The sports car shown in this article is the 1954 Austin-Healey 100/4. The Austin-Healey 100's first came out in October of 1952. It's said that the car was named the 100 model because it was claimed to be able to break 100 MPH.
The Austin-Healey automobile brand was created because of the efforts of Donald and Geoffrey Healey. These were the people who are responsible for some of the most stylish sports cars ever built. These were sports cars that were very popular in the U.S. Their era of peak popularity was from the 1950's through the middle of the 1960's.
The Austin-Healey's today are considered excellent collector cars and the one's finely restored can garner high prices at auction. At the end of this article we have some average and high auction prices paid for some classic Austin-Healey's
A Profitable Merger
The Austin-Healey brand name actually came about by a merger between British Motor Corporation's Austin division and Donald Healey's prototype car. BMC first viewed the prototype at the 1952 London Motor Show and believed that Healey's design could help put new life into their Austin car division. The arrangement was considered a joint venture.
The new Austin-Healey division built sports cars from 1952 until 1972. Although there was a twenty year agreement to build the Austin-Healey's, Donald Healey himself left the company in 1968 after BMC merged with Jaguar Cars which then was merged into British Leyland. During that twenty year period they produced four basic models. These were the Austin-Healey 100-4, the Austin-Healey 100-6, the Austin-Healey 3000 and the Austin-Healey Sprite.
1954 Austin-Healey 100/4 Specifications
The Austin-Healey came out with an inline four cylinder, 162.3 cubic inch displacement, two valves per cylinder engine delivering 90 horsepower.
The four cylinder engines were used through the 1956 model year. Beginning in 1957 the Austin-Healey's had six cylinder engines
The 1954 Austin-Healy 100 came with a three speed manual transmission. Four speeds would come out with the 1955 models.
The sport car's length was 151.5 inches, width 60.5 inches and height 49 inches. The car had a wheelbase of 90.0 inches.
This two seat rear wheel drive car had a fuel tank with a 14.5 gallon capacity. According to the factory, the 1954 Austin Healey 100 had a top speed of 109 MPH and could go 0 to 60 MPH in 10.5 seconds. The car had a dry weight of 1960 lbs. Fuel efficiency was rated at about 25 MPG.
The base new car price was around $2,900.
Production numbers for the BN1 models, of which this 1954 car is one of them, totaled about 10,700. The Austin Healey BN2 models came out in 1955. There was also an Austin-Healey S model which was built for competition and racing. Reportedly only 55 of these models were produced.
The Big Healey's
Austin-Healey enthusiasts know that the car brand is differentiated between the Big Healey's and the Austin-Healey Sprite. The Sprite was first manufactured beginning in 1958 and was built at the MG factory which was also a division of BMC.
The Sprite was a smaller car and had a lot in common with the MG Midget. In fact, the success of the Sprite led to the creation of the MG Midget. The Big Healey's refer to the Austin-Healey 100 series and the Austin_Healey 3000 models. The sports cars were not large as we would commonly think a large car would be but were considered larger than the Sprite model, thus the Big Healey designation.
Austin-Healey Collectors Car
Austin-Healey sports cars are popular collector cars. The average auction price is about $43,000 for the 1954 Austin-Healey 100-4. As of this writing the high auction price paid for the 1954 model is above $90,000.
Auction prices for the 1955 Austin Healey average about $50,000 with the highest price paid also above $90,000.
Regarding auction prices for the Austin-Healey Sprite, a recent auction for a fully restored 1960 Sprite brought in a price of $20,000.
(Article and photos copyright AutoMuseumOnline. 1960 Sprite photo from the public domain)