Launched in 1956, the Austin-Healey 100/6 was the second of the ‘Big’ Healeys and the first to feature the BMC C-Series six-cylinder engine in place of the original Healey 100’s four-cylinder unit.
The 2.6-litre unit developed 102bhp, but was increased to 117bhp in 1957 at the same time as production was moved from Longbridge to the MG factory in Abingdon.
It was a well-received car, albeit one that was a bit of a handful to drive with heavy steering and a mechanical gearshift that needed to be driven properly – the Big Healey wasn’t a car from wimps, but for those who enjoyed the thrill of open-top, physical motoring.
Indeed, its hairy-chestedness and raw sports car appeal made it a more desirable car than the Jaguar E-Type to those who valued raw driver engagement over all-out performance.
This one was imported from Waco, Texas, by its current owner as a restoration project and has been completely rebuilt over a seven-year period. It’s presented in smart and usable condition, but not concours as it was built to be used and enjoyed.
THE HISTORY AND PAPERWORK
Tax and MOT exempt
Invoices for all parts purchased, totalling over £20,000
Owners workshop manuals
Original Texas numberplate
Last used in 1979 before full restoration
Blue suede seats
Original dash and dials
Full tonneau cover
The vendor retrimmed the Healey himself, choosing an unusual but smart soft blue suede finish for the seats. He also completely retrimmed the carpets, all his own work.
The dash, door cards and switchgear are all original and haven’t been replaced, so they show signs of wear but are perfectly functional. It’s a smart and presentable cabin in good overall order.
Restored to original colour
Floors all cleaned and painted
New front wings
Painted at home with cellulose spray
The vendor restored the Healey at home in a domestic garage, and it’s a testimony to his hard work that it presents very well. When he stripped it, he found that there was some evidence of accident damage and poor repairs. However, the bodywork was easily repaired as the inner and outer wings were still in good condition. The vendor would like to emphasise that any structural work done on the Healey was undertaken by a coded welder.
He also carried out any necessary chassis repairs and stripped it all back to bare metal before painting the underside body colour – it still looks great today.
It was painted at home using an air gun and the finish is smart, but if you wanted to take it to the next level then a full professional respray in two-pack enamel would really bring it up. As it is, it’s a smart-looking car in great, solid order with no major issues. Some of the panel gaps could do with minor adjustment, but overall it’s a good-looking car and the underside is superb.
It has never had a roof in the vendor’s ownership, but a hood frame is supplied should you wish to get it covered. It has a full tonneau cover to keep rain, dirt and dust at bay.
2.6-litre OHV six
Four-speed manual transmission with overdrive
All mechanical parts and running gear replaced or overhauled
There isn’t a single part of this car that hasn’t seen the attentions of its owner – a qualified engineer. He overhauled the engine, rebuilt the brakes and suspension, overhauled the transmission and clutch and had the overdrive rebuilt. He also fitted a stainless-steel exhaust. The result is a car that is in great mechanical order, drives well and has no known issues. It sounds fantastic!
If you’re looking for a concours Austin-Healey then this isn’t it. It has been restored, but to a good standard where it can be used and enjoyed rather than as a show pony. But that’s no negative, as it’s as sound as they come.
It’s a blank canvas. You can use and enjoy it ‘as is’ (and enjoy it you will), or you can restore it to the next level, or use it as the perfect basis for a trials or competition car. It would be perfect for any of those purposes and is a wonderfully solid and enjoyable classic.
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1958 Austin Healey 100/6 BN6 LHD
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