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A seasoned racer already, Donald Healey formed his own company with Achille Sampietro and Ben Bowden after working together at Humber during the second world war. Launching in 1946, they built a series of cars using Riley mechanicals; namely a 2.4 litre 4cylinder engine.
Launching the Healey Silverstone in 1949, he immediately saw success in competition with Donald piloting the car to win overall at the 1949 Alpine Rally and Coupe des Alpes. From this, a partnership with US firm Nash meant the car was redesigned and relaunched with the intention of exploiting the demand and growth from the United States for small British sports cars.
The first 100's (series "BN1") were equipped with the 90 bhp engines and manual transmission as the stock A90, sedan. It was all steel. BN2 was fitted with a real 4-sp trans instead of 3,overdrive on top 2 gears, the BN2 has slightly larger front wheel arches. 1955, a 100M model was made available to the public. The car was fitted with a high compression cylinder head, larger carburettors, a cold air box to increase air flow to the carburettors, high-lift camshaft and 8.1:1 compression pistons thus increasing power from 90 bhp up to 110 bhp.
Built between 5th September 1955 and 16th July 1956, the just 640 Austin Healey 100M’s were built. Of those, little more than c.240 cars remain. Having been progressed since 1953, the Le Mans package was developed to turn up the heat on the competition at Le Mans. Most noticeably, a two-position, low-drag windscreen replaced the fixed screen on the previous cars and the bonnet with additional louvres.