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The Austin-Healey 100 is a sports car built from 1953 until 1956. It was developed by Donald Healey to be produced in-house by Healey's small car company in Warwick and based on Austin A90 Atlantic mechanicals. Healey built a single Healey Hundred for the 1952 London Motor Show, and the design impressed Leonard Lord, managing director of Austin, who was looking for a replacement to the unsuccessful A90. Lord struck a deal with Healey to build it in quantity, bodies made by Jensen Motors were given Austin mechanical components at Austin's Longbridge factory. The car was renamed the Austin-Healey 100.
The "100" was named by Healey for the car's ability to reach 100 mph (160 km/h); its successor, the better known Austin-Healey 3000, was named for the 3000 cc displacement of its engine.
Production Austin-Healey 100s were finished at Austin's Longbridge plant alongside the A90 and based on fully trimmed and painted body/chassis units produced by Jensen in West Bromwich—in an arrangement the two companies previously had explored with the Austin A40 Sports.
The 100 was the first of three models later called the Big Healeys to distinguish them from the much smaller Austin-Healey Sprite. The Big Healeys are often referred to by their three-character model designators rather than by their models, as the model names do not reflect the mechanical differences and similarities well.
The first 100s (series "BN1") were equipped with the same undersquare 87.3 mm (3.4 in) bore and 111.1 mm (4.4 in) stroke 90 bhp (67 kW) 2660 cc I4 engines and manual transmission as the stock A90, but the transmission was modified to be a three-speed unit with overdrive on second and top.
Girling 11 in (279.4 mm) drum brakes were fitted all round. Front suspension was independent using coil springs and at the rear a rigid axle with semi elliptic leaf springs. The steering was cam and lever.
A total of 10030 BN1s were built from May 1953 until replaced by the BN2 model in August 1955
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