'Tis the season once more for holiday cheer and I'll try to do my part by featuring fun cars photographed around Christmastime. This one's a lovely blue and white Austin-Healey roadster all dressed up for the season.
The Austin-Healey 100-6 was the brand's second model and their first six-cylinder sports car. It replaced the Austin A90-powered 100 roadster in 1956. The new C-Series engine still came from the British Motor Corporation (BMC) stable but was designed by Morris. The new engine made a little more power and was more refined. Later models were improved with a better intake manifold and cylinder head, producing as many as 117 hp. The body was similar to the 100, but now featured an oval grille with rounded points at either end, and horizontal grille bars. Two versions were sold, the BN4 and the BN6. BN4 cars were a 2+2 format with tiny rear seats for children. BN6s were dedicated two-seaters.
I've seen this Healey a number of times around my area. The year is a bit of a guess as these cars did not really go by model years but by series. The BN4 series was produced from 1956 to 1960 so this car could be any of those years. It's a driver that sometimes shows up on the street with the red 1957 100-6 I featured in 2017. I believe the owners are fellow members of the Golden Gate Austin Healey Club. I found photos in the club website gallery of this car being properly enjoyed on touring events. I think this may be the same car that was featured on the October 2006 cover of Healey Marque magazine. If that's the case, it was restored some years ago by British car specialist Lynn Martin of Forever Healeys in Idaho.
An interesting detail of this car is the set of stamped steel wheels with chrome Austin hubcaps. Many of these older British roadsters came with steel wheels originally but owners have opted to modify them over the years with wire wheels and spinner or knock-off hubcap centers. I admit I generally prefer the wire look, but I respect the owner for keeping it original and that's one reason why I photographed it. This is a beautiful, unpretentious, honest little sports car. It's not a 100 point concours trailer queen. It gets driven. That's what these cars were made for.
Photographed December 2018