In English, Scuderia-Cento-S simply translates to ‘The 100S Racing Team’, a team of enthusiasts who come together to present a place of commemoration of the Austin Healey 100S. The 100S is the limited production sports racing model of the Austin Healey 100 and the Scuderia-Cento-S members enjoy a range of activities around this primary focus.
The 100S Register is administered by 100S enthusiasts for 100S enthusiasts and importantly it is where the worldwide register of these exceptional sports racing cars of the Nineteen Fifties is carefully maintained. Information on these now rare sports racing cars is meticulously kept up to date to ensure each cars history and authenticity is recorded for prosperity.
The 100S Register was initiated by Joe Jarick in 1971 who released it Worldwide in 1974.
The Club is an entity comprised of distinct parts, each quite separate from 100S Register. One component is of the Club is to support and share rallying and racing activities with like-minded classic car enthusiasts. The Club Scuderia-Cento-S was established in Switzerland by dedicated and passionate enthusiasts out of the Swiss Healey and Austin Healey scene in April 2006 and is separate to the Austin Healey Club Switzerland established in 1973. Today more than half of the original 100S remaining worldwide are owned by Scuderia-Cento-S Club members.
Club membership is limited to 55, representing the number of 100S originally constructed. Within its worldwide network the Club can supply comprehensive information and advice relevant to the preparation of historic rally and race cars for participation in suitable events from entry level through to professional. In addition to this activity, there is an opportunity to participate in events run by the Club with members also benefitting from team support at historic motor sport events at a national and international level.
Each season is crowned by the renowned "End-of-Year Race Party" which highlights the international nature of the Club through featuring well known guest speakers from the historic racing scene with a particular focus on involvement with Healeys and Austin Healeys. Some of the memorable speakers over the years have included: Roy Jackson-Moore, Jack Sears, Clive Baker, John Chatham, and Peter Healey, to name a just a few.
Following the successful launch of Donald Healey’s new Austin Healey 100 in October 1952, series production saw the new sports car being sold around the World. Donald Healey knew from experience the best way to support sales of his new sports car was through international racing.
At the 1953 Le Mans 24 Hours race, on debut the new Austin Healey capably demonstrated its reliability and potential for improvement. The two successful Le Mans entries had formed the basis of a development program with agreement and support of Austin from the outset. This included the release in late 1953 of modification kits to bring customer cars to the performance level of the ‘Le Mans’ entries. However, demand for a higher performance model, one with the ability to compete across international markets on more equal terms was justified, particularly so, in the USA where the bulk of Austin Healey production was destined. Through 1954 the development program intensified.
DMH agreed to build a limited number of special Austin Healeys that would be sold to selected customers. Gerry Coker was instructed to design body styling based on the “100” but with features that would make it distinctly different, reflecting its racing pedigree. A one eighth scale clay model was built based on the chosen designs for the best aerodynamics in a wind tunnel. Joe Jarick the 100S expert and our historian is still in possession of this model. Jensen produced all-aluminium alloy bodies of an extraordinary quality to Gerry Coker’s design. Morris Engines built and supplied special engines with single port Weslake-designed heads with Austin supplying all the components needed. Dunlop supplied four-wheel disc brakes, the first car in production, albeit limited production to be so equipped. On its launch in October 1954, this Austin Healey sports racing car received the name “100S”, where the ‘S’ was for Sebring in honour of the prototype’s success in the 1954 World Championship Sebring 12 Hours where it finished 3rd overall and 1st in class.
Engineering at the Donald Healey Motor Company at “The Cape”, Warwick was under the direction of Geoffrey Healey, the eldest son of Donald Healey. Geoff had complete control over the development and production of not only the Special Test Car Program but also the 50 ‘production’ 100S. Following the painted and trimmed body/chassis units being received at Warwick in small batches from Jensen, the mechanical components were installed.
Development costs related to the Special Test Car Program and all costs related to development and build of the 100S ‘Limited’ Production were paid by Austin. However, despite the ‘Austin Healey’ badges on the front shroud and boot lid, a Warwick build was confirmed by the ‘Healey’ brass firewall plate affixed to the bulkhead, not ‘Austin Healey’ as in all other production Austin Healeys. The men at Warwick were making a statement!
Once completed, “every 100S was road tested by Roger or myself, and sometimes by both of us. It was a pleasure to road test an ‘S’ and it was something we would not let others share”. Geoffrey Healey commented in his book The Healey Story. Roger Menadue was Healey’s Chief Mechanic/Experimental Engineer and the Donald Healey Motor Company’s first employee.
First customer deliveries from Warwick commenced on 18 February 1955, and the last on 19 November 1955, with these the 100S story literally spread to the four corners of the world.