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1953 Nash-Healey Hardtop
|1953 Nash-Healey Hardtop |
1953 Nash-Healey Hardtop Photo By: Douglas Wilkinson Date: November 10, 2008 Location: Walter P. Chrysler Car Museum in Auburn Hills, Michigan
1953 Nash-Healey Roadster
|1953 Nash-Healey Roadster|
1953 Nash-Healey Roadster RM Auctions Automobiles of Amelia Island Collector Car Auction Amelia Island, Florida March 13, 2009 AUCTION RESULTS: Lot 128 - Sold at a price of $85,250 140 bhp, 252.6 cu. in. overhead valve inline six-cylinder engine, three-speed manual transmission with overdrive, coil spring independent front suspension, live rear axle with semi-elliptic leaf springs, four-wheel hydraulic drum brakes. Wheelbase: 102" The Nash-Healey resulted from a chance shipboard encounter. George Mason, president of Nash-Kelvinator, happened to meet British sports car designer Donald Healey on the Queen Elizabeth while sailing to the United States. Healey was bound for Detroit where he hoped to buy Cadillac engines for a new series of cars. Mason, sensing an opportunity, told Healey that if he was unsuccessful with Cadillac he would be happy to supply Nash Ambassador engines instead. As it happened, the Cadillac discussions were unproductive, so a shipment of Nash drive trains was soon sent to England. The first Nash-Healeys roadsters were bodied in aluminum by British metalsmiths Panelcraft of Birmingham. The Nash-Healey's American debut came at Chicago in February 1951. Priced at $4,063 in Nash showrooms, it was expensive and few were sold. With only 250 sold in two years, Mason and Healey tried a different approach. Mason had Pinin Farina, then under contract for the American Nashes, do a makeover. Running chassis were then shipped from England to Italy, fitted with Pinin Farina steel bodies and re-shipped to the United States. The Pinin Farina feature of closely-spaced headlamps in the edges of the grille was later used on the domestic 1955-56 Nashes. An older restoration, this Nash-Healey Roadster presents nicely in red with tan upholstery. It has the correct Nash-Healey faux wire wheel covers, whitewall tires and optional plexiglass windwings. The seat is furnished with lap belts, and the car has the proper AM radio. The engine compartment presents well but for some incorrect clamps; the proper Dual Jetfire engine has its original alloy head and dual sidedraft carburetors. The odometer shows slightly fewer than 42,000 miles, believed original. A previous owner enjoyed it extensively, participating in the California Mille, but it has been well maintained, with the paint and brightwork holding up well with only minor deterioration, principally rust on the back side of the bumpers. The inner wheel wells are undercoated for durability while touring. The car comes complete with a jack, spare wheel and tonneau cover. Nash-Healeys are arousing considerable interest in the collector community. This is a chance to acquire a nice example ideally suited for touring or show.
1954 Nash-Healey LeMans Coupe
|1954 Nash-Healey LeMans Coupe|
1954 Nash-Healey LeMans Coupe Auction Sale Price: $66,000 Barrett-Jackson Car Auction, Scottsdale, AZ, January, 2010, Lot Number: 937.2 Three year nut and bolt restoration. No expense spared to bring this rare classic to show condition. Only 90 manufactured in '54. Photo documentation of restoration.
1953 Nash Healey LeMans Coupe
|1953 Nash Healey LeMans Coupe |
1953 Nash Healey LeMans Coupe Photo By: Douglas Wilkinson Location: The Meadow Brook Concours d'Elegance in Rochester, Michigan, August 7, 2005.
Young Americans fell in love with a new breed of sports car after World War II and small, independent automakers such as Nash and Kaiser were the first to realize this was more than a passing fad. The Nash-Healey in particular was the product of a chance encounter in late 1949 between Nash’s George Mason and sports car builder Donald Healey aboard the Queen Elizabeth II oceanliner.
The prototype was soon completed and displayed at the London and Paris Auto Salons of 1950. The sleek aluminum-alloy bodies of the cars that followed were constructed by Panelcraft Sheet Metal Ltd. of Birmingham, while their chassis were based on the Healey Silverstone, and the powertrain and driveline were borrowed from the Nash Airflyte. The engine was a modified Nash six-cylinder powerplant with a hotter camshaft, an aluminum cylinder head, dual SU carburetors and higher compression. Sales began in the United States after the car’s debut at the 1951 Chicago Auto Show.
Nash was quick to enter competition with its new sports cars. A specially-bodied Nash-Healey finished ninth in 1951 at the grueling Mille Miglia, and fourth overall at the 24 Hours of Le Mans. The following year, an open Nash-Healey returned to Le Mans, finishing third overall, and second in the Index of Performance. Press reaction was also positive. Pioneering road-tester Tom McCahill said that he had “never driven a sports car that handled better or gave the driver so much control.”
Just 104 first series, alloy-bodied Nash-Healey LeMans Roadsters were originally built, and few survive today.