Riding the Cannonball:

Austin-Healey "100" 289 V8

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When Carroll Shelby transformed the staid, Bristol-powered AC Ace into an instant track warrior by implanting a V-8 FORD heart, scores of privateers went the same route with their Healeys.

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As you can imagine, changing the weight-to-horsepower ratio from 28:1 to something like 7:1 made all the difference in the world. Today, a nice, 289-powered AC Cobra will fetch close to a Million Dollars -- completely out of reach for those of us who have to work for a living. Crazy enough, a 289-powered Healey, which looks like the Cobra's brother from another mother, can be had for about 5% of that . . . if you can find one.

The 1954 Austin-Healey 100 BN1 featured here is such a super rare bird. Powered by a period correct 289 Ford V8 backed by a C-4 tranny, it sounds ferocious and accelerates like a jet fighter that's catapulted off an aircraft carrier.

The engine starts on the button, is in a superb state of tune, healthy as an ox, doesn't need diapers, and displays no ill behavior of any kind.

Curved, minimalist dashboard is all business.

No less than 7 Stewart-Warner gauges provide all the vital information needed.

Genuine leatherette seats are dyed in British Racing Green, a most fitting color that compliments the Jet Black exterior splendidly.

The barchetta-like cockpit, while snug, provides enough space for a longer legged pilot and his flight attendant. A proper black, zippered tonneau cover is included which can be installed to protect the interior.

BN1's windshield can be folded at a low angle. Note painted spoke wheels with knock-off centers.

Trunk is neatly dressed in black Hardura, all of which is in beautiful condition. Note relocated 12-Volt battery.

Healey's undercarriage is perfectly rust free. Notice the straight-as-an-arrow trademark ladder frame, which has been strengthened via longitudinal tubes to handle all the extra power. The car features the front suspension setup from a later Healey, incorporating disc brakes for added stopping prowess. Workmanship is excellent throughout.

Dual sidepipes look amazingly cool and provide proper sound effects.
Stay tuned for more photos and a driving video to come.


You are most welcome to inspect this fine automobile at our location in Ventura, by appointment, or have someone inspect it for you.
Please, direct all inquiries to bill@californiaclassix.com or call us at 805-653-5551.