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TD4834 Avatar
TD4834 Bill Chasser
Sacramento, CA, USA   USA
Hi I’ve been primarily concentrating on MGTDs but I am now looking to buy a 100-4 project. Can someone educate me regarding what the letter series stand for. Ie BN1, BN2 etc. what are the usual problem areas to be aware of when buying a 100 project. I had a chance to buy a 100 recently but it was a total wreck. Rear ended and fire damage.and had been Ford small block converted. Although the price was cheap under $500 I couldn’t see much salvage value. Wheels where disc so I presumed it had been converted to a Ford or other American make. The distance to retrieve it seemed a zero net gain for a spares car not knowing really what was left or market value.

Does anyone have a suitable near solid car for restoration available? What could I expect to pay for a 100-4 project?

Thanks

Bill Chasser
TD/c-8151

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sliproc Avatar
sliproc Kevin Quistberg E
Long Beach, CA, USA   USA
Bill,

If you're doing a 100 project you probably should have jumped on that, they don't come along very often. Worst case you could part it out and at the very least make your money back.

simon1966 Avatar
simon1966 Silver Member Simon Griffin
.Madison County, IL, USA   USA
1953 MG TD
1954 Austin-Healey 100 "BEV"
1977 MG MGB
HI Bill,

I went the other route and started back in 84 with a 100 and only more recently got into a 53 TD a couple of years ago. We have crossed paths on various TD forums as I asked questions and got to know the model.

I am completely biased and consider the 100 to be the most beautiful of the "Big" Healeys. The BN1 is the first of the breed with a 3 speed gear box, the bulk of 100's were BN1's. The BN2 was only around for about a year and are much rarer. They have a 4 speed box some very subtle body panel change (Wheel arch opening and swage line all the way to the rear). There were other changes that happened throughout production of that just flowed into the BN2 such as a different rear axle. The genuine factory 100M's were all BN2's and command silly money. A lot of BN2's that are seen are partially converted to M spec.

100 project cars don't come up very often. Here is one for way too much IMO

https://minneapolis.craigslist.org/dak/cto/d/austin-healeyvery-nice-rust/6559449479.html

I think you are looking at $20K for anything that is not a total wreck. Values have gone up considerably.

These cars are hard to work on and get the bodies correct and cost a ton to have done professionally. I should know as I bit the bullet and had my 100 done last year.

The photos are a before and after of mine. I have had the car since 1984.

Best wishes and thanks for the help you have given me in the TD world!

Simon

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simon1966 Avatar
simon1966 Silver Member Simon Griffin
.Madison County, IL, USA   USA
1953 MG TD
1954 Austin-Healey 100 "BEV"
1977 MG MGB
In answer to the question of what to look for, in a word RUST. These cars were very poorly protected and chassis and substructure will rot away. Complete replacement chassis are available. Mine was salvageable. Chassis outriggers, doors, fenders, spring and suspension mounts are all very susceptible to rust. All panels are available. The shrouds are aluminium and will often crack at the corners of the hood and trunk openings. The engines are pretty solid and basic but heads can crack. Mechanically the cars are very simple and not very different to the TD, just everything is at a bigger scale.

TD4834 Avatar
TD4834 Bill Chasser
Sacramento, CA, USA   USA
Thank you for your opinions.

My dad past away several years ago as I was finishing a performance build of my first TD. Shortly after his passing I came upon his TD/c which he had special ordered early in 1951 and took delivery later that year. He raced it for several years in SCCA events then traded the car back to the dealership in ‘53-‘54 on a 100-4. I don’t know what designator it had. It was red over white coves and black interior and had the OD. I recently found a color pic of the car from ‘53-m54 along with his TD/c. Until recently I had never seen any pics of the cars and I don’t think dad even knew they existed.

Dad had several comments about the 100 vs the TD. 1)The Healey would out run the TD on straightaways but the TD would chew catch it in the corners. Overall they were evenly matched. 2) when it rained the TD was much dryer in the cockpit. The Healey would fill up with water and rain would soak his pant leg. He said the car should have came with a bilge pump. In the end he would always reminisce about the TD over the Healey.

I must admit I am amazed at the price the Healey’s command. They seem to be all over the map
I remember growing up in the ‘60s seeing a lot of these big healeys being converted to V8 chevys and fords while getting the chassis thrashed to death and ending up in the wrecking yards. I rarely see them being driven anymore though I know they are out there

Bill Chasser
TD-4834

simon1966 Avatar
simon1966 Silver Member Simon Griffin
.Madison County, IL, USA   USA
1953 MG TD
1954 Austin-Healey 100 "BEV"
1977 MG MGB
Bill something does not quite jive with the dates. If your Dad purchased the car in 53 or 54 it is a BN1 version of the 100. The two tone paint was introduced with the BN2 version in 1955 into 1956. So if it was two tone paint it was most likely a BN2 unless this was a dealer applied paint job that pre-dated the factory paint job. So if it was factory two tone paint it had to be a BN2 and he purchased it in the fall of 55 or later.

TD4834 Avatar
TD4834 Bill Chasser
Sacramento, CA, USA   USA
Simon. Thank you for the info. I’m going from my memory of dad’s recollection. He didn’t talk about the Healey much and I’m only going by a photo I found several years after his passing. I wish he was still around to talk to and glean more snippets of his youth. I’m trying to live a bit vicariously through what I can remember. I have little to no knowledge of AH’s so I’m going to stick my foot in mouth for quite a long time to come. This is why I’m on here ... to learn from those much more knowledgeable than I. The dates are only an approximation of what I can remember. His TD/c is quite a different story as I have it in my possession and have a very detailed accounting of how where and when it was purchased. It’s racing history is a bit more sketchy but I’m slowly finding more information in that regard. The two pics I have of the Healey are quite grainy and don’t offer a great amount of detail. I will post them when I come acrosss them again and see if there is anything members could add

Bill Chasser
TD/c-8151

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simon1966 Avatar
simon1966 Silver Member Simon Griffin
.Madison County, IL, USA   USA
1953 MG TD
1954 Austin-Healey 100 "BEV"
1977 MG MGB
Bill, if the dates are fuzzy then I would bet it was a 55/56 BN2 100 that your Dad had. Which means that it could have been the very desirable factory 100M. If it was then from a today's valuation perspective, he kept the wrong car :-)

Michael Oritt Avatar
LUSBY, MD, USA   USA
To your first question:

I could have the displacement brackets for the first letter wrong and if so I am sure someone will correct me, but this is what I believe was the Austin model system (from which Austin apparently felt free to every so often deviate from):

The first letter in Austin model parlance stands for the car's displacement which goes from, I believe, anything over 1600 cc's to 3000 cc's (which is why an MGB is, at 1800 cc's, a :"B",
The second letter stands for how many seats the car has, "N" designating a two-seater ()though the BN4 was an unexplained departure from the system, and
The number is the car model's series, so BN1's--being the first model Healey that Austin produced--is a BN1, succeeded by the BN2 and so on, though there were very few BN3's and I believe only one BN5.

Everything else said above is good advice. Be careful, keep your expectations realistic, educate yourself and bring lots of $$.



Best--Michael Oritt
1954 Austin-Healey 100 (street)
1958 Elva Courier (track) FOR SALE
1959 Elva MK IV sports racer (track)
1961 Ginetta G4 (track)



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 2018-05-12 09:11 PM by Michael Oritt.

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TD4834 Avatar
TD4834 Bill Chasser
Sacramento, CA, USA   USA
Thanks guys for the info. I’m sorry I don’t have any other info on the car. The bonnet appears to have some louvering done to it so it must have been modified early on. He never mentioned having the bonnet repainted. I do know it was a two seater and had the Overdrive transmission. He ran it at club events for a very short period of time but he had just gotten married and my sister was coming into the world in ‘57. The car was sold as its practicality was no longer in the family plan.

On the hunt for a 100 nevertheless.

Bill Chasser
TD/c-8151

simon1966 Avatar
simon1966 Silver Member Simon Griffin
.Madison County, IL, USA   USA
1953 MG TD
1954 Austin-Healey 100 "BEV"
1977 MG MGB
Bill, I think your Dad had a factory M. This rather limits your search :-) Just kidding, seriously deep pockets needed for one of the 640. Still kind of nice to think that it might have been one of those.

TD4834 Avatar
TD4834 Bill Chasser
Sacramento, CA, USA   USA
What’s an m?

Michael Oritt Avatar
LUSBY, MD, USA   USA
For starters go here:

http://www.britishcarforum.com/bcf/showthread.php?79916-What-is-(and-isn-t)-an-Austin-Healey-100M



Best--Michael Oritt
1954 Austin-Healey 100 (street)
1958 Elva Courier (track) FOR SALE
1959 Elva MK IV sports racer (track)
1961 Ginetta G4 (track)

simon1966 Avatar
simon1966 Silver Member Simon Griffin
.Madison County, IL, USA   USA
1953 MG TD
1954 Austin-Healey 100 "BEV"
1977 MG MGB
Bill, in TD parlance the 100M is a bit like a MK2, but there were a lot less of them. The price differential today of a regular 100 and a 100M that is documented to be a factory M is mind boggling. Because of this there have been many 100's upgraded to M spec. There have been cases of outright fraud that have been uncovered. A BN1 can not be a factory M, but even today could be modified up to full M spec. Some were done back in the day by dealers, many have accumulated some of the M bits over the years. A 2 tone BN2 purchased new from a dealer with a louvered bonnet is tantalizing :-)

PAN Avatar
PAN Alwyn Keepence
Ipswich, Queensland, Australia   AUS
G’day Bill, welcome to this forum. First, we have to get you to stop saying “100/4”. There is actually no such animal! The 100 came in either BN1 or BN2. The M variant was a BN2 taken from the Longbridge production line and prior to delivery to the customer, sent to the Donald Healey Motor Co premises in Warwick (just a few miles south). The engine was upgraded to Le Mans specification with higher compression pistons, bigger carbs, camshaft and distributor change. Also the suspension was upgraded. 640 cars were modified in this way. These cars were identified by the build records noting the inclusion of a louvred bonnet. Many 100s were upgraded after market. On top of this there is the 100S but they are so rare, they are best left for another post.
The letters are deciphered thus: B = engine between 2 & 3 litre capacity. N = two seat sports car. 1 = first series (followed by 2, 4, 6, etc). I have to correct Michael Oritt, the MGB was so called as it followed the MGA and was later superseded by the MGC. MG never used the Austin model number system because prior to the merger it was part of the Nuffield Group. By the time of the B’s introduction BMC were using ADO designations (Amalgamated Drawing Office).
Cheers,
Alwyn

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