This classic has a lot of modifications.
One of the many things which is great about Jay Leno’s Garage is the fact he gets that the stories around the cars can be just as interesting as the machines themselves. That’s certainly the case with this 1959 Austin-Healey 100-6. In this segment from the show, Leno has the owner, Garth Hammers, talk about his classic British roadster and what makes it a standout from others.
This is one of those classic stories of boy sees car, boy falls in love with car, boy’s father buys car, boy’s father sells car later, and by many turns of events boy gets car back. How many of us have that one car from our past we would love to drive again and wax softly every night? It’s a story so many can easily identify with.
Built to absolute perfection, this Austin-Healey is quite impressive. The guy who sold it didn’t want to, but he thought he had to move to Europe to take care of his mother, so it being available for purchase was pretty incredible.
At first glance, you can tell there’s something different about this 100-6. It has subtle modifications all over. One of the most obvious is the windshield, which is three inches shorter than the factory setup. To accommodate that lower height, Porsche 356 Speedster seats are used, so that’s the big interior modification. You might also note many lines on the car have been softened, including the wheel arches. Another detail which changes the face of this roadster is that the hood scoop comes all the way to the leading edge of the hood. It’s obvious the first owner wanted to make this car his own, but without going for in-your-face mods.
Austin-Healey had a now-famous maxim when it created the 100: go 100 mph and look great while doing it. It wasn’t just Europeans who craved a potent yet cheap sports car. In America it was snatched up by those who wanted something refined but couldn’t afford a Jaguar. All the changes to this car help it live up better than ever to that maxim.