A gold-plated 1958 Austin-Healey 100-Six – star of the 1958 Earls Court Motor Show and Commissioned by the Daily Express, is up for auction.
We tend to think of gold-pated cars as the stuff of rap videos, with ostentation the sole objective, and bling a modern phenomenon. But this gold-plated Austin Healey 100-Six is actually sixty years old.
Created to garner excitement at the 1958 Earls Court Motor Show, ‘Goldie’, as it was imaginatively dubbed, was pre-sold to the Daily Express (to justify its creation) who used it as a competition prize. Which must have been quite a thing with the UK just coming out of austerity and post-war rationing.
Austin Healey plucked a 100-Six from the production line and set about making it as special as they could.
Every single piece of brightwork – inside and out – was gold-plated, a special ivory paint finish was applied, and the interior was trimmed in Champagne Connolly kid leather with inserts in Mink (no one cared about real fur back then).
Not only that, but all the normal plastic bits – including the steering wheel – were carved from ivory. Not that RM Sotheby’s, who are auctioning the car in New York, have declared that in their pre-sale bumph. Which might have an impact on its sale – and its subsequent import to countries like the UK.
Fully restored by Healey Surgeons some 30 years ago, ‘Goldie’ is now in cracking condition and RM Sotheby expect it to fetch somewhere between £250,000 and £400,000.
Which is quite a way short of what ‘Goldie was expected to make when it was listed at $1M in 2014 on eBay.