Introduced for 1956, the 100-6 represented the most radical step forward in the “Big Healey” sports car development. Despite its initial success, sales of the original Austin-Healey 100 had begun to decline by the mid-1950s, so the model was revamped as the 100-6, BMC’s 2.6-liter C-series six-cylinder engine replacing the original four-cylinder Austin Atlantic unit. At the same time, the wheelbase was lengthened from 7ft 6in to 7ft 8in, which enabled the inclusion of two occasional seats in the rear of the BN4 variant.
In 100-6 tune, the pushrod six produced 102bhp –12bhp more than its predecessor – though the inevitable weight gain meant that there was little if any improvement in performance, the car’s top speed remaining at 103mph or thereabouts. Stylistically similar to the 100, the 100-6 was nevertheless easily distinguishable by its “crinkle” radiator grille and bonnet-top air intake. In 1957 an improved “six-port” engine became available, and this 117 bhp unit was fitted to all the newly introduced BN6 two-seater roadsters.
This 100-6, fitted with desirable overdrive transmission, has recently emerged from a Connecticut barn, being found during a clearance prior to a house move. It is understood that the car had been laid up there since the 1970s, when a relatively minor incident in which the rear driver’s side was damaged had put it off the road. Intending to return the car to service, a driver’s side door and handle were purchased, but never installed.
From its appearance today, the car seems to have been originally supplied in red paint scheme with black side panels and what remains of its interior was of red leather piped in white. The trunk lid is fitted with the period accessory of a luggage rack. Of potential further interest to a future owner wishing to research the car’s earlier history is a 1965 registration plate from Indiana, which was also found in the car.
Offered without reserve, the Healey will no doubt provide the entry level enthusiast a rewarding British sports car sometime in the future.