British Beauty: 1958 Austin-Healey 100-6 BN6

  • December 14, 2020
Why We Like It

Following Austin’s pending discontinuation of the 4-cylinder engine powering the original Austin-Healey 100 roadster, the 100-6 was available beginning in September 1956 with a twin-carbureted version of the Austin Westminster’s 2,639-cc ‘C-Series’ inline 6-cylinder unit. Delivering greater torque than before and tuned by Geoff Healey, Eddie Maher, and Harry Weslake to 102bhp, the 100-6 also featured a slight streamlining of the body, a wider and lower oval radiator grille, functional hood scoop, and revised cockpit. A slight two-inch wheelbase extension provided room for a pair of occasional rear seats in the new 2+2 models, while the more elemental two-seat BN6 was available for ‘58 and ‘59 on the same 92-inch wheelbase chassis, and further development brought a meaningful bump to 117hp for 1957 with revised cylinder head and intake designs. The 100-6 was a strong all-around performer, confirmed by road-test editors on both sides of the pond. While Healey purists and racers were initially skeptical of the 100-6, praise came quickly for its excellent drivability, and the 100-6 would sire more refined versions and provide development scope through the final Austin-Healey 3000 MkIII BJ8 models produced until March 1968.

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british-beauty-1958-austin-healey-100-6-bn600g0g gd7qOXKnJmC 0x20oM 1200x900Sporting fabulous colors, this 1958 Austin-Healey 100-6 BN6 roadster is the product of a complete restoration and features full matching numbers confirmed by the corresponding British Motor Industry Heritage Trust certificate showing original data. Colors are Old English White (Ivory) over red leather upholstery with smart white piped accents. According to the seller’s detailed description, the Healey began as an extremely solid, original example with only 85k actual miles, and the professional restoration was a long-term effort just recently completed to great effect, addressing all aspects of the vehicle. Cosmetically as new in appearance throughout, it’s also declared by the seller to run and drive beautifully with everything working as it should, and factory overdrive is a particularly nice option that will deliver relaxed high-speed cruising. While already beautiful, this car is a potential concours contender; we would have trouble avoiding the urge to tackle a long-distance classic tour with it!

The sportier BN6 roadster is the top dog of the 100-6 range, and although not as raw and ready as the first 4-cylinder cars, they represent a vital link in in the bloodline as the first evolution of these British sporting icons. They are highly drivable, fast, and just a bit more civilized than their predecessors, making them ideal for enjoyable daily drives and long-distance tours. Above all, they are great road cars with a huge and loyal following, restoration knowledge, and strong parts availability. According to Hagerty’s current collector car price guide, the 1958 models enjoy a slight premium over the rest of the ‘56-‘59 models, with values ranging from $21,900 for a #4 driver with some warts, to $32,600 for a good #3 car, then a jump to $54,900 for an excellent #2, and $103k for a full #1 concours queen. Priced about $10k more than a #2, but far below a #1 - we’d like to see the price come down a bit in today’s collector car market - but this freshly restored 1958 Austin-Healey 100-6 BN6 provides the option to groom it further for concours awards, or simply enjoy it as its maker originally intended.british-beauty-1958-austin-healey-100-6-bn600u0u kzhx2vFNSl1 0x20oM 1200x900

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