Auctions and Brokerage
The car offered here was built on August 23, 1955, and shipped from Longbridge, England, to the Hambro Trading Company, which managed US Austin distribution through selected dealerships. This Austin-Healey has mainly been in the care of two long-term owners. The original buyer in Minnesota kept it for 30 years before selling it to Thomas Bunch in 1987. Mr. Bunch drove the roadster for 25 years, repainting the Austin-Healey in its original Carmine Red, and changing the interior from black to tan.
The BN2 Le Mans was purchased by Austin-Healey specialists BMC Classics in New Smyrna Beach, Florida, in 2012, and the company undertook an 18-month, frame-up restoration, during which the BN2 was acquired by the consignor. The engine, carburetors, and transmission were rebuilt, along with rebuilding or replacement of the brakes, electrics, exhaust, and fuel and cooling systems. The engine compartment is beautifully detailed, with new finishes throughout. Additionally the brightwork was replated.
The Healey was refinished in Carmine Red, and the as-new interior was redone in the original black color scheme, with correct carpet, new rubber, and interior panels. A new black canvas top, tonneau, new tires, and chrome wire wheels complete the high-quality restoration. The work was completed in January 2014 and the BN2 has since covered less than 300 miles and is accompanied by a British Motor Heritage Trust certificate, correct tool kit and jack. This freshly finished BN2 Le Mans is sure to impress a collector seeking a mid-century British sports car beloved on both sides of the Atlantic.
The Austin-Healey Le Mans
When the Healey 100 was launched at the 1953 International Motor Sports Show in New York, it was being built at Austin’s factory and had become the Austin-Healey BN1. With an aggressively styled silhouette, tilt-back windshield, and knock-off wire wheels the Healey 100/4 was simple, beautiful, and fast. It weighed only 2,015 lbs. and at $2,995 it became a huge hit in America. Between 1953 and 1955, the company produced 10,688 examples, with more than half going to the US.
The heart of the 100/4 was the 2,660 cc, four-cylinder engine from the Austin Atlantic. The motor generated 90 bhp and the new Austin- Healey could reach 110 mph, accelerating to 60 mph in 10.5 seconds. The BN1 model had a three-speed gearbox with overdrive on the top two gears, which was replaced by a four-speed in 1955’s BN2.
The factory-built 100 M model appeared in late 1955, with an additional 20 hp. With 110 bhp, 0 to 60 mph came up in 9.6 seconds, and top speed rose to 120 mph. Performance was boosted by a higher 8:1 compression ratio, high-lift camshaft, bigger SU carburetors, and improved manifolds. The front springs were stiffer, and an anti-roll bar was fitted. The louvered hood with signature strap completed the sporting upgrades. In all 1,159 100 Ms are estimated to have been built, with 640 being factory built, all of them BN2 models. Other 100/4 BN2s were equipped with the dealer-installed Le Mans package which boosted power to 100 bhp, and contained exactly the same equipment as the factory cars except the factory high-compression pistons.