The Austin Healey 100 was the first 100 m.p.h. car the common
man could afford. The price was $850 or about $1600.00 at today's
The first car was shown in London in 1952. As thousands of enthusiasts
fought fro glimpse of this pale blue masterpiece, police erected
crush barriers to protect the car.
The designer, Donald Healey of Healey Motor Company, planned to
make five cars per week in his converted aircraft hanger. It became
obvious that much more production capacity was needed and he formed
a partnership with Britain's largest car maker, British Motor
Corporation. It used well-known components from Austin, one of
the companies that made up BMC. 200 units per week were produced
and were sold through the Austin sales network. The name was known
As the car evolved into a 3 liter, 6 cylinder engine with electric
overdrive, and later to more sophisticated fittings like roll-up
windows and rear jump seats, it kept its original body. After
fifteen years, and more than 70,000 unites, the last Austin Healey
3000 looked almost exactly like the original Healey 100.
The bodies of the car were constructed of alloy fro the center
shrouds with steel doors and fenders. These created rust traps
that still plague the cars today. The original car, designated
a BN1, had 4 cylinders with displacement of 2600cc that produced
In 1956, the cylinder 100-Six (BN4) was introduced having a displacement
of 2639cc and producing 102 bhp. This was no great improvement
in performance, but it was much smoother, which it generally made
it more restful to drive.
Austin Healey introduced the 2912cc engine in 1959 to take advantage
of the three-liter international competition class. It produced
124 bhp and was designated and was designated BN7 and BT7 for
the four seat version. This car was popularly known as the Mark
I in order to distinguish it from the later cars.
The Mark II was developed in 1961 with three SU carburetors. This
increased the BHP to 131. Over the next few years there were other
changes, the most notable of which was the loss of one carburetor
with only a 2 bhp decrease.
In March of 1964, the most luxurious and quickest of the non-racing
Healeys was introduced. The new Mark III or BJ8 looked identical
to its predecessor from the outside, but the inside was different.
The power was increased to 150 bhp, while reducing the noise level.
The interior was completely re-designed with a console sweeping
down from the center of the polished wooden veneer dash. Roll-up
windows were standard.
The last big Healey was produced in December of 1967. It fell
victim to the U.S. Federal regulations.
Today, the big Healeys are sought after by both enthusiast and
investors alike. The prices range from about $5000 for a non-running
restorable car to in excess of $25,000 fro a fully restored show
car. Parts are readily available, and the technology is simple
which makes this a very good project car as well as an investment.
This is a car that can be as docile as a kitten in traffic or
as wild as a tiger in the mountains and will continue to increase
in value as an investment.
Inventory in stock at Tifton for Sale (updated every business day)
Other published articles written by Bob Kennon
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