A 1953 Austin-Healey that raced in the inaugural New Zealand Grand Prix will make its public show debut at Race Retro in Stoneleigh Park, Coventry, UK, this weekend, February 26-28, the first time it has been on public display anywhere in the world.
In storage for 34 years, the car has undergone a nine-year restoration. Sam Thomas Racing has recently prepared the Healey to compete in historical events throughout 2016. The car is on loan from owner Paul Roberts, whose collection includes significant rally cars including the Pat Moss Healey, an ex-works Tiger and a Rauno Aaltonen Mini.
The Healey 100/4 BN1, chassis number 145426, was one of three works cars that were sent to take part in the inaugural New Zealand GP on January 9, 1954. This Healey is an incredibly rare survivor of the era of racing when sports cars would compete against single-seaters. On the starting grid at the Ardmore Circuit that day in 1954 was Jack Brabham’s Cooper-Bristol MkII, a works-entered supercharged BRM V16, a pre-war Alfa Romeo Monza and various locally built specials.
Austin-Healey number 145426 was sold in October 1954 and after passing through various owners, was placed into storage in 1971 where it remained for 24 years. Restoration commenced in 2005, and the 100/4 returned to the UK in 2014. Today the Carmine Red 100/4 looks in every detail the way it did when it left the factory in October 1953, with an original chassis, body and engine and 16-inch racing wheels. For more information, please visit www.raceretro.com