1959 Austin Healey 100/6 BN6

Highlights


• Full competition specification, matching numbers.
• Rare RHD, factory Dunlop disk-brake car - 1 of 50.
• £11,000 + spent over the last year.
• Extensive work carried out by JME Healey of Warwick
• Fantastic provenance and history.

The Background


Introduced as a replacement for the Austin-Healey 100, the 100/6 was the second of the ‘big’ Healeys, with the third being its successor, the 3000. 

Up front, a slightly downsized but more powerful BMC C-Series 2.6-litre (2639cc) inline-six engine replaced the predecessor’s 2660cc inline-four, producing 102bhp which was later uprated to 117bhp from 1957 onwards through the fitment of a revised exhaust manifold and cylinder head.

Two model designations of the 100/6 were produced between 1956 and 1959. The first BN4 designation were 2+2 cars, whilst the later two-seat BN6 were produced between 1958-1959.

With its lively performance and mechanical nature, the 100/6 proved itself to be a wonderful competition car, earning the praise of many rally and circuit drivers throughout its lifetime, with many privateers racing them far beyond their production lifespan. 

There was also a plethora of tuning parts available, which - coupled with the Healey’s reputation for reliability - made them very, very attractive to privateers indeed, as this particular example shall now demonstrate…

The History


Produced during the final few months of 100/6 production in Abingdon, Oxfordshire, this BN6 - WLE 665 - has an impressive pedigree and history.

Out-shopped in Healey Blue over an Ivory interior in January 1959, the car was sold in South-West London on February 09 1959 to its first owner. The accompanying British Motor Trust Heritage Certificate also confirms that the engine, transmission and chassis numbers all match, making this a very special 100/6 indeed.

Beyond that, unfortunately, the early history of the car is somewhat chequered, until the 1980s, when it was purchased by a Mr Mundy of Sheffield, who then set about restoring the car over a number of years to a very high standard to full road specification. Whilst the exact date of the respray into the current Red bodywork is uncertain, there are photographs showing the car in red during the 80’s, along with old V5s showing the car being registered as red.

In the early 2000s the car remained in its restored road specification, but was subsequently purchased and converted to competition rally specification whilst in the hands of former MP for Wyre Forest, Mark Garnier. 

Whilst MPs and rally cars are not usually affiliated with each other, Mark’s father, Peter, was co-driver to the legendary Jack Sears for a number of races, and Mark wanted to create a fitting and accurate tribute to his father’s competition car, which bore the registration PMO 201.

During this conversion process, which included the fitment of isolator switches, a plumbed-in fire extinguisher, racing harnesses and a bolt-on roll-cage, it was discovered that this was one of just 50 pre-3000 Healeys to leave the Abingdon factory with Dunlop disk brakes on all four corners.

Alongside this, the car was also fitted with a straight-cut ‘Tulip’ competition gearbox with overdrive on the top two gears, headlight stone guards, braided brake hoses, and was, at one point, fitted with spot lamps and a white hard top, though these latter two items are no longer present with the vehicle.

With regards to the car’s competition history in the hands of Garnier, the following results have been recorded:

  • 3rd Place ‘Big Sports Car’ class - 2001 Winter Challenge (the highest-placed Healey overall)
  • Competed in 2001 Rally of the Tests
  • Competed in 2004 Liege-Rome-Liege

Having enjoyed using the car for various rallies, the car was sold on when Mark became MP, passing into the hands of a two private collectors before coming into our vendor’s ownership.

Purchased with the intentions of using it for exploring the glorious Cotswolds throughout the summer, the car was sent off in April 2021 to ‘the home of Healey’ - JME Healey in Warwickshire - to ensure everything was in order, ready to be enjoyed. 

At JME, a full and extensive assessment was carried out - a copy of which is included with the vehicle and can be seen in the gallery below - and a programme of work was agreed upon, with the total cost of the work amounting to in excess of £11,000. The car has only done a mere 200 miles since it was at JME.

Now, with all the required mechanical work carried out, a change in circumstances for our vendor mean this extraordinary car is up for sale once again, ready to be used and enjoyed once more.

The Paperwork


As with all cars of this era, history is everything, and it’s safe to say this Healey has it by the boatload.

Well, technically, it’s by the binder-full, but that sounds less exciting, doesn’t it? Regardless, the neatly-organised paperwork folder for this 100/6 is comprehensive in its level of detail, going back to old invoices from the 80s and 90s, along with clippings and old sales adverts.

More notable are the Heritage Certificate, old Bonhams advertisement showing a photograph of the car being rallied by Garnier, and the numerous invoices from JME Healey detailing the work carried out, the full inspection results and an individual itemised parts breakdown, showing exactly what has been done to the vehicle and at what cost.

Invoices over the last year amass to in excess of £11,000. 

The Interior


Inside, the red-and-black interior has clearly seen plenty of attention in its time, judging by the excellent condition throughout, mixed in with some classic age-related patina.

The carpets look to be relatively new, and present in nigh-on immaculate condition throughout, down to the footwells, with the driver being blessed with a set of Paddy Hopkirk high-grip pedals for those intense driving moments. 

Elsewhere, the seats wear a wonderful patina and show signs of regular use, though the material - as far as we could see - is free of any rips or notable scuffs, as are the door cards and leather-topped dashboard, which is also free from any sun-related cracking or damage.
Around the dials, the chrome detailing wears a lovely light Patina, whilst the straight-shift gearstick is in good condition, with the electronically-engaged overdrive on third and fourth gears working as it should, with the vendor reporting that the car is “impressively comfortable and quiet” when humming along at ~60mph. 

Competition-wise, the car has been fitted with a set of OMP racing harnesses (dated 2011) a map-reading light on the passenger dash board, an electrical cut-off switch behind the driver’s seat, and the plumbed-in fire extinguisher is visible beneath the dashboard. 

The bolt-on roll-cage fits perfectly within the car’s soft-top hood, and the tonneau cover fits around the various fixtures very well indeed, and remains in excellent shape.

The Exterior


On the outside, the classic lines of the 100/6 remain wonderfully straight and true, and the rear roll-cage certainly adds some purpose to the car’s silhouette.

The bodywork is all in excellent condition, and the vendor notes that the front and rear wings are competition-spec Aluminium items, designed to reduce weight. 

There are no noted impact or parking dents that we could see, though there are a few tiny bubbling patches in the paintwork on the offside front wing, leading edge of the bonnet and around the exhaust outlet on the nearside, though they are tricky to see and were extremely difficult to pick up on the camera.

The wire-spoke wheels are in great shape and are shod in nearly-new matching rubber, though a full detailing and possible refurbishment may be on the cards for an extremely detail-oriented bidder, though if the car was to be rallied again, some slightly aged wheels probably won’t be of any major concern! 

The window frames wear a commensurate age-related patina that suits the car well, along with the front grille and chrome detailing on the vehicle. The windows are in good shape, though the handle on the front driver’s side window has come off, and is currently located in the driver’s door pocket.

The soft-top itself is in fine shape, with no sign of any cracking or discolouration to the rear window. There are some light scuffs and marks to the material as shown below, but certainly nothing that set alarm bells ringing.

The Mechanicals


The phrase ‘on the button’ is bandied around a lot in this industry, but let us tell you, that phrase is absolutely apt in this instance. This 100/6 truly does, in fact, fire up on-the-button, and with an enthusiasm and gusto that delighted and surprised our photographer in equal measure.

Clearly, JME Healey have waved their magical mechanic wand over this 100/6, and as a result is sits in rude health throughout.

Whilst the full breakdown is available to view below, highlights of work carried out include the fitment of a new steering box, a full suspension overhaul including new bushes where needed, and the attending to of a few oil leaks where required.

The result is a 100/6 that can be relied upon whenever necessary, and would certainly be ready to use daily should you wish. The vendor notes no issues with the car whatsoever, though there is a very, very minor oil leak towards the rear of the engine, but it did not warrant the attention of JME, which speaks volumes of how minor it really is.

The straight-cut gears are wonderful to work through, and the additional soundproofing around the transmission tunnel mean that this example is far quieter than most, with the vendor stating that JME said it was one of, if not the quietest straight-cut Austin they’ve ever seen.
Underneath, the car looks to be in good shape and has clearly been fettled, with only a minor patch of what appears to be surface corrosion noted on the nearside sill, though again this was not deemed noteworthy of attention, so it is highly unlikely to be hiding any deeper problems. 

On account of its age, the car is exempt from mandatory MOT testing, however, the most recent exam in March of 2019 resulted in a clean pass with no advisory items.

The Appeal


With a wonderful provenance, high competition specification and in rude mechanical health, this really is a true diamond of a ‘Big Healey’ and one which should appeal to motorsport enthusiasts and marque collectors alike. 

Benefitting from recent expenditure and in outstanding condition throughout, this competition-specification 1959 Austin-Healey 100/6 is ready for the next owner to simply jump in and enjoy, whether that’s around the twisting B-roads of the Cotswolds as our vendor intended, or for use as a thoroughbred competition car once again.

Regardless of your intentions, we’re sure you’d agree this is an opportunity that is not to be missed, and we expect bidding to reflect that, so be sure to bid well, bid early and bid often to be in with a chance of owning this gorgeous British classic - good luck!

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Although every care is taken to ensure this listing is as factual and transparent as possible, all details within the listing are subject to the information provided to us by the seller. Car & Classic does not take responsibility for any information missing from the listing. Please ensure you are satisfied with the vehicle description and all information provided before placing a bid.

As is normal for most auctions, this vehicle is sold as seen, and therefore the Sale of Goods Act 1979 does not apply. All bids are legally binding once placed. Any winning bidder who withdraws from a sale, is subject to our bidders fee charge. Please see our FAQs and T&C's for further information. Viewings of vehicles are encouraged, but entirely at the seller's discretion.

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Vehicle specification
  • Year 1959
  • Make Austin Healey
  • Model 100/6 BN6
  • Colour Red
  • Odometer 12,506 Miles
  • Engine size 2639
  • Location Warwickshire
  • Country United Kingdom
Bidding history
41 bids
  • ro•••• £45,000 02/08/21
  • Ni•••• £44,000 02/08/21
  • ro•••• £43,500 02/08/21
  • Ni•••• £43,000 02/08/21
  • ro•••• £42,500 02/08/21
  • ta•••• £42,000 02/08/21
  • ro•••• £41,500 02/08/21
  • ta•••• £41,000 02/08/21
  • ro•••• £39,500 02/08/21
  • st•••• £39,000 02/08/21

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