Developed by Donald Healey to be an affordable sports car capable of reaching 100 mph to be produced by his small company, it was introduced at the 1952 London Motor Show and was an immediate sensation. Powered by an Austin engine, overnight a deal was struck to mass produce the car with Austin boss Leonard Lord and the Healey 100 became the Austin Healey 100.
The early cars (BN1) had a 3 - speed gearbox coupled with an overdrive that operated on second and third gears, effectively making a 5 speed transmission. Later 100's produced from 1955-1956 had a 3 - speed gearbox with overdrive operating on the top gear. A purpose built racing variant appeared in 1955 and titled 100S. Austin Healeys contested Le Mans, Sebring, Mille Miglia and other prominant racing events. They are best known however for being staples on racing grids in amateur racing events in the 1950's.