An Austin-Healey fitted with 24-carat gold-plated trim and ivory pieces could cross the auction block for more than $500,000 US when it goes up for sale early December.
The 1958 100-Six, nicknamed “Goldie,” was built by the automaker to draw people to its London Motor Show stand when new, and later became a contest giveaway car for the Daily Express.
The idea of a gold-plated car was suggested to Donald Healey, the company founder, by PR man Ken Gregory; Healey liked the idea at first, but considering the incredible expense it’d cost them agreed to it only on the condition Gregory found a buyer for it post-show, which is how it wound up as a raffle car.
The newspaper contest winner sold the car almost immediately, and it traded hands several times before winding up as a barn find to be rescued by some marque experts, who finished a thorough restoration of the car in 1986. They in turn sold it to the current owner.
Back when it was pulled from the assembly and handbuilt, every piece of brightwork on the car, from the wire wheels and bumpers to the washer fluid nozzles, was plated with 24-carat gold, and pieces like the steering wheel and dash knobs were replaced with ivory.
The seat inserts were finished in mink, and the seats themselves in Connolly leather. Most interestingly, before the contest, the windshield washer reservoirs were topped up with a vintage champagne, and even the ignition key was gold-plated, and came with a solid gold scale replica keychain that mimicked the car.
The value when new was nearly four times a stock Healey 100-Six, at 4,000 GBP, or $6,700 CDN (that’s $57,000 today). The car is being auctioned off without reserve by Canadian-headquartered RM Sotheby’s in New York on December 6, with pre-auction estimates suggesting it’ll fetch between $350,000 and $550,000 US.
That’s not bad at all considering these Austin-Healey 100-Sixes typically trade for about $45,000, and even in best-in-the-world condition seldom break $125,000.
(via RM Sotheby’s)