Lost LeMans – 1954 Austin Healey 100-4

Though every project car carries inherent risks and hidden costs, this partially disassembled 1954 Austin Healey 100-4 just might have a good surprise up its sleeve. Find it for sale here on eBay in Novelty, Ohio.

When the time came to choose a name for his new sports car design, Donald Healey chose the moniker “Hundred” as a reference to the two-seater’s ability to reliably reach 100 miles per hour. He was a man as concerned with performance as he was with potential sales numbers and focused a good deal of his considerable mental talents devising ways to make his cars faster. A point not lost on Austin’s upper management, who agreed to produce Healey’s design at their Longbridge factory after seeing the Hundred in the flesh at the 1952 Earl’s Court Motor Show. The Austin Healey 100 was born.

But Donald Healey remained dissatisfied. He wanted to win races—not just sell cars—and to that end started tinkering. First came the potent and beautiful aluminum-bodied 100S that would compete at Sebring, Le Mans and the Mille Miglia. Then came the optional Le Mans package which dramatically improved the performance and appearance of the standard 100-4 street car with a new camshaft, carburetors, cold air box, front sway bay, a louvered hood with leather tie-down strap and more. Released in 1954 as a kit that could be installed by owners and dealers, the Le Mans package became a factory-installed option in 1955.

This 100-4 sports a louvered hood and leather tie-down strap, and may have been updated with the full Le Mans performance package at some point in its life. As a 1954 BN1, it is not a factory built 100M and will therefor require significant research on the part of its new owner prove when and by whom the work was carried out. But if—and this is admittedly a huge if—the paperwork can be found that proves this car was modified in-period, the upside in value will be significant.

The two tasks at hand, then, are monumental. The restoration will be neither cheap nor easy, and the research could quickly lead nowhere. But assuming the future owner at least completes the restoration, he or she will have a stunning car with admirable performance that is eligible for many of the world’s best rallies and tours. They’ll also have a great story to tell.

Comments

  1. Barry Kincaid says:

    Any ideas on how much this would cost to restore? Not Pebble Beach quality, mind you, but a solid, real-world #2 restoration.

  2. Neil Gronsbell says:

    5 to 6 k engine rebuild, $1500.00 trans. service, $1700.00 suspension + steering, $3000.00 leather interior, $1700.00 side curtains + top, 4 to 5k paint, $2000.00 chrome, ? labor ? rust repair + welding, ? tools I’ve restored 6 big Healeys , 3 tr3″s 5 mga’s 2 mgb’s I know the game. 50k plus the cost of the car. Do as much as you can but don’t catch a case of [take-apart-itus] Take lots of pix, & notes. Good Luck ,Neil

Leave a Comment