Infamous Le Mans 1955 Austin-Healey 100S Prototype sold for $1.3 million [w/video]

Filed under: , , , , , ,

1955 Austin-Healey 100S Prototype

Motorsports has had plenty of dark days in its history, but few compare to the 1955 24 Hours of Le Mans. That race saw Lance Macklin enter this Austin-Healey 100 S Prototype in the legendary European 24-hour race in his name. The vehicle packed a 140-horsepower inline four-cylinder engine with a massive cam and dual carbs, and while Macklin was able to keep the vehicle in decent standing throughout the first racing stint, he eventually found himself being lapped by the substantially quicker sports-prototype vehicles from Jaguar and Mercedes-Benz. As the Austin-Healey came barreling past the pits, a Jaguar D-Type slowed abruptly as it came in for fuel, forcing to Macklin to swerve out of the way.

That’s when the Austin-Healey was struck from the rear by a Mercedes-Benz 300SLR on the rear quarter. The Mercedes-Benz catapulted into a retaining bank and disintegrated, spraying the crowd with flaming debris, including the vehicle’s engine. A total of 84 individuals died as a result of the crash, including Pierre Levegh, the driver of the 300SLR. A further 120 people sustained injuries of varying severity, and the crash prompted an international revision of safety precautions at race tracks.

The Austin-Healey, meanwhile, spent a year in police impound before being repaired and sold to a private individual. It’s spent the last 42 years owned by a single individual, with many of those in storage. The vehicle went up for auction on December 1 and brought a final bid of £843,000, or over .3 million. Hit the jump for the full press release as well as a video of the horrific crash. Head over to Bonhams for plenty of vintage photography of the vehicle.

Continue reading Infamous Le Mans 1955 Austin-Healey 100S Prototype sold for .3 million [w/video]

Infamous Le Mans 1955 Austin-Healey 100S Prototype sold for .3 million [w/video] originally appeared on Autoblog on Thu, 01 Dec 2011 18:33:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

Permalink | Email this | Comments

No related posts.

About Rocky