from the Austin A90 Atlantic that was rated at 90 horsepower. The Austin-Healey soon became popular in the United States due to its reasonable price, attractive styling and the reliable well proven engine. Service was available throughout the country with the large network of dealers. The same basic body and chassis would be used for the next fifteen years. The six cylinder edition was introduced in 1956 followed by the 2 2 version of the two-seater. In 1958 the small "bugeye" Sprite was introduced as a companion to the big Healeys.

 

The Austin-Healey "100" BN1 was noted for its "envelope" style two-seater body with beautiful smooth flowing lines welded into the frame. A shell-shaped grill was made up of thin vertical bars. The lid on the full trunk had exposed hinges and full wheel openings were used both front and rear. Beneath the bonnet, the 260-cc Austin A90 Atlantic engine was rated at 90 horsepower at 4000 rpm. The transmission also came from the Austin 90 with its first gear eliminated, Instead a Laycock de Normanville overdrive unit was added. Overdrive activated at 40 mph when the switch was turned on.

 

American enthusiasts loved the new sports roadster. Motor Trend magazine, after a road test in November 1953, proclaimed "Its Really That Good." It also noted that it was "light and short making it easy for the sports car enthusiast and the housewife to drive." The brochures that were distributed at the auto shows in 1953 stated that the Austin-Healey was for "the enthusiast who wants quality" and targeted "the skilled driver who wishes to practice the exciting art of fast motoring."

 

Production of the 100 BN1 continued through the fall of 1955 and a total of 10,686 were produced at a list price of $2985. They had a to sped of 110 miles per hour and had a 0-60 time of 10.5 seconds. More than half of the BN1 production was destined for the United States and about 2,003 were shipped to US customers in 1955 alone. The 100M arrived late in 1955 and offered a higher horsepower version of the basic roadster engine with a LeMans modification kit.

 

This stunning example is finished in red with black interior. It has been well maintained and runs smoothly with no issues noted. It is a very desirable and collectible version of the early Austin-Healey 100 BN1.