This 1956 Austin-Healey 100M is a ticket to the Mille Miglia

Eligible for the iconic Mille Miglia event, this Austin-Healey 100M is one of just 640 factory-built cars and is heading to auction next month

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Today’s racing cars are bespoke machines built from exotic materials and designed to the finest tolerances. Very few are fit for road use, but decades ago drivers would travel to an event in the very car they would later race. When Austin finished commendably in the 1953 Le Mans 24 Hours in a lightly modified Healey 100, it was the perfect opportunity to sell such upgrades and finished cars to the public. This Austin-Healey 100M BN2 Le Mans might be the cheapest way into prestigious events like the Mille Miglia.

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Finishing 12th and 14th at Le Mans in predominately standard cars during 1953 proved to be a marketing coup for Austin-Healey. Using the good publicity to its advantage, the British sports car manufacturer started to offer a Le Mans bolt-on tuning kit for customers. This included additions like SU HD6 carburettors, a new inlet manifold, high-lift camshaft, hardier valve springs, and an alternative ignition advance curve, all of which boosted power from 90bhp to 100bhp.

In 1955 the kit could be fitted by the factory on the new BN2 models, with these cars being dubbed 100M. In addition to the usual upgrades, stiffer anti-roll bars, new dampers and better cooling were incorporated. Power was now up to 110bhp with the car capable of around 120mph with the windscreen folded flat. While many BN2s were upgraded to this more sporting specification via a kit, just 640 100Ms were built at the factory.

This beautiful 1956 Austin-Healey 100M is one of the few Longbridge factory-built cars and features all of the above enhancements. Its elegant shape is complimented by a black and white two-tone finish that adds character to this British classic. Many BN2 cars found homes in America, as did this left-hand drive 100M, however, its early history is unknown. Its paper trail picks up during the 1990s when it joins Sharon and Dick Gunthell’s New York car collection where an extensive restoration was completed.

The car is reportedly in excellent health and will grant its new owner eligibility for some of the worlds most famous races including the legendary Mille Miglia. A complete restoration file, original owners handbook, official 100M Le Mans Registry Certificate, and the British Motor Industry-issued Heritage Trust Certificate all come with the car.

The Austin-Healey 100M BN2 Le Mans will be offered for sale at Bonhams’ Scottsdale auction in 2019.

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