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1953 Healey 'Nash' Sports Convertible

For Sale

  • One-of-one

  • UK registered

  • Restoration project


  • Unique opportunity

Donald Healey displayed an early interest in engineering and transport and his desire was to become an automobile engineer opening his first garage in 1920 in Perranporth, Cornwall which prepared cars for competition and was the local agent for Ariel cars.


Healey participated successfully in many competitive events, winning the first RAC Rally outright and achieving first in class at the 1929 Monte Carlo Rally in his Triumph Super Seven. Due to his many successes Healey was asked to drive Invictas in international rallies including the 1931 Monte Carlo rally which he won outright.


He was then invited to join the Riley company and competed in their cars before joining Triumph in 1933 as Experimental Manager and later Technical Director responsible for the design of all the company's cars, including the Dolomite 8 (straight-eight) of 1935.


During the Second World War Healey worked with the Humber Car Company on military vehicles where he met Ben Bowden (chief body draughtsman) and Achille 'Sammy' Sampietro (chassis designer) and they discussed building sports cars together after the war.


After leaving Humber the trio formed the Donald Healey Motor Company in February 1946 and built a prototype chassis before building the Healey Westland roadster and Healey Elliot saloon followed by the high-performance Healey Silverstone introduced in July 1949.


In December 1949 Healey travelled by sea to the USA intending to purchase Cadillac engines from General Motors and on the crossing by chance met George Mason President of the Nash Kelvinator Corporation. This encounter led to an agreement to produce a two-seater roadster which became known as the Nash-Healey.


First series Nash-Healeys featured Nash six-cylinder push-rod overhead valve engines of 3,488cc and bodies by Abbey Panels of Coventry. The cars were built on the N-Type chassis and were for export only (to the USA). A prototype Nash-Healey was driven in 1950 by Donald Healey on the Mille Miglia and at Le Mans. The second-series cars had bodies styled by Pinin Farina.


For the home market Healey produced the ‘Sports Convertible’ built between October 1951 and late 1953. The car featured a body by Panelcraft with almost identical styling to the first-series Nash-Healey but with styling features of its own. These cars were built on the G-type chassis and incorporated a 2,933cc Alvis six-cylinder push-rod overhead valve engine. Only twenty-five examples were built (some sources quote twenty-eight).


Chassis G525 is believed to be the last ‘Sports Convertible’ built and was the only RHD, home-market example to leave the factory with a Nash engine, a Nash Ambassador 3.8 litre six-cylinder ‘Le Mans Dual-Jet-Fire’ motor coupled with the same three-speed gearbox with overdrive used for the export-only cars.


The buff continuation logbook on file confirms the car was first registered on the 30th September 1953 to the Donald Healey Motor Co. Ltd of Warwick and was signed by company director Robert Boardman.


The car then passed through a number of British keepers until being purchased in June 1986 as a restoration project by its last owner who has sadly passed away and the restoration was never completed.


Offered for sale as a restoration project, this one-off Healey is UK registered and represents a fascinating piece of British automotive history - a truly a unique opportunity.


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