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This very special one-off began life as a standard Austin-Healey 100/4 BN2, purchased new in 1956 by Ralph Boothe while he was stationed in Germany with the US Army. After his discharge and move to California, in 1962 he began restyling his beloved Healey. Following disassembly, Boothe installed a later-model Healey windshield and purchased a Renault Caravelle backlight. Next, he constructed a full-size wooden buck, over which California Metal Shaping formed the top and deck lid from 18-gauge steel. Joining and metal finishing were performed by Gil’s Auto Body Works, the famed East Los Angeles custom shop, along with frenched taillamps, “Standard Oil” Red paint, and modified bumpers.
Following completion, the Healey entered a number of shows, including the 1966 Santa Anita Le Cercle Concours, where it earned Second in Class; that year, it was profiled in Road & Track. Eventually, Mr. Boothe stored the Healey, later commissioning a high-value, body-off, bare-metal restoration in 2008, completed in time for the 2009 Monterey Classic Car Week. Debuted at the Concours on Ocean Avenue in Carmel, the car took First in Class.
The consignor acquired this very special Healey in 2013, and it retains the black California plates that it wore in the 1966 Road & Track article. It is a tribute to its original owner’s vision and the influence of California car culture.