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Car of the Month - April

Car of the Month - April

The Austin Healey 100/100M

   

With no sign of the infamous April showers it is the perfect time to take advantage of rising temperatures and warm sun. Whether that is a picnic in the park or leisurely long drives down country lanes the rise in temperature has lifted everyone’s spirits. But this month it’s not the sunshine that is putting a smile on our faces, it is the Austin Healey 100. 
 
First created in 1953 by the collaboration of Donald Healey and Austin Motor Club, the 100 model is considered the ‘original’ Austin Healey. With combined components from Healey’s existing models such as the Nash Healey and mechanical parts from the Austin A90 Sedan including the engine, transmission and suspension the 100 was to capture the hearts of a growing American market. The goal was simple, to create something more unique than a MG and more affordable than a Jaguar with fast performance and good handling and with the help and design of Gerry Coker the 100 did exactly that. 
 
With the 2400cc engine the 100 gained its name after its ability to reach 100mph. Creating a bigger demand in the market and also inspiring Donald Healey and motor engineer Roger Menadue to moderate the original 100 model and produce the 100M model referring to the ‘Le Mans’ which was to be raced in the 1953 Mille Miglia and the 24 hour Le Mans. 
 
       

With only 640 100M cars made between 1955 and 1956 the 100M was the first ever Austin Healey 100 race car prepared for international road racing long before the creation of the 100S model. The 100M also influenced a demand in the market for ‘Le Mans’ Conversion Kits for existing owners of 100/4s in 1954. Setting the new standard, other Austin Healey models such as the 100/6, 100S and the 3000 shortly followed with further increased performance, all better referred to as ‘Big Healey's’ to distinguish them from the much smaller Austin Healey Sprite model. With the unique history and stunning design of the Austin Healey 100 there is no surprise that over 15,000 were sold between 1953 and 1956. With only 140 known to still exist today the Austin Healey 100M is the most sought after model due to its rarity, confirmable chassis identification and the mystique of owning an original, limited production, high performance model.  
 
The appearance of the 100 and 100M is not only exciting to look at but with its fast, stable drive the original Healey and moderated Le Mans Healey both have an incredible design and stunning performance making the original Austin Healey 100 our car of the month.

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