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Austin-Healey 100S Le Mans 1955


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#1 Doug Nye

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Posted 19 March 2004 - 23:11

Are there any Austin-Healey experts paying attention? I am interested in the specific identity of the car driven by Lance Macklin during his fateful outing in the 1955 Le Mans 24-Hour race. Can anyone contribute reference or their knowledge of chassis number, engine number, that kind of data, or any photos of the car before its collision with 'Levegh's Mercedes, or during practice for that year's 24-Hours???? I'll explain why later...he added (weakly :rolleyes: )

DCN

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#2 HangtownHealey

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Posted 19 March 2004 - 23:30

Doug,
I am the keeper of the 100S Register. Here is information from the database. You can see the car in Bill Emerson's book Austin Healey. Chassis - SPL 226B engine - 1B136878 rego NOJ393 current owner Scott, Jack of the U.K. history 53 LeMans damaged, 55 Lemans damaged, 54 Pan American( Macklin), unrestored, Le Mans damaged repaired. Sorry I have to leave the computer until Monday.
Ken Freese

#3 WDH74

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Posted 20 March 2004 - 02:27

I have Bill Emerson's "The Healey Book" as well, and had a quick peek. Apparently the car sports aloominum wings on one side and steel on t'other. There was some doubt about the car's provenance at one point, until the original racing screen was fitted up to the car, and the mounting holes matched up. The car is blue and gold and pretty beat up, but at least its still around.
-William

#4 marat

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Posted 20 March 2004 - 07:16

Here some photos.

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Posted Image

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#5 Doug Nye

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Posted 20 March 2004 - 18:04

Thanks for such speedy response and information - I have been told an extraordinary story about the car which I find hard to credit and am currently researching further...

;) DCN

#6 WDH74

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Posted 20 March 2004 - 22:13

Interesting photos, Marat! Anyone notice the writing on the inside of the trunklid? AHN 26, I think it says.
-William

#7 David Birchall

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Posted 21 March 2004 - 02:17

Interesting photos... surprising really that the car was rebuilt considering the amount of damage and the nature of the accident.

Perhaps Ken Freese can confirm/deny that this is the car own and raced by Hugh Sutherland of Toronto in the late fifties-early sixties-I talked with him several times about that car and he always claimed a "works" history for it.

As a lifelong Austin Healey nut and, after sharing a couple of bottles of scotch with Donald Healey, I get very upset with people blaming Macklin and the Healey for the accident at LeMans.
David B

#8 David McKinney

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Posted 21 March 2004 - 07:40

According to my records (which won't be as good as Mr Hangtown's ;) ), Sutherland's was a production car supplied to him new

#9 David Birchall

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Posted 21 March 2004 - 18:19

Thats interesting David, Sutherland claimed both in converstion and in writing that his car was delivered to him after it had participated in the Nassau Speed Week. I recall it had Weber carbs which is unusual on a customer 100S. Perhaps Ken Freese can clear this up?

#10 Doug Nye

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Posted 21 March 2004 - 19:28

Originally posted by David Birchall
... after sharing a couple of bottles of scotch with Donald Healey, I get very upset with people blaming Macklin and the Healey for the accident at LeMans. David B


Presumably just as upset as 'Lofty' England used to get with people blaming Hawthorn and the works D-Type for the accident at Le Mans...??? They both - and 'Levegh' too - and the Le Mans authorities - were each 'involved' to some degree. But in the circumstances it's hardly surprising that positions were adopted at the time which would be vigorously defended by the principals ever after...

'AHN 26' on the boot lid - 'Austin Healey (race) Number 26' perhaps????

DCN

#11 David Birchall

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Posted 21 March 2004 - 21:46

Your'e right Doug, of course, it was a "Racing accident". Numerous causes, and as many possible outcomes.

Can we hear what it was that started this thread? What hienous rumour did you hear?
David B

#12 HangtownHealey

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Posted 22 March 2004 - 15:21

I have been in contact with Hugh Sutherland during 2003 on his car AHS3805. He is the original owner. He said that the car may have been intended as a factory team car back up because of the special things on it and that it was repainted BRG over the standard paint before delivery to Austin of Canada as their team car. Dennis Profit was the racing manager for Austin of England and became the same for Austin of Canada and he is connected with the car and selling it to Hugh right away. It came from the factory with Webers and the little shroud scoop, Mallory ignition, Isky cam, no badges, no dash plaque, and air bags in the front springs!. There were no floor mats or trim except for the door faces. A four inch oval exhaust straight pipe. He raced it at Nassau but he was not a Healey Team member. The restoration got started last year. Definitely not the LeMans NOJ car.
Ken

#13 David Birchall

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Posted 22 March 2004 - 16:44

Sutherland had the car for sale for a few thousand dollars in the seventies! :cry:
Thanks for the info Ken, Mallory ignition and Isky cam! blimey!
David B

#14 xkssFrankOpalka

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Posted 25 March 2004 - 04:32

I had a AH100S cylinder hd for sale in the 60s, I think it came from a car that had a Corvette engine installed. It was said there were 50 made but it seems like a large number. Anyone confirm that?

#15 Ray Bell

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Posted 25 March 2004 - 10:05

Originally posted by xkssFrankOpalka
I had a AH100S cylinder hd for sale in the 60s, I think it came from a car that had a Corvette engine installed. It was said there were 50 made but it seems like a large number. Anyone confirm that?


Maybe the car that Alan Jones imported into Australia?

Production number, is that your question? From memory there were 55, at the time Alan brought his in there was eleven in Australia... about ten (again, IIRC) had been destroyed by that time... circa 1978.

Did your head have the carburettors on both sides?

#16 HangtownHealey

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Posted 25 March 2004 - 16:19

XKSSFrank,
There were at least 8 100S's that had Chevy V8's fitted to them in America including Allan Jone's car. Can you tell me where you were living and how you came by the 100S head? Maybe it will help figure out an original owner. A couple of months ago, I found a 2nd owner in Maryland that installed a Chevy V8 into his S in 1957.
Ken

#17 David Birchall

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Posted 25 March 2004 - 16:48

In the seventies I was working as a flight attendant with CPAir and in converstion with one of the pilots one day he told me that his father in law had a 100S! I tracked the guy down and indeed he had owned a 100S but had sold it long before. He used to drive it from Montreal to Vancouver and back each year he said. The car was never raced. I eventually tracked the car down to Oregon where it had been fitted with a Chevy V8 but sold shortly before I learned of it to some guy in Australia! That was the car Alan Jones had I believe.
Regards, David B

#18 HangtownHealey

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Posted 25 March 2004 - 17:05

David,
I don't show any Canadians as owners of the Alan Jones car although having the Nelson brother owning the car for multiple times is confusing. Likewise with Hugh Sutherland owning two 100S's for a short time.
The Alan Jones car is AHS 3603. 3/8/55 Detroit Kopplin, Karl St. Louis 1955 - 1957; Roberts, W. Munro Illinois; Nelson, Harry&Glenn St. Louis 1959 - 1961; Peace, Jackson USA 1961 - ? ;Wilson, Jack USA; Nelson, Gene & Harry St. Louis; Jones, Alan Sydney 1973 - 1979; Rees, John Brisbane 1979 - 1999; Combs, Phillip New Mexico 1999 - 2001; Burke, Fred 2001 -;
SCCA raced by KK & MR., raced early 60'S w V8 by JP., Australian vintage, 2000 Monterey Historics w Coombs Corvette V8 by Nelson, removed by Jones, to Australia 1974, to USA 2000, original engine from California.
Can you give me the name of the 100S owner and I will see if he is in the database?
Ken

#19 David Birchall

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Posted 25 March 2004 - 18:03

Hi Ken, I was afraid you'd ask that-have you seen the signature at the bottom of my posts?
The guy was a doctor who moved to Yreka California. Remember Yreka? It's where we had the first AH meet with Donald Healey attending. It was at that time (1976?) that I was corresponding with him. He had to go to a medical conference or something on that weekend so he missed the meet. Also, I don't think he believed me when I told him that Donal Healey was coming to his little town! I will dig through some stuff and see if I can find him again. I told Steve Pike this story years ago.
Regards, David B

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#20 HangtownHealey

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Posted 25 March 2004 - 18:08

David,
Ok, I know the car you are talking about and the Doctor's name. He wrote an article on him self and the car in the mid 80's. The car was last seen much modified in San Jose in the early 70's. This last sentance will be enough for a fraud to be constucted. It has been done before from perusing the 100S Register on the web.
Ken

#21 David Birchall

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Posted 25 March 2004 - 18:22

OK Ken now you have my attention! Can you email or fax me the article and maybe pm me with the story on the fraud. I was give to understand the car had gone to Australia-is that so?
David B

#22 David Birchall

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Posted 25 March 2004 - 21:26

:cool:
Well, for anybody reading this Ken pm'd me some info. It seems that there maybe more AH 100S cars out there than ever left the Cape factory....(Why are we not surprised?)

I wonder which car is the most replicated?

Jaguar D type, C type,

Ferrari 250 GTO (Sob!!)

Frazer Nash LM Replica

Short chassis 4 1/2 Bentley

Bugatti T35

Lotus 23

Shelby Cobra (Probably)

I suppose I should qualify this by asking for genuine (?) replicas : i.e. cars that could pass as originals

Whats your pleasure?

#23 Ray Bell

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Posted 25 March 2004 - 21:35

Originally posted by HangtownHealey
.....to USA 2000, original engine from California.....


Oh dear, poor Alan would turn over in his grave if he knew that! After all the work he did to foster importing the 100S to Australia, and his own car, of course...

Hangtown... how did you get on with that car I asked about early last year?

#24 scags

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Posted 25 March 2004 - 21:37

The GTO's would be a tough sell( Most of the 37 cars have solid histories) , but you forgot maserati 250f's

#25 Ray Bell

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Posted 25 March 2004 - 21:47

...and Torana XU1s...

#26 David Birchall

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Posted 25 March 2004 - 22:12

Originally posted by scags
The GTO's would be a tough sell( Most of the 37 cars have solid histories) , but you forgot maserati 250f's



:blush: yes I did forget the 250F didn't I?

As regards the GTO; yes the histories of the "Real" cars are known but there are good replicas out there based on 250GTE chassis mostly I believe. Personally I am in favour of them since it would be very difficult to pass one off as the real thing-no so the case with the less well documented cars.
David B

ps should this be a separate thread?

pps What the bloody 'ells a "Torana XV1s" Ray?

#27 xkssFrankOpalka

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Posted 26 March 2004 - 01:49

The 100S was in Chicago yrs ago and belonged to Derrick Brown, a local racer. He installed a SB Chevy, wickly fast, I dont know the chassis # or what happened to the car, My head had both carbs on 1 side. I am looking to buy an AH 100 with Chevy engine installed, anyone know of any?

#28 soubriquet

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Posted 26 March 2004 - 02:26

Originally posted by David Birchall


pps What the bloody 'ells a "Torana XV1s" Ray?


The XU1 is the product of a deranged mind. Basically it is an HB Vauxhaul Viva with the front end stretched and the 1100cc chugger replaced with a tuned 186 ci Holden 6 (aka boat anchor).

Australian cars of the period were better at more or less straight lines than turning or stopping.

#29 Ray Bell

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Posted 26 March 2004 - 05:19

Originally posted by soubriquet
The XU1 is the product of a deranged mind. Basically it is an HB Vauxhaul Viva with the front end stretched and the 1100cc chugger replaced with a tuned 186 ci Holden 6 (aka boat anchor).

Australian cars of the period were better at more or less straight lines than turning or stopping.


Much more than that...

For instance, it had the same front brakes as the Mk 2 Jag, a unique front suspension, bigger wheels and rear end, and the 186 with its triple Strombergs was not to be sneezed at. Nor the later 202...

The one thing it did lack (for such a non-pedigreed car...) was a bit of track, but there was a whole era of Aussie cars those days which had plenty of grunt and handled as well.

Damon Beck should come in on this one...

#30 soubriquet

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Posted 28 March 2004 - 05:11

Sorry to drift, but....

Ray, what sort of bhp did the XU1s make? I've never seen any numbers, standard or otherwise. From very unreliable memory wasn't the breathing restricted by siamesed inlets?

I do know that one of the trick racing mods was to substitute an Alfa gearbox, which is a bit of a tribute to the box's integrity.

Cheers

#31 Ray Bell

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Posted 28 March 2004 - 10:27

I only know of one car that got an Alfa box... that was Frank Ure's Sports Sedan...

I think they had over 200bhp from the 202 engine in the end. But the sales brochures didn't mention figures that high at all. And yes, the ports were shared, but not as totally siamesed as in the BMC creations... it was possible to put a divider in there, though the original manifolds didn't have that. There was also a post in there for the headstuds... very wide ports coped with this.

#32 Paul Newby

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Posted 29 March 2004 - 07:15

This has got very much OT Ray, but what of the Group C Toranas running triple gigantic Weber DCOE58s with one throat blocked. There must be an interesting story there. Did they also use Weber 58s on the Tasman Coventry Climax engines as well?

Getting back on topic, how many Austin Healey 100S remain in Australia, it would appear that, like with a lot of other rarities, they have left the country. I certainly haven't seen one on racing (as opposed to regularity) for a while.

#33 David McKinney

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Posted 29 March 2004 - 08:29

The 2.5 Climax FPFs did indeed run 58mm Webers

On the Australian 100S's - last time I checked, I got the impression there are more now than were imported in the 1950s. There's a website somewhere with a list of current owners worldwide

#34 HangtownHealey

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Posted 29 March 2004 - 20:30

5 100S's were imported new into Australia. Now there are 11 from Portugal, UK, and the US. also a couple of replica's. The Aussies started searching the world over in the 70's while the rest of us were asleep. For the abbreviated 100S Registry, look at Austin Healey Club USA at http://www.healey.org/

#35 Pedro 917

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Posted 29 March 2004 - 21:39

At the August 1992 Nürburgring Old Timer GP, whilst taking lots of pictures of the BRM P154 CanAm car of owner Jöst Kalisch, I've met an American who was standing there and asked me why I had this special interest in the car. I told him that, most probably, Pedro Rodriguez had driven the (original) car and that Pedro was my hero and that I collected everything about him. He told me that he'd raced the brothers at the Bahamas and became very close to them. His name is Walt Monaco and I asked him if he had pictures from that period and he told me that he'd just given away some signed pictures to a journalist but that he would try to recuperate them. I gave him my address, we talked some more and we returned home. I'd completely forgotten about him when, in December, I found this large envelope in the doorway of my apartment. I saw his name on the backside and "Do not bend" written all over the envelope. When I opened it, I was stupefied, perplex. Here were 5 pictures of Pedro and Ricardo Rodriguez, all signed and dedicated to him and his wife. It was accompanied by a short note, merely saying "hope you enjoy the pictures". I did manage to call him to express my gratitude. My brother, who lived in Germany at the time, went to see him and he was living all alone, very close to the Nürburgring. He had so many stories to tell and one night he gave a large box to my brother, containing many books and automobilia. When he returned home, he could take a good look at it and then found out that he was a class winner in the 1957 Mille Miglia, competing in an Austin Healey and navigating for Tommy Wisdom. The MM silver cup was in the box.....Also this picture of him driving an Austin Healey 100S at the Nürburgring. Can anyone tell me what year it was and which race? If anyone should know more about his racing days, I would love to know about it. We also know that he was very close with Stirling Moss, Hawthorn and Fangio. There's a picture of him in the book "Challenge me the race" helping Hawthorn to get out of his Ferrari at Spa. We lost track of him when he moved to another city, he once told my brother that he was going to retreat in a monastery. He must be in his seventies now. He once told my brother that he'd fought the battle of the Ardennes and that he was the only one of his peloton to survive it.....

Here's a picture of the Austin Healey at the Milli Miglia :

Posted Image

and here's the picture of him at the Ring :

Posted Image

Does anyone know the chassis # and also if the car was his? Thanks for your help.

#36 scags

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Posted 29 March 2004 - 22:46

wow. Sometimes, being friendly pays off!

#37 HangtownHealey

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Posted 29 March 2004 - 23:10

This never made any sense to me but: AHS 3607 was imported new to San Francisco and later advertised in an American magazine in the late 60's. The add said MM, Nurburging, and FIA. I obtained a picture by a later mid 1970's owner showing the "famous" Healey team registration NOJ393 on a red car with number 26 on the side. I talked to the mid 60's owner and he knew nothing of a foreign history for the car. So I discounted the add wording as "similar to" addspeak.
Maybe not? I will do a little more research into car number 247 tonight.

#38 David McKinney

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Posted 30 March 2004 - 05:37

According to my records, OON439 (c/no SPL256BN) was driven in the 1954 Mille Miglia by Macklin, though whether or not it also did latr MMs I am not sure. It certainly looks like Wisdom in the photo, but it could be a different car with the same number plate.
The LHD car in the second photo is of course a non-100S Healey.

NOJ393 was on the 1954 works car SPL226B

#39 David McKinney

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Posted 30 March 2004 - 05:45

PS
http://www.wsrp.wz.cz says Wisdom and Monaco were in Car 247 in the 1956 Mille Miglia. The site calls the car a 100M, which is preusmably a mustake

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#40 HangtownHealey

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Posted 30 March 2004 - 15:20

Tommy Wisdom and W. Monaco finished 77 over all and 2nd in class in the April 1956 MM per Needham's book in a 100S.

Here is a quote from Tommy Wisdom's Austin-Healey Guide.
"There was no official working team for the Mille Miglia of 1956, representation being left to the two private entries of leslie Brooks and the well-known motoring journalist and racing driver, Tommy Wisdom, who was taking part in the race for the 10th time. Wisdom took Walt Monacoas his passenger while Brooks took rally driver Stan Asbury. The latter pair unfortuanately crashed early, luckily escaping with nothing worse than bruises. But Wisdom's great experience of the course helped him to finish as runner-up in his price category class."

I would have thought the "experienced journalist" might have done better than 77th.

#41 Ted Walker

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Posted 31 March 2004 - 08:00

I would very much like to know the present location of the 100s I once owned .Reg No RLF500. I sold it to aguy on the Isle ofWhight. I expect its now "down under". Its the only 100s Ive seen that had a quick release radiator grille(tool in original tool kit) and was fitted with a large cylinderical oil cooler. It seemed rather expensive at £750 but that was in the early 70s.

#42 Ray Bell

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Posted 31 March 2004 - 08:07

Originally posted by HangtownHealey
5 100S's were imported new into Australia. Now there are 11 from Portugal, UK, and the US. also a couple of replica's. The Aussies started searching the world over in the 70's while the rest of us were asleep. For the abbreviated 100S Registry, look at Austin Healey Club USA at http://www.healey.org/


Not to mention the engine with the carbies hanging off both sides... or has that left us again now?

I note in the list that David Shmith has his name mispelled...

#43 Richard Neale

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Posted 31 March 2004 - 08:55

2 interesting pics here at Edenvale in '55 http://frank-smart.f...et/c141073.html

#44 David McKinney

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Posted 31 March 2004 - 09:17

More than 2!
OT - you know of course the Cooper is a Mk IV (or earlier), not a Mk V :cool:

#45 Richard Neale

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Posted 31 March 2004 - 09:28

I was trying to stay 'On Subject' ! Some one sent me thi link for the Cooper pic, but I noticed the 2 pics of the grid with the 100S & 100/4 which could be relanvent to this thread.

As you've dragged me off subject !!!! ~~~
The Cooper 500s that raced in Ontario, or elsewhere in the hands of Ontario
drivers, from 1950 to 1954. Paul White, Peter Dillnut and Russ
Moodie all drove a Cooper 500 in that period. White drove for owner
Charlie Wheaton. Dillnut probably drove for him too. Because
there is no overlap between these three, I have come to suspect that
there may have been only one Cooper 500 in eastern Canada
at the time. Now Frank has evidence of a Cooper 500 racing at Edenvale
in 1955 - a year or so after Moodie's last appearance with
a Cooper. Could it be the same car? Who is Clark, the driver in
Frank's picture? Was he a Canadian?

#46 soubriquet

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Posted 31 March 2004 - 10:01

Please pardon my ignorance, but what made a 100s an "S"?

Thanks

#47 Ray Bell

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Posted 31 March 2004 - 10:13

Originally posted by soubriquet
Please pardon my ignorance, but what made a 100s an "S"?


To be honest, I was going to delve into this myself...

There are certain things I know. Four wheel disc brakes, the engine and gearbox (from memory...) differed from the 100, the grille was different...

The engine was the main point. It had an alloy head with much improved breathing, while the crank was nitrided steel and the stud pattern differed from the original to cater for the different porting, which meant the block casting was different too.

I am of the opinion that the crank came from the diesel variant of the engine, but I may be wrong (of course...), while the block casting may also have been from the diesel, but was more likely a special run through the foundry.

The 'S' stood for 'Sebring' didn't it?

#48 Richard Neale

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Posted 31 March 2004 - 11:03

Having been an ardent 100/4 owner in the early '60s ~~~ My memory is a bit vague, but surely the 100S only had discs up front ???
The blocks and cranks on all 100/4s were the same as used on the Taxi engine which was also used it a small truck.

#49 Ray Bell

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Posted 31 March 2004 - 11:10

You miss my point...

The block was from the Austin A90 Atlantic, while (to my knowledge...) the truck only ever had the 2.2 litre version.

The 'taxi' engine would have been either the 2.2 petrol or the diesel variant, the size of which is beyond my knowledge.

There is no doubt that the 100S engine had a different block casting to the standard 100... it had headstuds in different places, and that meant that the casting had to cater for those drillings. The main reason I mentioned the diesel engine was because I would have expected it to have a different (stronger...) crankshaft, and BMC were pretty good at sharing standard parts around when they went into competition.

As for the brakes, you could get 4-wheel discs ex-factory for road cars, these cars being the 100Ms. Or is my memory failing me there too?

#50 Richard Neale

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Posted 31 March 2004 - 11:20

Arh! Memory! What a treasured thing ~ If it works!
My 100/4 had a works Disc convertion ~ bloody awful Dunlop things which were not self adjusting and the pedal just got longer and longer. This was on the front only. Can't honestly remember if rears were an option.
I also did a bare chassis up restoration on an Atlantic convertible about 15 years ago with an up rated engine (so it would do a gebuine 100mph ~~~ :eek: Terrifying!). I can remember buying a load of taxi engine parts and 100/4 bits to help with the build but which were which ????