1955 Austin Healey 100-4 BN1 Roadster
This 1955 Austin Healey BN1 is a near perfect example of British motor sport heritage and has received a full rotisserie restoration by a noted specialist facility. This process was executed to the original specifications and Austin Healey concours standards. The colors presented on this 100-4 are as it was originally delivered new. The car was completed at the factory on June 16,1955 and was destined for California. Among the factory options listed as sold with the car are laminated windscreen and wire wheels.
During the restoration all body, chassis, mechanical and electrical systems have been completely restored to original condition. When needed, new original stock or period correct components were used to the highest standards. The engine has been fully rebuilt, balanced and assembled with electronic ignition, high compression cylinder head gasket, high strength studs, cast aluminum oil pan and valve cover.
The restoration was completed in October of 2011. This Austin Healey 100-4 won first place for “Best of Marque” at the 25th annual all British field meet in the same month. This accomplishment clearly validated the extraordinary quality of this example.
This 100-4 qualifies for many historic races such as the Mille Miglia in Italy and the Tribute Miglia-North America. The car is accompanied by its British Motor Heritage Trust certificate, documenting its authenticity. Owners manual, service manual original valve cover, original oil pan, original fan, original oil filter housing, full tonneau and canvas convertible top are all included.
Purchased in March 2004 as a full restoration candidate from the Venice Beach area of California from a British Car dealer – Peters Marina Motors.
The Car was purchased as a complete candidate for a full restoration and in March 2004. The 100 was disassembled and documented in a series of digital pictures, parts sorted and evaluated for restoration or replacement.
During disassembly the car was evaluated for what had to be done both structurally and mechanically. The following outlines the key structural items undertaken to bring the 100 back to a state of full structural rigidity so that it would hold it’s shape for years to come.
- New sills and rockers were installed over new outboard runners under each outboard side of the chassis
- New floorboards were installed on both sides from the rear bulkhead and including the foot wells of both sides. The sides of the foot wells were in good shape and did not require replacement.
- New front cross member was installed
- All the shock mounts and spring mounts in the rear were rebuilt
- All non-correct holes were patched
- Critical issues with chassis were corrected
- New trunk pan
- Chassis was aligned on a chassis rack to ensure a straight and level platform for the 100 going forward.
The body was completely removed and all rusted areas were removed and replaced with fresh metal. The body was attached to the frame, straightened and placed in an epoxy primer for storage while the mechanicals were being addressed. This stopped the aging process for all the body panels and make sure that all the parts would go back together as they were intended to when they were married again in approx.
All the body panels are the originals as they were from the car in 2004. They are believed to be original from the car as delivered from the factory. The front fenders have the newer style BN2 opening slightly larger at the wheel wells which is understood to be typical of a BN1 at the end of the run, Austin Healey typically mixed and matched versions of parts on these cars.
No body filler was used in the restoration of the body, all panels were dealt with as they should be in metal and brought to the proper shape by hammer and dolly.
During this time the mechanicals were restored to their original condition, damaged areas addressed and NOS (new old stock parts) used where needed. These parts were restored, painted, and then stored to be installed on the chassis once it was completed from paint. The chassis was given a coat of epoxy primer to hold off rust, and then a two part finish with base and clear of Austin Healey Ice Blue – the color the 100 left the factor with in 1955.
The chassis was then treated to a full two part paint job in its original Healey Ice Blue. The car had been painted twice prior, once white and the last coat was red, so this car was truly three colors in its life, red, white and blue.
The reassembly started in approximately July of 2007 where the chassis completely painted was on a dolly for reassembly. The body parts which were in primer epoxy green were stored for painting later, having all the rust removed and completely stabilized for the future.
All chassis parts were removed, checked, sand blasted and repainted in a Eastwood chassis black epoxy paint that has a good hard coat and hold up well for future touch up. Parts that were under hood were painted with Eastwood primer and a coat of Eastwood under hood black.
Over the next year the chassis was assembled and the following items were installed to address the systems on the chassis.
- A complete brake system rebuild with rebuilt brake cylinders and master cylinder. The system is (IMPORTANT) filled with 100% Silicone fluid it’s important not to mix this with other fluids. The brake system is single system, so care and maintenance to the brake system is critical, the Silicone does not attract moisture and has a better property for long term vehicles that may sit for long periods.
- The wiring loom was completely replaced with a new concourse correct loom that is covered in the correct fabric with correct codes and lucas style connectors. It’s (IMPORTANT) to note that two additional fuses were installed as a safety measure. One is under the trunk cover on the right side for the rear lights a weak place which is knows to have issues. The second on the main light in under the dash in case the lights short and draw too much amperage. These are the two weak points and updated fuses were used for simplicity of wiring and a high level of assurance they would work as designed.
The Fuel system was rebuilt with the following items being new:
- A new Aluminum gas tank
- New electronic period correct looking fuel pump
- New fuel lines
- New stainless braded fuel line in engine
- New filters as part of the carburetor rebuild
Once brakes, fuel, wiring and chassis components were all reinstalled the chassis was ready to be rolling again on its wheels.
In approx. July 2008 the chassis was ready to accept the engine and transmission again. The following is the list of key items done to the Engine and Transmission;
The engine is the original engine which was in the 100 when purchased and matching numbers for the dates in the engine block castings. The number plate was destroyed as part of the machining process and replaced during assembly. This is a typical process and occurrence with these engines over the years.
Complete engine rebuild including balancing the rotation assembly, new pistons at .010 over, all new bearing at .010 over, new rear engine seal, rebuilt head with new seats and valves. The engine has new pushrods and lifters as well. Also the water pump was replaced, the generator and starter were rebuilt to original standards.
The engine was reassembled with a high compression multi layer head gasket to solve a weak point in the engines. The oil filter assembly was replaced with a spin on assembly for better and cleaner oil filtration and changes. It’s (IMPORTANT) to note that the original oil filter assembly along with other key parts are supplied with the 100 at time of sale.