1956 Austin-Healey 100 M Le Mans Roadster
Chassis No. BN2-L/231970
Engine No. 1B/231970-M
- 1 of only 640 genuine, factory built 100 M ‘Le Mans’ roadsters
- Complete with certificate of confirmation from the British Motor Industry Heritage Trust
- Factory laminated, drop-down windscreen, heater, miles-per-hour speedometer, louvered bonnet
- Meticulously restored by Austin-Healey expert Tom Rocke of Riverside, California
Austin-Healey entered two mildly modified 100’s in the 1953 Le Mans 24-Hour Race and finished a surprising 12th and 14th overall. It was an impressive debut for what were essentially stock roadsters, and really showed the potential of the 100. To capitalize on this success, they initially offered customers a bolt-on performance kit and later the option of a turn-key factory-built upgrade to the 100 to create what we know today as the 100 M ‘Le Mans’ roadster. Of these, the factory built examples are by far the most rare and desirable for collectors.
Kit upgrades included a pair of SU carburetors, revised intake manifold, a cold air box, high-lift camshaft, stronger valve springs and distributor, upgrades to the ignition system, and advanced timing. This increased power from the standard 90 to 100bhp. Factory-built examples added high-compression pistons, stiffer anti-roll bar and dampeners, and louvered bonnet for a further increase to 110bhp and a top speed of 120mph when the slick folding windshield was lowered flat to reduce wind resistance.
Chassis number BN2-L/231970 is a factory-built 100M that was completed on the 20th of April 1956 for North American export. It comes with a British Motor Industry Heritage Trust Certificate confirming that this is a genuine factory-built 100M ‘Le Mans’ car, and is listed in the 100M ‘Le Mans’ Registry, William Meade’s definitive catalog of these important cars.
This car received an immaculate 100-point restoration at the hands marque specialists Randee and the late Tom Rocke. The Reno Red paint is in perfect condition and it is a stunning complement to the fresh interior that includes black Ambla vinyl seats and new carpeting. From the driver’s seat it’s all business with a sharp silver instrument cluster and classic Smith’s gauges visible through the stock steering wheel. Tom left no nut or bolt untouched and the quality of the restoration shows. This is a seriously pretty and seriously functional little roadster.
Of the original 640 factory-built 100Ms, less than 150 are believed to have survived. A verified factory-built 100M is surely among the most desirable of Austin-Healey’s ever produced. This is a wonderfully entertaining car that can be driven anywhere and would be welcomed at any concours, vintage event or rally in the world.
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