The first in a new series from D’Marge, we’re taking a closer look at some of the most beautiful cars in motoring history. To launch the series we’re looking at the 1956 Austin-Healey 100/4 BN2 which we personally visited in Melbourne. Be sure to view the full gallery of this amazing classic automobile at the end of each of these articles.
A human from 1956 is probably showing more than a few signs of age at this point. This car, on the other hand, looks and drives like it just rolled out of the factory today. Prepare to mop drool off your keyboards, vintage car enthusiasts. After its no-expense-spared restoration, this pristine 1956 Austin-Healey 100/4 BN2 is in tip-top shape and looking for a loving new home. Better have a towel handy before you continue, just in case.
History of the 1956 Austin-Healey 100/4 BN2
In the early 50s, Donald Healey wanted to increase production volume for his small British car company. At the time, the tiny Warwick-based Donald Healey Motor Company offered four distinct models, all of which were expensive and sold only in modest numbers. Healy concluded that what his company really needed was a reasonably priced sports car, and what he wound up with was a car that was a winner on both sides of the Atlantic.
Designed as a sporting alternative to the Austin A90 Atlantic, which shared some components, the Austin-Healy 100 was built from 1953 until 1956. The first Healey Hundred debuted in 1952 at the London Motor Show to great acclaim. Austin’s Leonard Lord, who had recently become managing director of the newly formed British Motor Corporation, proposed that the Hundred become a co-branded product, built by Austin from Healey’s design. The vehicle was renamed the Austin-Healey 100 after its ability to reach 100 mph (160 km/h).
The first 100s became known as the BN1 series, and a total of 10030 were built beginning in May 1953 until they were replaced by the BN2 model in August 1955. The BN2 series cars added a 4-speed manual transmission (with overdrive), slightly larger front wheel arches, a different rear axle, optional two-tone paint and a performance upgrade kit. The final BN2 was built in July 1956 with a total of 4604 BN2s produced.
1956 Austin-Healey 100/4 BN2 Specifications
This particular car is a restored example of the 1956 Austin-Healey 100/4 BN2 with the Le Mans Engine Modification Kit. The 1956 was the last of the original, strictly two-seater, Gerry Coker-designed 100s. Under the hood is a 4-cylinder engine with 2660cc capacity, twin SU carburettors and a 4-speed manual transmission with overdrive.
Aesthetically the car is no slouch either. The colour combination is a stunning blue and cream combo with chrome wire wheels. The interior includes navy leather seats with white piping and plush pile navy blue carpets. In the event of wet weather, the car comes equipped with a high quality navy blue hood with removable side curtains and a zippered Tonneau cover.
If you’re looking for the next addition to your car collection, look no further. The BN2 is fast becoming the Healey to own, as more and more people appreciate the beauty of the original Gerry Coker Healey design.
How To Get Your Hands On It
This car is currently available for sale at the Healey Factory in Mitcham, Australia. Get the details here.