THE first right-hand-drive Austin Healey in existence is to be sold by international auctioneers Coys at their True Greats sale in London on December 3.
This is the 16th of 20 pre-production Austin Healey 100s, hand-built at Cape Works before production started at the Longbridge factory.
This Healey was delivered to Betty Haig in 1953, who drove it at the Great Auclum speed trials on August 8 that year – just three weeks after purchasing it. She raced it again on the 25th Paris to St. Raphael rally in March 1954 with Enid Riddell. She came first in the over-2-litre class, won a Coupe de Vitesse and finished seventh overall. Reports at the time praised Betty for beating two 2.5-litre Lancia Aurelias.
This unique 1953 Austin Healey 100 has matching numbers and some unique pre-production features, including a highly lightweight aluminium body, aluminium seats, bonnet safety catch and fan cowling. There are believed to be 50 differences between these early cars and the production derivative. It is estimated at £100,000 to £130,000.
Chris Routledge, Managing Partner of Coys, said: “This car is arguably the most significant Austin Healey to be offered on the open market this decade. It is a unique opportunity to inherit a competition car rallied by a true legend like Betty Haig.”
The auction will also feature a 1972 Ferrari Dino 246 GT once owned by the famous Britpop band leader Peter Noone of Herman’s Hermits.
Noone wanted to be in vogue and have the same colour as Clapton’s Dino. Having only been able to purchase a silver car, he immediately commissioned it to be repainted in the striking Viola Dino Metallizzato and it has remained this colour ever since. Noone owned the car until 1983, when it changed hands to another UK owner. This Dino has only 25,800 miles from new and is estimated at £130,000 to £165,000.
Chris Routledge said: “We have a long tradition of selling film, television and celebrity cars, and having such a cool car from such a cool period that belonged to a member of the popular culture at that time is really exciting and fitting. I am sure Mrs Brown’s daughter would have looked lovely in it!”
The sale will also feature a 1963 Maserati 3500 GTI Sebring, estimated at £70,000 to £90,000; a 1938 Hispano Suiza T60 RLA Carroserie Chapron, estimated at £165,000 to £200,000; and a 1933 Lagonda 3 Litre Selector Special, estimated at £85,000 to £100,000.
Coys’ True Greats auction will be held at the Royal Horticultural Society, Lindley Hall, Vincent Square, Westminster, London, SW1P 2PE on Tuesday December 3 at 1pm.