Austin Healey 100S
RLF 500 was originally dispatched from the Donald Healey Motor Company factory in Warwick to Drayson Motors on 8th June 1955 and was purchased by Ted Evans, director of Carlaw Cars (the Scottish Austin dealership). Evans raced the car extensively as a privateer, entering many races, and competed on some notable circuits including Goodwood (1955), Oulton Park (1956-57), Mallory Park (1956-57), and Charterhall (1956-57). [RLF 500 has also been seen at Silverstone, Snetterton Park, and Brands Hatch.]
RLF 500 was then sold to Hillhead Automobile Company in 1958 where a young Bill MacKay picked up the baton. The car was then entered mainly in club events and regional competitions, including the famous ‘Rest-and-be-Thankful’ hill-climb. [As a result, MacKay was picked up by David Murray, of the legendary Scottish motoring team Ecurie Ecosse, leading to subsequent drives in an Aston Martin DB3S and Murray’s Jaguar D-Type.]
RLF 500 continued to enjoy competition at various provincial events with subsequent owners, before passing to Barclay Wilson in 1962. Several owners later it ended up in the ownership of Austin Healey enthusiast Keith Brading in the early 1970s. By this stage though it had become separated from its original engine. After a few unsuccessful attempts to reunite the car with the correct engine, Brading sold the car to Barry Darley in Australia. Darley’s search proved more fruitful; the car received a rare ex-works ‘Special Test’ engine supplied by Joe Jarrick.
That engine (SPL258BN) which incorporated a unique angle-faced cylinder-head was sourced from the famous works’ car NOJ 391. Only two such engines were ever produced and RLF 500 now possesses the only one believed extant. RLF 500 also sports a rare Healey Le Mans ‘segmented’ 24-rivet ‘Derrington’-style steering wheel, and a set of period ‘Borrani’ wheels.
While in Australia, RLF500 continued to be enjoyed at historic events including Formula 1 support races at Melbourne. In 2005, the car was repatriated to the UK where the current owner acquired the car determined to see it restored to concours standard— as seen here today — while retaining the historic integrity of this well-known and much loved 100S. [‘S’ stands for ‘Sebring’, the first major outing of the Austin Healey 100S was there at the 12-hour race in the 1954 World Sports Car Championship.]
Displayed courtesy of Club member and owner, Simon Skillen,
2022 sees the 70th anniversary of the original model, the Austin Healey 100