Out Of The Weeds: 1959 Austin Healey 100

left front

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Austin Healey purists should read no further, just skip right to the comments section and do your worst. This Healey has a (gasp!) 327 V8 in it. In the mid 196o’s we did several conversions like this in the auto sh0p at school in New Mexico. The 327 swap was actually lighter than the big six it replaced. This example is listed on eBay in Emeryville, CA with a BIN of $12,500. Thanks to Charles H. for finding this and sharing it with us!

right front

The owner says the body is aluminum and the flares are fiberglass (“UPDATE: just the flares are fibreglass. the body is aluminum”). That is odd. Only a few (100?) race versions were built with aluminum bodies and these had disk brakes all around. (This one seems to have drum brakes) I don’t see any visible rust in the pictures.


The interior is ratty, but install some seat cushions and it would be usable. There’s no top, so you might want to find a top or a tonneau cover.


The engine is said to run well, however the clutch slave cylinder needs a rebuild. Those fender flares need to go away. The temporary gas tank is interesting, to say the least. What would you do with this, other than walking away? These Healeys are so nice, it wouldn’t seem right driving it looking so ratty. It looks more abused than worn.


Would it be possible and worthwhile to restore it somewhat and replace the drivetrain with something more authentic? Or would you leave the V8 alone and just make the car look closer to original? A decent driver would cost $35,000 to $40,000. We’ve seen rusty shells go for as much as $15,000, so this could actually be a great deal.

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  1. Livermoron

    Google map 350 Cherry Way Hayward, CA

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    • David Frank DavidAuthor

      You found it! Thanks. You’d never guess what’s back there from the street.

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    • Tex260Z

      Cut the lawn!

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  2. DolphinMember

    The model is 100-6, not 100, which was a 4-cylinder Healey.

    If this is a regular 100-6, which is what it looks like, most of the body panels are steel. The hood surround panel is aluminum.

    “I have dmv records back quite a ways I believe.….The vin tag is no where to be found. We looked in the safe at the old mans, and in the cupboards and the nephew asked the uncle to go in the sacred shoebox, nothing.”

    “I recently pulled out the clutch slave since it was pissin on me garage floor. Have not gotten around to a new one. Thats the impetus of moving the car along, have not done anything with it……..if no-one wants this car I intend to drive it in the anti football rally here in northern californium January 1st.”

    Too many stories, and they are not good ones. Wrong wheels. Looks like wrong rear end. Bottom of bellhousing missing. Fuel system and trunk changed. Other than the flares the body and brightwork look surprisingly good for a hacked up car, but there are probably lots of nasty surprises lurking. It would take lots of time and money to get it back to being a 100-6, so unless you’ve always wanted a hot rod Healey and like to roll the dice, pass.

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  3. boxdin

    Joining fiberglass and alum or steel would result in many cracks along the seams. I don’t see that here?

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  4. Healeydays

    The 100-6 (which this is) did have both aluminum and steel. The fenders originally would have been steel in front and back. The front and rear shrouds are aluminum. The small block V8 was a popular swap if going away from the straight 6 (which pulls like a freight train).

    This was the original choice by Carroll Shelby for his Cobra, but BMC wanted nothing to do with allowing this as they were merging with Jaguar and wanted no competition for the XKE.

    From the pictures, I question that the fenders only have fiberglas flares as they look like a fender that was sold in fiberglas with the flares. They show up on the resale market all the time.

    If someone does buy it and wants an original dash for it, I have about 6 of them hanging in my garage…

    Mike B
    59 AH 3000 BT7

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  5. jimbosidecar

    I had a 100.4 in high school. When it spun a bearing and damaged the crankshaft, a friend suggested I swap it out for a Hi Po 289 he had sitting in his garage. I unfortunately did not go with that and got the motor back together to run for another 6 months before I sold it.

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  6. Jason Houston

    I guess the fact somebody didn’t have any more respect for the poor girl than to **** it all up probably explains why it’s been buried in the weeds for so long.

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  7. HoA Howard AMember

    Um, could this be an older replica 3000? Chevette steering column, non-stock dash, no little seats behind the front seats, no script on trunk. My brother had a ’58 100-6, and it didn’t look like this. Just sayin’.

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    • Ross W. Lovell

      Greetings All,

      Definitely a 100-6, no one building a replica would bother putting the raised accent line in the front hood. That feature appeared for only a short while. Plus, doing that in fiberglass is just about guaranteed to be defective upon demolding.

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  8. MountainMan

    As much as I love stock cars I am by no means a purist. I have always been very fond of Healeys but only have owned one, a 1969 sprite. I realize the Chevy V8 turns lots of folks off and as much as I enjoy a nice 6 the engine swap doesn’t turn me off. If i had the funds available I would be all over this one even with the flaws. These cars just look great and I wouldn’t mind finding room in the garage for it at all. A V8 with a manual trans is bound to be loads of fun in this little car. The flares however are hideous.

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  9. DolphinMember

    Ebay listing ended with best offer accepted. Price not revealed.

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    • tom

      hi I bought the car in England do any one know what front axle is on the car if so can you mail me please cheers tom

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  10. Coventry Cat

    Seeing a Healey with a swap like that doesn’t make me cringe. I like British stuff, but they were mass produced cars, like 99% of the stuff out there. The world won’t end with a 327 and fender flares.

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  11. Ed Williams

    In 1957 I had a Healey 100-4 and the deck lid was made of aluminum. One day a big truck was behind me at a red light. He kept creeping up on me and his massive front bumper rode right up onto deck lid before he got stopped. I was really pissed and I got the most expensive repair bill I could find and slapped the trucking company with about $300.50 in repairs! Aluminum is expensive to fix!

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  12. Jim C

    This is a replica, Howard A is correct. The proportions are totally wrong. GLWS though, it has a place in this world, and since it’s a fake who cares you can do what you want w/it.

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  13. Rod Evans

    Oh come on all you purists why don’t ya get over whining about what engine a Healey has in it at the present time.I recall speaking with Donald Healey in the mid 70’s and at that time he did’nt give a rat’s ass on what powerplant one of his Healeys was running.He was a racer after all and the number of American V8 engines that fit the engine compartment and weigh a lot less than that cast iron 4 or 6 cylinder turd that came in them from the factory. If you are afraid of going fast or have heard that saying Speed Kills,then go right ahead and keep that cast iron %#^&*@ and that way you will be safe and you can sit in a corner and wring your hands with worry that there are a lot of fast Healeys out there and as far as I’am concerned the Healey 100 is a better car than a Cobra anyday

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