Big Healey will bring howls of delight
The howl of a well-driven Big Healey has always appealed to car enthusiasts, with the result that driving enjoyment is a huge feature of the purchase decision.
While originality still counts for many, improvements to enhance ownership and the driving experience are equally valued.
“People forget that the Austin-Healey 100/4, which morphed into the 100/6 and then the 3000 Series, had a longer lifespan than all the Jaguar E-Type series put together and entered far tougher competition events, too,” explains Brian.
“These Big Healeys cut their teeth in the hardest arena of all, international rallying, as well as competing to good effect in circuit racing. So a Healey that’s skilfully modified for fast road use always appeals, particularly when this is achieved without significant compromise to body originality.”
In our next DVCA sale, the auction house’s 50th and to be held at Henstridge Airfield between Shaftesbury and Sherborne on Thursday July 11th, a 1957 Austin-Healey 100/6 (estimate £45,000-£55,000) modified for fast road use will take pride of place in the marquee.
“The car has an engine rebuilt to higher than the last-of-the-line BJ8 specification as well as many electrical and driveline modifications for driving and handling enhancement,” adds Brian.
“At the same time, the original body has been preserved and attention to detail includes modern wheels specified with tyres that give the same rolling diameter as those used by the car’s original designer, Gerry Coker, to maintain the correct overall appearance.”
Classic sports cars are also represented in the sale by a 1969 Lotus Elan S4 convertible (£22,000 – £24,000), initially registered in Bristol and now on a replacement galvanised chassis, plus a 1976 MG Midget 1500 project (£3,000 - £3,500) that would benefit from attention to the interior and transmission.
Harking back to the earlier days of motoring are a 1921 Jouffret four seater tourer (£19,000 - £22,000), the only example of the short-lived French make still known to exist, and a 1924 Mathis Type PM Trefle Tourer (£10,000 – £12,000) which was bought from The Automobile magazine’s own fleet.
Continuing the between-the-wars theme is a 1936 Austin 7 Opal Tourer (£7,500 – £9,500), which has come from a private collection and promises delightful summer motoring for its next owner. More than three decades newer, but still a welcome sight on summer jaunts, is a 1972 Triumph Stag with hardtop (£6,000 – £8,000), sure to delight with the woofle of its Triumph V8 motor that is helped to relax when cruising by the fitted overdrive.
Lovers of Italian cars have a choice of modern Alfa Romeo models, a 2003 156 3.2 V6 GTA Sportwagon (£7,000 – £8,000) that promises some very fast deliveries or a 2005 GTV 2.0 JTS (£1,750 – £2,500) with its distinctive coupe styling.
Modern classics are generating real appeal among more recent additions to the “family” of motoring enthusiasts, with the 1995 BMW 840 Ci Auto (£5,500 – £6,500) now finding demand that was absent when it was new. The Volkswagen Golf, on the other hand, has never been lacking for fans who may well appreciate the 2002 2.3 V5 five door automatic (£1,000 – £2,000) which promises the perfect entrée to classic motoring with its blend of a throaty five cylinder engine, easy driving auto box, and family hatch practicality.
Three cars promising stately elegance are a brace of Armstrong-Siddeley and a Bentley – the marque founded by WO Bentley and kept alive by Rolls-Royce and then VW which celebrates its centenary this year.
Older of the Armstrongs is a 1940 16hp Six-Light Saloon (£2,000 – £3,000), created just before the company switched to aircraft manufacture as part of the war effort so a rare survivor of motoring from the era. It has been in the same ownership (its second) for 50 years, garaged, never driven in the wet during that time, and fresh from long term dry storage so now requiring some recommissioning. The second is a 1959 Star Sapphire (£30,000 - £35,000) from a private collection where it had undergone a restoration believed to have cost £85,000.
Bentley is represented by a Brooklands model registered on December 1, 1993 (£12,000 – £14,000). The Brooklands was intended to appeal to younger drivers and named after the Surrey race track where WO established his credentials before taking Le Mans by storm with five wins in the 1920s. Powering the car is the 6.75 litre V8 engine that celebrates its 60th anniversary this year.
Opulent wood trim is a Bentley feature – on a less grand scale it also appears in the 1963 Riley 1.5 Series III (£7,000 – £9,000) in the sale, the ultimate derivative of what started life as the humble Morris Minor.