Showpiece of the Week: Austin Healey 100S

Though it must have been said dozens of times before, Goodwood Revival really is a fabulous event. You could attend without any particular interest in cars and have a great time, such is the array of off-circuit entertainment, food, drink and shopping available. Then, of course, should you have an interest in cars, the Motor Circuit is something approaching nirvana - crammed with impossibly rare, valuable and desirable racing cars. Even static they would make for a good show; that they race so fast and so close all weekend means it's just a joyous few days.

Perhaps the greatest appeal of Revival is the era it represents; Members' Meeting is a brilliant addition to the Goodwood calendar, but for remembering a truly glorious time for British motorsport there's arguably nothing better. When Revival began it celebrated a period that many would have remembered, because it was only 30 years or so previously; today, more than half a century after competitive motorsport finished at Goodwood, the racing cars represent a completely different world.

As such, and given the prestige of events like Revival, to get an eligible racing car now is not an affordable endeavour. As time passes, so the cars get rarer, it would seem the classic market isn't really slowing for the top-drawer stuff, and this is a very significant Austin... Which is all skirting around the subject slightly: this little Healey is for sale at £785,000. Crumbs.

How so? Well, even in the specialised environment of pre-66 racing cars, this is pretty special. 'EVV 106' is not only an incredibly rare spec - one of just four Home Market 100S models, and one of three with a David Brown Aston Martin gearbox - it also has considerable racing heritage.

This car in fact made its motorsport debut at Goodwood Motor Circuit, David Shale driving it on March 26th 1955. During that year, he and the Austin secured numerous club level victories, eventually culminating in Shale securing a runner-up position in the 1956 Autosport Championship event.

With subsequent owners into the 1960s the 100S found success, until it was purchased in 1962 to be one of the founding feature cars of the Arthur Carter collection. Remarkably it remained part of the collection for more than four decades; following that the previous owner acquired it in 2014 and set about an 18-month restoration. Then - and this is where it gets more interesting - the 100S has been prepped for competition by Woolmer Classic Engineering Limited. As such, and because of its provenance from way back when, it's eligible for all manner of classic events: Le Mans Classic, Mille Miglia, Silverstone Classic, Donington Historic Festival and, yes, the Goodwood Revival.

As can be seen by the stickers, those events are something the current owner has embarked on, and why would you not? These are events and experiences that just can't be matched by modern cars, no matter the gulf in performance. To compete at events like the Mille Miglia and Revival remains a dream for many - indeed it will remain a dream for most, given the price - but for the fortunate few this appears to represent a perfect opportunity.

After all, while other cars valid for competition may be available, there can't be many on sale right now that are entirely race ready. This Austin has HTP papers valid until 2027, is FIVA and MSA registered, had that restoration completed just three years ago and has been used properly since. 63 years old it might be, but the Healey sounds like it's in the form of its life.

So yes, it is a lot of money, would have been less money not long ago, perhaps doesn't have the romance of a Ferrari or Jaguar and won't be the world's fastest racing car. Instead this Austin Healey 100S is significant because of where it can be raced, against what and with whom. Anybody who witnessed Revival first hand this weekend and yearned for a seat in anything going around will get it, and the same of course goes for a host of classic events. £800k is a huge sum of cash, but if it means access to - cliche warning one - money can't buy races and - warning two - absolutely priceless driving experiences, then it might prove the best money spent by whoever is fortunate enough. Normal service to be resumed tomorrow, honest, hopefully with something about one-hundredth the price...

See the original advert here.



P.H. O'meter

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Comments (8) Join the discussion on the forum

  • ntiz 10 Sep 2018

    Absolutely lovely.

    But there are much cheaper ways to go racing at the revival. Relatively of course.

  • hondansx 10 Sep 2018

    What a lovely thing; even better without the windscreen. But, despite being involved in classic motorsport and eye-watering reality of costs, I'm not quite sure how they got to that figure!

  • J4CKO 10 Sep 2018

    I knew Healeys had got very expensive, but not that expensive !

    I cant ever really comment it is such a different world and I guess you have to be part of it and very well heeled to know whether its worth it, its not expensive if you can afford it and you can sell it at a later date for the same or more money.

  • fblm 10 Sep 2018

    Is there anyone who watched revival who hasn't been looking for a classic race car today?

  • broganski 11 Sep 2018

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