The Austin Healey 100/4 was Austin Healey’s first car ever. The British sports car brand was founded by a collaboration between Austin and the Donald Healey Motor Company. The collaboration started in 1952, in 1953 the 100/4 was released at the London Auto Show. It is a sporty British roadster that is typical to the 50s decade. It is often considered to have set a get-go for several ‘British roadster decades’.
Donald Healey contacted Leonard Lord - general manager at Austin - for the design that would be done by the rookie designer Gerry Coker. He recommended to base the design on the Austin A90 Atlantic, which is what they did. In 1952, a sporty protype roadster that was both powerful and luxurious was presented to the people. Everyone was excited, also Leonard Lord was, and he decided to join the Austin Healey idea. Despite WWII, the US and Europe seemed very ready for this new British roadster.
The so called ‘Hundred’ is powered by a 2.6 litre in-line four-cylinder engine that is driven by two SU carburettors. This engine produces 90 hp and is controlled by a three-speed manual gearbox. As usual, the engine drives the rear wheels and makes it accelerate from 0 to 100 kilometres an hour (0-60 mph) in just ten seconds. The eventual goal - as shown in the name - was to reach a top speed of 100 miles per hour (160 km/h). The goal seemed to be succeeded successfully and the car’s top speed is approximately 185 kilometres per hour (115 mph).
Austin Healey 100/4 BN1
The 100/4 BN1 is the very first Austin Healey, it had to be a hit, and it certainly was. Especially in the United States, this British roadster was a real bestseller. It was manufactured for only two years, and about 5,000 units were sold. At first glance, that may not seem like a lot, but in the context of its time and niche market, it can be said that the BN1 was a success. The BN1 has also been a trendsetter in the subsequent decades for the design of highly acclaimed British roadsters.
Its unique design and leading role in British roadsters of its kind make the BN1, and the 100/4 in general, a highly coveted classic car that will significantly increase in value.