NashHealey. Roadster for sale
Estimate: $70,000 to 80,000
Friday, August 31, 2012
Other | 1952 | Unknown | Manual | Unleaded petrol
A Thoroughly Correct Nash-Healey that has Never Been Disassembled, An International Sports Car with Universal Appeal, Pininfarina Coachwork Engine No: NHA1130 Nash Dual Jetfire inline six-cylinder, 3,848cc/234.8 cid, cast iron block, single overhead cam, alloy cylinder head, twin SU carburetors rated at 125 bhp @ 4000 rpm, three-speed manual gearbox with overdrive, trailing-link independent front suspension, live rear-axle, four-wheel hydraulic drum brakes, chrome wire wheels, wide white-wall tires; wheelbase: 102” Donald Healey’s history showed a remarkable willingness to accept, build on and combine sound ideas and components from other manufacturers. As far back as the mid ‘30s as chief engineer at Triumph he had engineered the Dolomite, a near-perfect copy of Alfa Romeo’s 8C 2300. After leaving Triumph he set up his own company and designed a robust, good-handling chassis which he powered with Riley engines. The Healey Westland and Elliot were good, and the rambunctious cycle fendered Silverstone was even better. America’s Briggs Cunningham demonstrated the Silverstone’s potential when he had Bill Frick and Phil Walters endow one with a 1949 Cadillac V8. That notion commended itself to Healey who set sail on the Queen Elizabeth in search of an engine supply. Instead he found fellow passenger George Mason, the head of Nash-Kelvinator, who was looking for a way to revitalize the Nash product line for the 1950s. Mason’s Nash “Dual Jetfire” engine soon found itself a home in Healey’s chassis and the Nash-Healey was born. The first Nash-Healeys were bodied by Healey’s supplier Panelcraft. With hopped up engines they acquitted themselves well, finishing fourth at Le Mans in 1950, sixth with a coupe body in 1951 and a resounding third overall in 1952 behind the winning Mercedes-Benz 300SL. In 1952, Pinin Farina re-designed the entire Nash line, including the Nash-Healey, into a consistent stylistic theme across the entire product range. Assembly became a three-country enterprise with Nash engines and transmissions shipped to Healey’s Warwick, England, factory where they were assembled into rolling chassis. These were shipped to Pinin Farina in Turin where the steel bodies were installed, painted and trimmed before shipment to the United States. Not surprisingly with a U.S. price of $5,868 in 1952, the Nash-Healey market was not very large but the model was well received in the press, and its Le Mans successes accomplished what George Mason desired, creating a new appreciation for the performance of Nash and a striking presence that drew traffic to Nash showrooms. After just over 500 had been built in four years’ production, the Nash-Healey had served its purpose and Donald Healey turned his attention to the Austin engined Austin-Healey 100. For a brief but important time the Nash-Healey was the only sports car that could claim American roots. Powered and sold by Nash, it brought the sports car to America’s Main Street, offering a practical and appealing alternative to the English alternatives often sold from one-stall garages and foreshadowing the coming Chevrolet Corvette, Ford Thunderbird and even the Shelby Cobra. This 1952 Nash-Healey Roadster is one of the most authentic unrestored Nash-Healeys you'll ever find. Over the sixty years since it was built, it's had what it's needed without ever being taken apart and restored, or requiring comprehensive restoration. Its condition is simply remarkable. It is finished in red with black interior and black cloth top. It is equipped with overdrive, radio, heater, its correct Nash-Healey wire wheel covers, SU carburetors and air cleaners. It has all its original emblems and trim, the jack point covers that are so often missing or replaced, and even the side curtains, jack and tools. The paint is a quality, older repaint that is highly presentable and the interior and top have been redone. Otherwise it is a car that has never been taken apart, neglected or pieced together. It deserves to be driven and appreciated as is as a weekend driver and rally car, showing it proudly and continuing the responsible preservation, which two generations of owners have lavished on it. Cars like this Nash-Healy are rare and cherished finds, a survivor in the truest sense of the term that will be positively received by informed, sympathetic collectors who appreciate its exceptional condition and preservation.