Here's to the Forgotten Roadster
Patina: 1956 Austin Healey 100-Four (Photo Essay)
When you think of the classic British sports cars of the 1950s and ‘60s, MG, Jaguar, Aston Martin and Triumph tend to come to mind first. But arguably the most beautiful of the genre was the series of roadsters made by Austin Healey during the company’s short run, with their long sweeping haunches, short rear end and aggressive grilles.
The car pictured here is perhaps the archetypal Healey – a 1956 100-Four. Designed by Donald Healey and built in partnership with the Austin motor company, the 100-Four was named as such because it was supposedly the first car to hit 100 miles per hour using a four-cylinder engine.
Distinguished from its later brethren, the 100-Six and the 3000, the 100-Four featured a “keyhole” grille, minimal creature comforts and a folding windscreen. The latter was insisted upon by Donald Healey himself, who wanted the car to be a capable racer as well as touring roadster. Fold down the windscreen, strap on some goggles and hit the track. Then dust yourself off, raise the windscreen and drive it home.
Our photo essay on this beautiful vehicle begins after the break.
Photos by Gishani for Gear Patrol. Special thanks to the Curtis Carlson for providing his Healey.