The Austin Healey 100
The "100" was named by Healey for the car's ability to reach 100 mph (160 km/h); its successor, the better known Austin-Healey 3000, was named for the 3000 cc displacement of its engine.
Production Austin-Healey 100s were finished at Austin's Longbridge plant alongside the A90 and based on fully trimmed and painted body/chassis units produced by Jensen in West Bromwich—in an arrangement the two companies previously had explored with the Austin A40 Sports. 14,634 Austin-Healey 100s were produced.
The 100 was the first of three models later called the Big Healeys to distinguish them from the much smaller Austin-Healey Sprite.
The 1956 Austin Healey 100-4 BN2 & 100M
In 1955, a high-performance 100M model was introduced, with larger carburettors, a cold air box to increase engine air flow, high-lift camshaft and 8.1:1 compression pistons. It produced 110 bhp (82 kW) at 4500 rpm.
The front suspension was stiffened and the bonnet gained louvres, along with a bonnet belt. Approximately 70% of 100Ms were finished with a two-tone paint scheme, including one White over Red and another in Black over Pink for display at the 1955 London Motor Show. In all, 640 100Ms were built by the factory.
The 100M components (except for the high compression pistons) were also available as the Le Mans Engine Modification Kit, which could be installed in either a BN1 or BN2 with the engine in situ, improving the power output to approximately 100 bhp (75 kW) at 4500 rpm.
The kit could be ordered from BMC, allowing private owners to make their own modifications.The BN2 was available initially in Carmine Red which was replaced with Reno Red, Spruce Green, Healey Blue, Florida Green, Old English White, Black, and approximately 50 Gunmetal Grey cars. Two-tone options were: White/Black; Reno Red/Black; Healey Blue/White; Black/Reno Red; and Florida Green/White
By January 1956 production was running at 200 cars each month and sales in California 150 cars each month.