Real Red: 1954 Austin Healey 100-4 BN1 – Sold?

by | May 2021 | Classifinds, Sports Car Saturday

June 12, 2021 Update – We just confirmed the listing for this “Classifind” expired, so with no replacement found we’re assuming this ride “Sold?” While this one got away, please reach out either by email or call Rudy directly if you’d like to be informed when we come across something similar.

Austin-Healey built the 100 sports car from 1953 through 1956 that later became known as the first of three models nicknamed  “Big Healeys to distinguish them from the much smaller Austin-Healey Sprite. Big Healeys are often referred to by their three-character model designators rather than by their models, as the model names do not reflect the mechanical differences and similarities well. For example, we spotted this all-red 100-4 BN1 originally listed in May 2021 in Greensburg, Pennsylvania. Clearly, a Condition “2+” as the seller indicates, he will only entertain offers meeting that threshold. Specifically, the Hagerty Insurance Online Valuation Tool lists their guide’s #2 “Excellent” at $71,000. Using that benchmark as the threshold, the Collector Car Market Review indicates the current asking price falls between this guide’s #2 “Very Good” estimate of $62,000 and its #1 “Excellent” appraisal of $86,000.

Donald Healey developed and built a single example of a Healey Hundred based on Austin 90 mechanicals that he displayed at the 1952 London Motor Show.  The design impressed Leonard Lord, managing director of Austin, who was looking for a replacement for the unsuccessful A90.  Lord struck a deal with Healey to build it in quantity; bodies made by Jensen Motors were given Austin mechanical components at Austin’s Longbridge factory. The car was renamed the Austin-Healey 100.  The “100” was named by Healey for the car’s ability to reach 100 mph.

The first 100s (series “BN1”) were equipped with the same under square 87.3 mm (3.4 in) bore and 111.1 mm (4.4 in) stroke 90 brake horsepower 2660 cc I4 engines and manual transmission as the standard production A90, but the transmission was modified to be a three-speed unit with overdrive on second and third.

Girling 11 inch drum brakes were fitted at all four corners. The suspension used modified Austin A90 components in order to be as cost-effective as possible, steering was by Austin’s worm and peg system. Front suspension was an independent, double-wishbone setup relying on coil springs, while in the rear was a rigid axle with semi-elliptic leaf springs. A total of 10,030 BN1s were built from May 1953 until replaced by the BN2 model in August 1955.

If you are looking for a finely restored and usable 100-4 BN1, you would be hard pressed to find a finer example.

Here’s the seller’s one-sentence description:

“1954 Austin Healey 100-4. Show level top to bottom restoration completed approximately 12 years ago to a matching number, all original rust-free sheet metal, 49k original mile Healey. Driven maybe 600 miles since then. 2.7-liter four-cylinder with 3 speed plus Overdrive. Yes, the overdrive works as does everything else. The underside is just as nice as the topside. Runs great. Suspension, brakes, all in great shape. Folder full or receipts and documentation. Car needs nothing, mechanicals have all been gone thru, just drive, show, and enjoy. Typical electronic ignition and starter upgrade. This is not one of the Healeys out there that is cobbled together from parts from different years, patched up, etc. Easily a #2+ Hagerty condition car. Price-wise, reasonable offers in that range will be considered. Photo attached of pricing guide. Hate but have to have to say this, this is not a project or a fire sale, and I do not need help in selling. This is a true investment quality 1950s sportscar. Some hard-to-find spare parts go with the car including a 100M bonnet. More pics, videos, copy of Heritage cert, etc.. and much more details on request and are also posted on the Hemmings ad ( ) for the car. Depending on the time of the season, the car may be at my winter home in AZ or at my PA home.”

Show or Go: What would you do with this vintage Austin-Healey 100-4?  Comment below and let us know!


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