There’s an old adage that original is best. In the case of the Austin-Healey that’s hard to argue against. With its torquey ‘four’, ultra-clean lines and almost vintage handling, the 100 appears to offer less on paper than its pokier and more highly specified newer siblings. However, slide behind the wheel and you’ll soon see why everyone is clamouring for a 100. With less weight in the nose, the 100/4 has the best balance of all the Big Healeys, while the four-cylinder car was actually faster than the six-cylinder model that replaced it.
The Healey Hundred first saw the light of day at the London Motor Show in October 1952 and production started in May, 1953. Cars build through 1955 are known as BN1, which was their model designation.
This early Healey 100/4 is from the first year of production. According to the Heritage Certificate (which is included with the car) it was built on 19 of November, 1953. The early cars have the cleanest lines of all, in 1954 rear reflectors were added high above the tail lights, breaking the smooth rear fender lines. The car has spent most of its life in California and recently in Texas and Georgia ... all states with very mild climates. In the mid 1990's it had an extensive restoration which is documented in the photos below and with a thick folder showing the receipts of that restoration. Since the restoration was completed this Healey has been driven and maintained. Although no longer in show condition, the car is still very attractive, straight and rust free, and drives very well. Odometer reads 45,132 which the prior owner claims is accurate; I have no way to verify this.
These early Healeys are a blast to drive! Windshield can be tilted down for :a "wind in your face" race car feeling! All the gauges are in working order. The gearbox has an electric overdrive, which works. Interior looks very good with just a little wear. Canvas soft top is like new. Chrome is excellent. Includes side windows, which are in very good condition. Spare tire, knock off hammer, tonneau cover, owner's manual and jack are included. A few blemishes here and there; the type of thing you would expect of an older restoration.
The undercarriage is tidy and rust free. There are no signs of this car ever been in an accident as the frame appears to be very straight. The exhaust system is a stainless steel (made in the UK) in very good condition. Brakes were done last year.
The Healey 100/4 is definitely one of the most attractive British sports cars ever produced. Later Healeys may have been more luxurious and comfortable but nothing will ever match the lines of the 100/4 with its folding windshield.
Most of these cars have lived a rough life over the last 55 years. Finding a straight and rust free original example, that someone has not trashed or heavily modified, has become quite difficult.