The History of the 1959 Austin-Healey 100-6
Classic car enthusiasts who value speed above all else should check out the 1959 Austin-Healey 100-6. One of the sleekest roadsters of the late 1950s, the Healey 100-6 improved upon the Healey 100 in a number of ways and paved the way for its successor, the Healey 3000. Not surprisingly, this plucky little vehicle has quite the history behind it.
When the British Motorcar Corporation (BMC) debuted the 1959 Austin-Healey 100-6, the roadster quickly garnered praise from automotive publications and car buyers alike. Road & Track magazine lauded the vehicle’s smooth handling, rapid acceleration, and responsive steering. However, the same publication cautioned motorists to take heed of the vehicle’s oddly positioned exhaust pipe, which was known to produce strange noises.
Following success of the Austin-Healey 100, BMC decided to step up their game under the hood. This prompted them to equip the 100-6 with Austin Westminster 2,639cc C-Series engines. These powerful four-cylinder behemoths enabled the 100-6 series to go from zero to 50 in under half a minute. Fully aware that roadster owners prioritized speed, BMC enhanced the engines’ power with state-of-the-art cylinder heads and manifolds.
One of most common complaints about the Austin-Healey 100 was the vehicle’s relative lack of seating. Like many roadsters of its day, the car only featured two seats: passenger and driver. To make the Healey 100-6 more accessible to families and people who travel in groups, BMC included two removable rear seats with the vehicle. When not in use, these seats could easily be detached and stored in the car’s trunk.
Auto junkies who are fascinated by 1950s roadsters and British ingenuity will have a hard time overlooking the 1959 Austin-Healey 100-6. A triumph of automotive design and engineering, the Healey 100-6 is still regarded as a top-of-the-line classic roadster over 50 years after its debut.