Big Healey Project: 1957 Austin-Healey 100-6

When you think of 1950s sports cars the American public were offered in 1957, you would tend to think of the 1957 Thunderbird or Chevrolet Corvette. While not as famous as its successor, this Austin-Healey 100-6 was another offering on the market that year. The less well-known prelude to the famous and successful Austin-Healey 3000, the 100-6 is a great example, alongside the MGA, of what Britain could offer in terms of sports cars. This example is located in Rocky Hill, Connecticut and here on Craigslist here for $17,500. Thanks to Peter Rettig for the tip!

The Austin-Healey 100-6 debuted in 1956, replacing the Austin-Healey 100, a near similar looking two-seater sports car with an inline 4 cylinder. The 100-6 had updated styling, was ever so slightly larger, and came standard with an inline 6 cylinder producing 106 bhp. The model ran from ’56 to ’59 and came in two “model designators”, the BN4 and BN6. This one is the 2+2 BN4, meaning yes, this car does technically have 4 seats, though realistically, the rear two are only for children or groceries. Judging from the photos, it appears this car has the 4-speed transmission, with overdrive. The seller mentions the car was originally black, so the red paint was a later addition, while the interior was red from the factory.

The condition of this car is a mixed bag. I would say overall it is fair, but it needs a lot of work. There is a good amount of rust on the vehicle, the floors especially, and the paint is bubbling in several places. The floor honestly needs to be replaced. In the car’s favor, the seller notes the engine runs excellently, and the car has a new gas tank and electric fuel pump. That leaves the clutch and the brakes, which will need to be fixed before this car can be driven again safely. The car also appears to have all its chrome trim and, aside from the back bumper which looks to have been bent, it is in good shape all around the car. The interior also needs a lot of work and will need replacing before too long.

I think this car is the perfect candidate for a rolling restoration after the floor is repaired. For the right buyer, it could be a great entry into the British sports car scene in the US. Also, for those Austin-Healey 3000 fans who can’t justify to themselves or their spouses the high prices those cars can command, this 100-6 offers a more affordable alternative to enjoy. Whether you are new to the classic car hobby or a veteran British sports car aficionado, this Austin-Healey 100-6 has potential but problems. Are you up to the task or would you pass?


  1. RayT Member

    Even though I really like Austin-Healeys, I’d pass on this one, and not just because it has the least-powerful engine offered in a six-cylinder Healey (102 bhp, and not much scope for improvement, thanks to the cast-in intake manifold) and drum brakes all around, but because it needs, well, a LOT of work to bring it up to useful status.

    Beneath the overspray, there is sure to be more rust than indicated, on frame and body panels. Judging by the photos — note that there is no clear front view — someone has tried to fit the grille from a 100-4, or a homemade facsimile. Doesn’t work. And I get the impression that the car has taken a front-end hit at some point; might just be the photos, but it doesn’t look right…. The bonnet doesn’t seem to fit well, either.

    At $17.5K, the seller isn’t asking much, at least judged by current eBay Healey prices. But considering that this will require a full teardown (or, at best, something very close), I’d look for a 3000 and spend my money there. There are still quite a few available; they may not look as good at first glance, but should not require much more effort to get right.

    Like 7
  2. bobhess bobhess Member

    Only way you fix this car is body off full blown rebuild. Agree with RayT on this one.

    Like 4
  3. Tom

    Thanks for the comments. My search continues

    Like 1
  4. trdave

    From experience, another $40K, or more, will be needed. With 3000 and 100-6 prices declining or at best steady, I suggest spending more $ on a better candidate, unless you really want a satisfying, mostly do-it-yourself project. I would consider this car if I could first inspect it. David

    Like 2
  5. Terry

    This is an example of a car that probably only a person who really wants a 100-6, should invest his time and money into. As an investment, forget it. But if you gotta have it…

    Like 2
  6. chrlsful

    2 Healey’s – where’s the Nash-Healey?
    I all ways toss back’n forth “Early or later grill?”, never can answ

    When drivin/tinkerin w/these (teens/20s) I told my friends “Lill car lill problems, big car big problems.” Still believe it.

    “…the famous and successful Austin-Healey 3000…”
    yes, agreed esp w/the ford motors some installed. However “an auto is a system, change 1 thing, it effects the others” so other changes needed when doing so…

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