1956 Austin Healey "Dealer" 100M

  • Location: Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, United States
  • Make: Austin Healey
  • Model: 100M
  • Type: Convertible
  • Year: 1956
  • Mileage: 712
  • VIN: BN2L230263
  • Color: Old English White
  • Engine size: 2.6L
  • Number of cylinders: 4
  • Fuel: Gasoline
  • Transmission: Manual
  • Drive type: RWD
  • Interior color: Black
  • Vehicle Title: Clear

1956 Austin Healey 100M description

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In the realm of sports cars there lives a certain breed of purpose built machines that take a precise and minimalistic approach to going “fast”. Cars like the Alfa Romeo 4C, Mazda MX-5, air-cooled Porsche 911’s, or Lotus Elan all embody this ideology and are arguably some of the most satisfying cars to drive. They possess an element of duality in the sense that with little to no modifications, are a blast around a track and then if desired, one could drive them home. These dual-purpose road cars have been around for quite some time which brings us to the Austin Healey 100M.

Making its debut at the 1952 London Motor Show, the Healey 100 was one of the most raved about models on display. It spurred such a ruckus amongst enthusiasts that the acting director of Austin, Leonard Lord, took enough interest to add “Austin” in front of the name through a partnership deal proposed by Donald Healey. With funding in place, the Austin Healey 100-4 began its short production run from 1953 until 1956.

At the 1954 24 Hours of LeMans the 100-4 factory race cars, which were then “LeMans” prototypes, gave a fantastic performance winning second in class and 12th overall. An astounding achievement for such a young company. It was decided then that for 1955 and 1956 a special edition of the 100-4, the 100M, would be built with only 640 factory units realized during the production run. As such, owners of standard 100-4’s who could not get their hands on the factory built cars went back to the dealer for the “M Modification” and upgrades. This included a louvered bonnet, special aluminum cold air box, special cam, tuned carburetors, and ignition amongst other subtleties.

Available for purchase is a dealer prepared 1956 Austin Healey 100M, chassis number BN2L230263, engine number 1B230263, showcasing a beautiful restoration and M-Conversion by the marque specialist at Ragtops and Roadsters of Sellersville, Pennsylvania. The restoration was finished in February of 2013, having been well maintained and serviced since. The BMIHT Certificate denotes this example’s date of build on January 3, 1956 and scheduled to be delivered to dealer in Paris, France. The factory fitted equipment consisted of a laminated windscreen, heater, and Duplo headlights.

The two-tone Old English White exterior with Black coves and red pinstripe bisecting the two is quite the color combination. The paint has aged well, lacking any serious inconsistencies in its finish. Upon close inspection, one will note several minor touch ups at the tops of each windscreen pillar. This most likely occurred from putting the soft top up and down as they can be a bit trick to properly latch. The chrome-wear on this example is polished and free of significant pitting, in need of no attention.

The black soft top is in nearly new condition, the rear plastic window crystal clear, having developed no hazing or deep scratches. The weather gear shows equally as well. Looking over the chrome wire wheels, they are flawless, and the tires are free of dry rot or significant wear.

An examination of the simple and nicely trimmed interior showcases the quality and care in this 100M’s restoration. Despite that the restoration is several years old, the door jams are still tidy, the doors themselves open and close without issue, and all electrical components are fully operable. The black leather bucket seats are well kept, having developed some light fading in the finish around the bolsters. The leather trimmed door panels also show some dulling in the finish but lack the more serious marks of use (scuffs, pulls, tears). Glancing down at the rugs, they have clearly seen no mistreatment, presenting well. The painted dash is clean, housing the rebuilt and refinished Smiths instruments. All in all, the cabin has matured nicely, now possessing a welcomed light patina. Overall everything appears correct, in order, and showing as nicely restored.

Inspecting the engine compartment, one will find fresh hoses, proper stampings and data tags, and no indicators of need for repair or further sorting. Some of the finishes are not as fresh as they were on day one, but the car is absolutely mechanically sound and shows no notable leaks which is something to be said for an old British sports car. The rear boot is immaculate, the black liner near flawless and all of the metal is structurally sound. Going through the undercarriage, it presents no blemishes to make mention of. The frame is sound and free of dents which is a common occurrence with Healeys due to the low ground clearance. The floors and parts of the underside show to have been replaced due to rust, but was done correctly overall and is acceptable in its existing condition.

After studying this 100M’s extensive maintenance history, it is no surprise that this car is in need of no substantial mechanical repairs. The specialists at Ragtops and Roadsters meticulously sorted and maintained all systems. Pull the choke, turn the key, push the starter button and the 2.6L engine will promptly fire. When cold it tends to sporadically stumble at idle but smooths out once up to operating temperature, common. On the road, the engine pulls well, clutch is smooth, gearbox shifts without issue, brakes bite, and steering free of any excess play.

This dealer prepared 1956 Austin Healey 100M is a well-rounded and honest example, sporting a carefully preserved older restoration. This concise, nimble, and potent little racer is much quicker than the standard 100-4’s, offering the rich driving experience of a factory built 100M without the big price tag. Included in this sale is the complete tool kit, knock off hammer, books, spare wheel, tonneau cover, extensive documentation file, BMIHT Certificate, and 100M Registry Certificate.

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