Historic Healeys at Bonhams Bond St
Officially referred to as ‘Special Test Cars’, these Healeys might look outwardly similar to showroom stock but were, in reality, highly developed racing cars with featherweight aluminium bodywork and all manner of special equipment.
Bonhams sold ‘NOJ 393’ as a ‘barn-find’ project in December 2011 for a world record £843,000. Not only had it raced at Le Mans in 1953 (amalgamated with components of ‘NOJ 391’ which had been severely damaged in a road accident while in France, and running under that registration), but it was also part of the factory entries at Sebring, Nassau and the Carrera PanAmericana.
Having had quite the most exquisite restoration by marque experts in Australia, it is now in its 1955 Le Mans livery of Spruce Green. That year, driven by Lance Macklin and Les Leston, ‘NOJ 393’ was a development vehicle for the 100S road car, its four-cylinder engine giving a reliable 140bhp. Tragically, the car was involved in the famous accident when Pierre Levegh’s Mercedes-Benz 300 SLR speared into the crowd causing multiple fatalities.
Its sister car from the 1953 24-hour race, ‘NOJ 392’, is finished in Healey Ice Green metallic and is in similarly superb condition. It finished 12th overall at Le Mans in 1953 and also competed at the Mille Miglia.
You can find many Austin-Healeys in the Classic Driver Marketplace
Bonhams' 12 July 2013 Goodwood Festival of Speed sale: www.bonhams.com
Photos: Bonhams / Classic Driver