100-Six “Goldie”: Austin-Healey's 24-carat gold, $160k showpiece
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A lavish Austin-Healey regarded as the most extravagant model the British car maker produced will go under the hammer with a guide price of around $800,000.
The opulent two-seater’s exterior is plated with 24-carat gold — even its screws and washers — while its interior features goat kid leather and mink fur.
Named the 100-Six “Goldie”, the ivory-coloured car was the star of the 1958 Earls Court Motor Show after it was prepared in secret.
When it went on sale in 1958, it cost £4,000 ($162,659 in today’s money) — quadruple the price of the typical 100-Six.
The unique Austin-Healey convertible was given away in a competition — but the winner quickly cashed in by selling it on. Almost 60 years later, the car is based in the US.
It will be sold by RM Sotheby’s at its New York Icons sale on December 6. The auction house has dubbed it “the most fantastic Austin-Healey ever produced”, and experts have given it a guide price of around $796,606.
Augustin Sabatie-Garat, car specialist at RM Sotheby’s, said: “The post-war Austin-Healeys are truly iconic British sports cars with their purposeful design and strong performance. The one-off Goldie car is a unique factory-created example, designed to draw the crowds and to create publicity.
"With its outrageous gold trim and luxurious interior, it achieved everything Healey set out to achieve at the 1958 London Motor Show, and we fully expect it to have a similar effect with enthusiasts and collectors at our New York sale.”
Under the bonnet of the 100-Six is a 2.7-litre engine which develops around 89kW— giving it a 0-99km/h time of 11 seconds and a top speed of 178km/h.
By the 1980s, the car had crossed the Atlantic and was fully restored by Bruce and Inan Phillips of Healey Surgeons. In addition to extensive metalwork, the restoration included accurate reproduction of the lavish kid leather and mink interior.
The bumpers and larger pieces of brightwork, including the windshield, were sent to England for re-plating, and the wire-spoke wheels were custom-made for the car.