The world of cars keeps on evolving and developing. Better, faster and more efficient cars are rolling out routinely. Nonetheless, it has always been the top-end of the products that people keep an eye on. Nowadays Bugatti, Porsche, Koenigsegg and the likes rein on the top. But in the older times, some cars have defined the peak of their era. One of them is the Austin Healey 100.
Austin Healey 100 was a car specifically built for racing, produced by the same company from 1953-1956. Donald Healey, CEO of the company, made it so that it could be built in the small the small Healey factory in Warwick, based on the mechanicals of Austin A90 Atlantic. The body was designed by Gerry Coker, chassis by Barry Bilbie and as it seemed, they did a pretty decent job.
Healey built just a single Healey Hundred for the London Motor Show. The car impressed Leonard Lord who was currently the managing director of Austin, desperately in need of a design to replace the unsuccessful A90. He convinced Donald to mass produce the car. With bodies from Jensen, motors were built to a finish at Austin’s Longbridge Factory. The car was also renamed Austin Healey-100.
For people wondering, the 100 came from the car’s capability to reach 100 mph. A big deal for the period, with advanced fuel, electric, drivetrains, etc. It was the First of the three models, soon to known as the Big Healeys. It also had upgrades along the way.
The starting 100s were called the BN1 series. They had the same undersquare 87.3mm bore and 111.1mm stroke as the A90s. The engines were also the same producing 90 bhp. The transmission is where things changed, a 3-speed transmission system with overdrive was installed.
The car featured drum brakes on all four wheels. The first to do so. It had a top speed of 106 mph and accelerated from 0-60 mph in 11.2 seconds.
These bad boys had 4-speed manual transmission, with overdrive on the top 2 gear just like before. The body of the BN2 series differed from the BN1 slightly. It was also offered in two-tone colour schemes.
The 100-M from the series were high-powered cars, with larger carburettors, better air flow system, high-lift camshaft and more. All these enhancements allowed the bonnet to produce 110 bhp at 4500 rpm.
Austin Healey 100 gained another model after BN2, the 100S. These were built with nothing but racing in mind. The cars had a full aluminium body. The cylinder head was replaced with aluminium, and the overdrive unit was taken out completely. The rear and front bumpers, hood and even the convertible roof, were taken off all for the sake of decreasing weight to power ratio. All this remodelling cast off 91 kg from the car, and it reached 132 bhp at 4500 rpm.
The Austin Healey 100 is still a thing of beauty. Although it is very rare for one of them to be offered for sale. In your dreams!