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.


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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.