Austin Healey - Austin Healey 100/4
The Austin Healey 100/4 (100 because it was capable of 100mph, and 4 because of the number of cylinders) was built by the Healey Motor Company using all Austin mechanical components, based around the 2660cc Austin A90 Atlantic engine, in the knowledge that Austin was looking to market a sports car. The prototype "Healey 100," was a rush to get to the 1952 Earls Court Motor Show, and within no time was taken up by Leonard Lord to be mass produced at Longbridge under a licencing agreement. The job of producing the bodywork was given to Jensen Brothers. Frazer Nash had also produced a car in the hope of it being taken up by Austin, which was on their stand at Earls Court, full of Austin components. Production of these Austin Healey 100 series 4 cylinder cars spanned 1952 to 1956 during which the Austin-Healey 100 BN2 , and Austin-Healey 100M (100M BN1 and 100M BN2) models were introduced in 1955. Initially sales of the Austin-Healey would be through the Healey showroom in Warwick and the Healey Holland Park showroom in London, but later the Austin-Healey was also sold through Austin agents, and Healey was given a reciprocal Austin agency. The cars were priced right and sold well in the USA.
The BN2 had a different rear axle and was the first time the optional 2 tone paint scheme was offered. The 100M's were the higher performance models with larger carburettors, higher compression and special cams, and by 1955 the Healeys had gone from 3 to 4 speed gearboxes. These cars also had a couple of rows of louvers on top of the bonnet. The 100S version was hand built at Healeys factory for racing, with much aluminium bodywork and disc brakes all round. The Healey100S model also had a special alloy cylinder head with much work by Weslake and the engine produced a quoted 132bhp at 4,700 rpm.
The radial tyre size for a Austin-Healey 100/4 is the 165R15 size, and Blockley produces the perfect 165VR15 tyre. A wider 185/70VR15 tyre is also produced for those wishing to have a "fatter" tyre.