vineri, 25 martie 2016

Austin-Healey 100 M 'Le Mans' 1956 - World Of Classic Cars -

Austin-Healey 100 M 'Le Mans' 1956

When the Healey Hundred was unveiled by the Donald Healey Motor Company at Earls Court in London in October 1952, it created a significant stir. Sleek lines, 100-mph capability, and an affordable price made this the dominant sports car the day it was introduced. It was no wonder that Leonard Lord of British Motor Corporate immediately contracted for the car to be badged as the Austin-Healey and produced in commercial numbers at the Austin plant in Longbridge.
However, by 1955, other competitors had entered the field, and demand was declining. To enable dealers to move stock on the floor, Healey began supplying them with “Le Mans Modification Kits.” The kits included a hotter camshaft, an improved distributor, bigger 1.75-inch carburetors, and a cold-air intake box, upgrades the company had used to good effect at Le Mans in 1954. The kit could upgrade the car’s performance from 90 horsepower to 103 horsepower. Subsequently, dished pistons were added to the kit, adding another seven horsepower.
Austin-Healey 100 M 'Le Mans' 1956

With good initial success, BMC decided to offer the model as a variant to the new BN2, with the addition of a louvered bonnet with racing strap to be fitted on the Jensen production line and, usually, a two-tone paint scheme for visual identification. Dubbed by the marketing department the 100 M, the new model was introduced at Earls Court in October 1955.
The production process for the 100 Ms was complicated; after the body arrived at Longbridge and was mated with its suspension and engine, it was trucked to the Healey facilities in Warwick, where the Le Mans camshaft and pistons were installed along with the carburetors, cold-air box, and distributor. The finished car was then trucked back to Longbridge for shipment to the dealer.
Austin-Healey 100 M 'Le Mans' 1956

Though very popular, by mid-1956, the Healey BN2 and its offshoot 100M were taken out of production, to be replaced by the redesigned Healey 100-6 two-plus-two model. Consequently, only 640 units were ever produced by the factory.
This example, restored from the chassis up to show standards, displays every one of the characteristics that denote the rare 100 Ms. The car’s body number is certified by British Motor Industry Heritage Trust to have been one of the original 640 fitted by Jensen with the louvered hood, the only common criterion for all 100 Ms. Confirming that this example has that body, the cockpit rails that were hand-fitted to each car bear the correct body number stamping. The exterior colors and Heritage Upholstery interior are all period correct.