Donald Healey was having a successful bid at the booming sports car market in early post-war Britain. Starting in the late 40’s, Healey had moderate success building a variety of high quality high-performance automobiles. His Healey Elliot was briefly the fastest closed production car in the world thanks to a streamlined body and a strong 2.3 Liter Riley power plant. But Healey saw his supplies of Riley engines drying up and hoped to mass produce a new car that was simpler and more accessible to the growing audience of budding sports car enthusiasts at home and abroad. For the 1952 London Motor show Donald Healey brought a single prototype called the Healey Hundred, based on Austin A90 mechanicals. Healey’s goal was to impress Austin bosses enough to embrace his project and thankfully, the gamble paid off. Austin loved the idea of a proper sports car to boost their image and a deal was soon struck to assemble the Austin-Healey 100-4 alongside the A90 at the famed Longbridge plant. Austin-Healey bodies were actually built by Jensen and delivered to Longbridge painted and fully trimmed, just needing mechanicals and final assembly.
After the success of the 100-4, Healey updated his successful sports car with a 2.6 liter, 102 horsepower inline-six, also from Austin. The new car was dubbed 100-6 and had grown in length and weight, now featuring a pair of occasional rear seats. The new car was more powerful but thanks to the addition of two seats and the heavier body, public perception was that of a less-than-sporty sports car. Thankfully, Donald Healey was listening and the 100-6 was revised for the BN6 model. The BN6 had the two-seat body that customers wanted as well as boosted performance from the 2.6 liter inline six. With its elegant and classic looks, and strong performance in a two-seater body, the BN6 is most desirable of the 100-6 series today.
This 1958 Austin-Healey 100-6 BN6 is a very nice, original example of the classic British roadster. It is solid and clean, with a well-maintained feel, though it has never been fully restored. The body is very nice in red set off by contrasting white coves. The undercarriage is tidy and rust free, with solid outriggers, a common trouble spot on Healeys. Paint quality is good, and while it is not a show car, it is presentable and perfectly suited for a driver-quality example such as this. Exterior trim and chrome is all in fair original condition, keeping in line with the un-restored nature of the car. The interior is in very good order, with correct materials used all around. Red seats piped in white look fantastic with the body colors, and the dash and door panels are covered in correct red upholstery. The correct original steering wheel, shift knob and dash fittings are all present and in good condition. Importantly, the weather equipment is all included– with vinyl top, side curtains and tonneau cover all in very good condition. Under the bonnet, the 2.6 liter inline-six is tidy and strong with plenty of signs of proper servicing. This example has the desirable wire wheels and 4-speed overdrive transmission. It has been well cared-for mechanically, returning strong performance and very good road manners. Honest and solid, this Healey 100-6 is sure to deliver many more years of driving pleasure.
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