The race: the 12 Hours of Sebring; the year, 1954, just two years after Austin-Healey came into being. And the car? That was the 100S. Driven by Lance Macklin and George Huntoon, it was up against works teams from Lancia and Aston Martin, their drivers including Juan-Manuel Fangio and Carroll Shelby. In fact Sir Stirling Moss won the race – driving an Osca – but in a major coup for the fledgling British firm, the Austin-Healey came third.
Adopting the “win on Sunday, sell on Monday” principle, Austin-Healey quickly put into production a run of 55 100Ss to mark the success, all right-hand-drive despite being aimed primarily at the US market. Just four cars were reserved for the UK, one being the car you see here which Bonhams is going to be auctioning in London on 4th December.