|1958 Austin-Healey 100-Six (North America)|
|Manufacturer||British Motor Corporation|
|Body style(s)||2-door roadster|
The Austin-Healey 100 is a sports car built between 1953 and 1956 by the British Motor Corporation (the following model, named the 100-Six and built from 1956 to 1959, is a different car even though it shares the name "100"). It was developed by Donald Healey to be produced in-house by Healey's small car company in Warwick and based on Austin A90 Atlantic mechanicals. Healey built a single "Healey 100" for the 1952 London Motor Show, and the design impressed Leonard Lord, Managing Director of Austin so much that a deal was struck with Healey to build it in quantity at Austin's Longbridge factory. The car was renamed the Austin-Healey 100.
The "100" name comes from Donald Healey, who named it after the fact that this was one of the few cars of the era which could achieve 100 mph (160 km/h), as opposed to the Austin-Healey 3000, which is named for its 3000 cc engine.
|1956 Austin-Healey 100 Roadster|
West Bromwich, England
|Successor||Austin-Healey 100-Six, series BN4|
|Engine(s)||2660 cc I4|
|Transmission(s)||3-speed (series BN1) or 4-speed (series BN2) manual|
|Wheelbase||90 in (2,286 mm)|
|Length||151 in (3,835 mm)|
|Width||60 in (1,524 mm)|
|Height||49.25 in (1,251 mm)|
|Fuel capacity||12 imp gal (55 L; 14 US gal)|
Production Austin-Healey 100s were finished at Austin's Longbridge plant alongside the A90 and based on fully trimmed and painted body/chassis units produced by Jensen in West Bromwich — in an arrangement the two companies previously had explored with the Austin A40 Sports. The first 100s (series "BN1") were equipped with the same 90 hp (67 kW) engines and manual transmission as the stock A90, but the transmission was modified to be a three-speed unit with overdrive on second and top. The 2660 cc I4 engine featured an undersquare 87.3 mm (3.4 in) bore and 111.1 mm (4.4 in) stroke.
Girling 11 in (279.4 mm) drum brakes are fitted all round. Front suspension is independent using coil springs and at the rear is a rigid axle with semi elliptic leaf springs. The steering is by a cam and lever system.
These were built from May 1953, and replaced by the BN2 model in mid-1955.
The BN2 came with a real 4-speed manual transmission, still with overdrive. Other features that distinguish the BN2 from the BN1 are the slightly larger front wheel arches, different rear axle and being the first 100 with optional two-tone paint. The colour alternatives available to the 100 were: Reno Red, Spruce Green, Healey Blue, Florida Green, Old English White, Primrose Yellow, Black, and a limited number of Gunmetal Grey cars. A "100M" package was developed as well, with 110 hp (82 kW) on tap. 640 were made. The front suspension was stiffened and the bonnet gained louvres, along with a bonnet belt. The 100M engine also sported a cold air box to increase air flow to the carburettors, as well as larger 1 3/4 SU carbs.
Built primarily with racing in mind, the aluminium-bodied "100S" (for Sebring) model developed 132 hp (98 kW) at 4700 rpm. Only 50 production cars were produced, plus an additional five works development/special test cars which were hand built by the Donald Healey Motor Company at Warwick. The cast iron cylinder head was replaced by one made from aluminium and the overdrive unit was not fitted to the gearbox. Dunlop disc brakes were fitted front and rear. To keep weight to a minimum there were no bumpers or hood (convertible top), a smaller grille and the windscreen was plastic. The 100S was also the first production car in the world to sport disc brakes at both the front and rear . The car was approximately 200 lb (91 kg) lighter than standard. The majority of all 100S were two-toned white with blue sides. However, a handful of cars where ordered in Spruce Green, Reno Red and one single black 100S.
A BN1 tested by The Motor magazine in 1953 had a top speed of 106 mph (171 km/h) and could accelerate from 0-60 mph (97 km/h) in 11.2 seconds. A fuel consumption of 22.5 miles per imperial gallon (12.6 L/100 km; 18.7 mpg-US) was recorded. The test car cost £1063 including taxes.
|1958 Austin-Healey 100-Six Sports|
|Engine(s)||2639 cc C-Series I6|
|Wheelbase||92 in (2,337 mm)|
|Length||157.5 in (4,000 mm)|
|Width||60 in (1,524 mm)|
|Height||50 in (1,270 mm)|
The final "100" models, 1956's "BN4" (2+2 seats) and 1958's "BN6" (2 seats) were six-cylinder 100-Six cars.
To make room for the occasional seats the wheelbase was increased by 2 in (50.8 mm). The bonnet had a built-in air scoop and the windscreen no longer could be folded down.
The cars used a tuned version of the BMC C-Series engine previously fitted to Austin Westminster which at first produced 102 bhp (76 kW) increasing to 117 bhp (87 kW) in 1957 by fitting a revised manifold and cylinder head. The overdrive unit became an option rather than a standard fitting.
In late 1957 production was transferred from Longbridge to the MG plant at Abingdon.
A 117 bhp (87 kW) BN6 was tested by The Motor magazine in 1959 had a top speed of 103.9 mph (167.2 km/h) and could accelerate from 0-60 mph (97 km/h) in 10.7 seconds. A fuel consumption of 20.8 miles per imperial gallon (13.6 L/100 km; 17.3 mpg-US) was recorded. The test car cost £1307 including taxes of £436.