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1955 Austin-Healey 100S

1955 Austin-Healey 100S

1955 Austin-Healey 100S

In 1955 the Donald Healey Motor Co. decided to build a competition version of the 100 known as the 100S. These came after a series of Special Test Cars that experimented with the final design which finally appeared at the 1955 Sebring 12 Hours.

Changes from the standard model included a new Weslake alloy cylinder head with larger valves, a high-lift camshaft, nitride-hardened steel crankshaft and forged-steel connecting rods which helped the model achieve 132 bhp.

The 100S was also one of the first cars to be equipped with the Dunlop disc brakes.

Additional features included a 20-gallon fuel tank, a stonger chassis and Lucas Le Mans 24 Hour headlights.

Externally the 100S was distinguished by its smaller front grill, external fuel filler, louvered hood and perspex front window.

On track the Healey achieved some remarkable results. Stirling Moss and Lance Macklin placed 6th at the 1955 Sebring 12-Hours which was the model’s debuting race. Later the car would appear at all the famous races including the 1955 24 Hours of Le Mans, 1955 Carrera Panamericana, 1955 Nassau Speed Weeks and Mille Miglia.

Feature Car AHS3804

Our feature car is a very special Healey that began life as a works competition test car known as SPL224B. In its original configuration it raced the 1953 Mille Miglia, 1953 24 Hours of Le Mans, 1953 Goodwood 9 Hours, 1954 Mille Miglia, 1954 Sebring 12 Hours, 1954 Tour de France and 1954 Alpine rally.

In late 1954, the car was converted with 100S bodywork and acquired the license OON440 from the Carrera Panamercana car. Painted red it raced in the 1955 Mille Miglia as number 700. After the race it was shipped to Ed Bussey who was the car’s intended owner. He raced it twice more at the 1956 and 1957 Sebring races as well as a few SCCA races.

By 1961 it was acquired by Bobby Berger of Dallas, Texas who carefully had it stored for 39 years. The result is that the famous Mille Miglia 100S was remarkably preserved. Within the chips of paint there are three coats of red which reveal works Healey green as the original top coat.

Auction Sales History

In Detail

submitted by Richard Owen
type Racing Car
built at Longbridge, Birmingham, England
production 50
engine A90 Inline-4
position Front, Longitudinal
aspiration Natural
block material Cast Iron
valvetrain OHV 2 Valves / Cyl
fuel feed Twin SU Carburetors
displacement 2600 cc / 158.7 in³
bore 87.3 mm / 3.44 in
stroke 110 mm / 4.33 in
power 98.4 kw / 132.0 bhp @ 4750 rpm
specific output 50.77 bhp per litre
torque 227.78 nm / 168.0 ft lbs @ 2500 rpm
body / frame Aluminum Body over Steel Frame
driven wheels RWD
wheel type Steel Wire Spoke
front tires 5.90-15
rear tires 5.90-15
front brakes Dunlop Discs
rear brakes Dunlop Discs
f suspension Double Wishbones w/Coil Springs, Hydrualic Shock Absorbers
r suspension Live Axle w/Semi-Elliptical Leaf Springs, Hydrualic Shock Absorbers
dry weight 908 kg / 2000 lbs
wheelbase 2286 mm / 90.0 in
front track 1286 mm / 50.6 in
rear track 1289 mm / 50.7 in
length 3759 mm / 148.0 in
width 1537 mm / 60.5 in
transmission 4-Speed Manual with Overdrive
tran clutch Single-Plate Borg & Beck
final drive 2.92:1
top speed ~190 kph / 118.1 mph
0 – 60 mph ~7.8 seconds
0 – 100 mph ~24.4 seconds
0 – 1/4 mile ~16.1 seconds

Auction Sales History

1955 Austin-Healey 100S

1955 Austin-Healey 100S AHS-3707 – did not sell for €850,000 One of only 39 surviving examples of the 50 built. Early Southern California provenance. Documented, matching numbers, and highly original. Well-kept professional restoration by Hill & Vaughn, with lovely patina. Mille Miglia Storica, Le Mans Classic, Goodwood, and Colorado Grand eligible.
Auction Source: Villa Erba 2015 by RM Sotheby
1955 Austin-Healey 100S

1955 Austin-Healey 100S AHS-3504 – sold for $1,012,000 The first chassis of just fifty built of this special alloy-bodied racing model. The fourth car to be finished; custom-ordered for actor Jackie Cooper. Delivered to Cooper at the 1955 12 Hours of Sebring race. Driven by Cooper, with co-driver Roy Jackson-Moore. The only 100S delivered in Spruce Green.
Auction Source: 2015 Amelia Island by RM Sotheby’s

1955 Austin-Healey 100S

1955 Austin-Healey 100S

The 100S presented here, AHS 3707, was among a select group that was originally delivered to the West Coast of the US, a hotbed of sports car racing during the 1950s. Finished in the classic white over Lobelia Blue livery, this factory-built racer was originally shipped on April 21, 1955, to Gough Industries in Los Angeles. According to various sources, Gough Industries ordered seven 100S models in total, with six delivered in sequence, 3707–3801, to be sold to ambitious local drivers.

Auction Source: 2011 Amelia Island Auction by Gooding & Company