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Lot 224

1956 Austin-Healey 100 M 'Le Mans'

  • Chassis no. BN2-L/233008
  • Engine no. 1B/233008

Sold for $170,500


110 bhp, 2,660 cc OHV inline four-cylinder engine, four-speed manual transmission with overdrive, coil-spring independent front suspension, live rear axle with semi-elliptical leaf springs, and hydraulic front disc and rear drum brakes. Wheelbase: 92 in.

  • The hottest factory Austin-Healey variant; one of 640 built
  • Authenticated by the 100 M Le Mans Registry
  • Accompanied by a BMIHT Certificate


In the early 1950s, former British rally driver Donald Healey looked for a new automobile to build. Using his own talents, he cooked up a car that borrowed the powertrain of Austin’s quirky A90 Atlantic—a 2,660-cubic centimeter, four-cylinder unit that had four overhead valves and 90 brake horsepower—and new sporting bodywork in the Triumph or MG mold. This car was badged as the Healey Hundred, and it was displayed at the 1952 Earls Court Motor Show, entrancing Austin Chairman Leonard Lord, who immediately struck a deal for his company to build it as the Austin-Healey.

As a car that was developed by a racing driver, the Austin-Healey was capable of everything that its designers had intended it to do. Healey, for instance, took one that was only lightly modified to the Bonneville Salt Flats in 1953, and he proceeded to set a number of speed and endurance records, with a recorded top speed of 142.636 mph. “It’s fast! It’s dependable! It’s record breaking!” ads screamed.

After building more than 10,000 BN1s in three years, more than half of which were exported to the United States, Austin introduced a new Healey, known as the BN2, for 1955. This car featured a four-speed transmission and was offered both in standard trim and as a new “hot” model, the 100 M. This model adopted larger carburetors, a high-lift cam, higher 8.1:1 compression, stiffer front suspension, and a louvered hood, which was secured by a leather strap. These engine modifications, with the exception of the high-compression pistons, could be dealer-installed as the Le Mans kit, and they were also available at the parts counter for owner application. True factory-built 100M Le Mans Competition Roadsters accounted for only 640 cars, which are all tracked and documented by a dedicated registry and the British Motor Industry Heritage Trust.

This factory-built car is documented by a BMIHT Certificate, as well as a registry certificate, as being one of those 640 100 Ms. It is also accompanied by a selection of documentation from earlier owners, who provided detailed information on its restoration. It was originally built with left-hand drive for American export and finished in the color combination that it wears today, Black and Reno Red. It is also still powered by its original engine. This car has been well-preserved over the years, and it displays an impressive level of craftsmanship, including a new red and black interior with color-coordinated carpet and a black top. The engine bay, with its polished surfaces, is also very presentable.

Undoubtedly, this genuine factory-built 100 M Roadster will attract a great deal of attention at vintage events for its superb performance and at shows for its striking good looks.

Please contact our exclusive automotive transportation partner, Reliable Carriers, for a shipping quote or any other information on the transport of this vehicle.

Alexander Weaver

aweaver@rmsothebys.com

+1 864 313 6844
California, United States

Alexander Weaver joined RM Sotheby’s in 2011 as a Car Specialist after graduating from Furman University in South Carolina. Born... read more

Augustin Sabatié-Garat

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+44 (0) 74 1511 4179
United Kingdom

Augustin Sabatié-Garat joined RM Europe in 2012 as a Car Specialist after more than a decade in the collector car hobby. Gradua... read more

Barney Ruprecht

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+1 203 912 7168
Ontario, Canada

Barney’s interest in classic cars began at an early age after being introduced to his father’s all-original 1965 Porsche 911. Barney l... read more

David Swig

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+1 415 302 2247
California, United States

David Swig joined RM Sotheby’s West Coast division as a Car Specialist in May 2015. David is a life-long automobile enthusi... read more

Don Rose

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+1 617 513 0388
United States

Don joined RM in 2006 after several years of professionally trading sports and classic cars, and after earning a reputation as a noted... read more

Donnie Gould

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+1 954 566 2209
Florida, United States

Donnie Gould joined the RM team in 2002 as a partner and Car Specialist after more than two decades in the vintage automobile auction ... read more

Gord Duff

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+1 519 352 4575
Ontario, Canada

Gord Duff began his journey with RM Sotheby’s in 1998. Since then, he has gained an intimate knowledge of a variety of marques a... read more

Jake Auerbach

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+1 310 559 4575
California, United States

Jake Auerbach got his start in the automotive industry at an early age, spending his summers during high school working at a classic c... read more

Kurt Forry

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+1 717 623 1638
California, United States

Having worked for Bonhams’ Automobilia department for over 10 years, Kurt Forry joined RM Sotheby’s with more than a decad... read more

Matt Malamut

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+1 805 231 6410
California, United States

A long-time car enthusiast and Southern California native, Matt studied Automotive Technology at San Diego Miramar College and complet... read more

Michael Squire

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+44 (0) 20 7851 7070
United Kingdom

Michael Squire joined RM Sotheby’s European Division in the summer of 2016. He comes to RM with a prestigious racing background ... read more

Mike Fairbairn

mfairbairn@rmsothebys.com

+1 519 352 4575
Ontario, Canada

As one of the three founding partners of RM Sotheby’s, Mike has a long-standing interest in the classic car industry. Graduating... read more

Oliver Camelin

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+44 (0) 75 0110 7447
United Kingdom

With an extensive background in exotic sports car history and sales, a particular passion for American curves, and fluency in three la... read more

Paul Darvill

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+44 (0) 20 7851 7070
United Kingdom

Paul Darvill joined the RM Sotheby’s European team at the beginning of 2015. Paul holds a degree in French and Politics from the... read more

Pete Fisher

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+1 519 784 9300
Ontario, Canada

Pete Fisher was first introduced to antique cars in high school, working for Classic Coachworks in his hometown of Blenheim, Ontario. ... read more

Shelby Myers

smyers@rmsothebys.com

+1 310 559 4575
California, United States

Shelby Myers grew up with the classic car industry infused into every aspect of his life. He had the unique opportunity to watch the R... read more

Tonnie Van der Velden

tvandervelden@rmsothebys.com

+31 653 84 19 60
United Kingdom

Tonnie Van der Velden joined RM Sotheby’s European division in September 2015 as a Car Specialist. A lifelong enthusiast, Tonnie... read more