1956 Austin-Healey 100M Le Mans Speedster in Left Hand Drive

Undoubtedly the sexiest Austin Healey we’ve even seen!

This 100M Le Mans special was developed by the factory in response to a strong finish in the 24-hour race a few years prior.  This 640-unit special wore an upgraded body with hood louvres, a slimline adjustable-rake windshield and special engine/suspension upgrades.

This very rare left-hand drive example was solid in Ohio in 1956, and had a full restoration in the last decade.

1956 Austin-Healey 100M Le Mans Speedster

RM Sotheby’s

Amelia Island 2016

Lot 175

1956 Austin-Healey 100 M ‘Le Mans’

To be auctioned on Saturday, March 12, 2016

Without Reserve

$160,000 – $200,000

  • Chassis no. BN2-L/230740
  • Engine no. 1B/230740-M
  • Body no. 12244

Photo Credit: Courtesy of RM Sotheby’s

110 bhp, 2,660 cc OHV inline four-cylinder engine with two SU carburetors, four-speed manual transmission with overdrive, independent front suspension with wishbones, coil springs, and an anti-roll torsion bar, live rear axle with semi-elliptic leaf springs and an anti-sway track bar, and four-wheel hydraulic drum brakes. Wheelbase: 90 in.

  • One of 640 factory-built 100 M models
  • Includes BMIHT, 100 M Le Mans Registry, and Concours Registry certificates
  • Undisputed sports car icon; legendary performance and style
  • Ideal candidate for vintage rallies and events

The 100 M traces its roots directly back to the 1953 Le Mans 24-hour race where two lightly modified examples of the new Austin-Healey 100 stunned the motoring world by finishing 12th and 14th overall in a field composed of purpose-built racecars. Subsequent customer enthusiasm for performance upgrades for their standard cars resulted in marketing the “Le Mans Engine Modification Kit” that incorporated the modifications made to those two Le Mans entries.

Such was the demand for these upgrades that in 1955 the Donald Healey Motor Company and the British Motor Corporation partnered to produce a new model that incorporated those upgrades plus high-compression pistons, a louvered bonnet and bonnet strap, a larger anti-sway bar, and special-setting shock absorbers. The new model was designated the 100 M and was introduced at the 1955 London Motor Show at Earls Court. Sold concurrent with the standard Austin-Healey 100, series BN2, a total of just 640 100 Ms were produced, representing just 14 percent of production.

The example offered here is finished in what many consider to be the most striking and exciting color combination of black over Reno Red. Coupled with a red interior of the finest leather, vinyl, and carpet by Heritage Upholstery, this 100 M simply commands attention and admiration wherever it is driven or shown. Completed in February 1956, this left-hand-drive export model is equipped with its matching-numbers engine, a laminated windscreen, wire wheels, a speedometer in mph, a heater, and of course the 100 M trademark louvered bonnet. It was sold new in Cincinnati, Ohio, in 1956, and the ownership succession is known back to 1958 when it was purchased from the original owner.

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Tom Burkart is the founder and managing editor of Car-Revs-Daily.com, an innovative and rapidly expanding automotive news magazine. He holds a Journalism JBA degree from the University of Wisconsin - Madison. Tom currently resides in Charleston, South Carolina with his two amazing dogs, Drake and Tank. Mr. Burkart is available for all questions and concerns by email Tom(at)car-revs-daily.com.