9 March 2013
1952 Nash-Healey Roadster by Pinin Farina
- Chassis no. 2240
- Engine no. 1153
- Body no. 11844
Sold for $94,600
- One of only 150 built for 1952
- Unusual, highly original example of an iconic 1950s sports car
- Numbers-matching, including its original engine
During a chance meeting crossing the Atlantic on the Queen Elizabeth, Englishman Donald Healey and Nash-Kelvinator Chief George Mason discussed the prospect of collaborating on a sports car. The duo came to an agreement and batches of Nash Ambassador six-cylinder engines and three-speed gearboxes with overdrive were shipped to Warwickshire, England. There they were mated with Healey Silverstone chassis and a Panelcraft body of Healey design. Production began for the 1951 model year in December 1950. Racing versions finished 9th in class in the Mille Miglia and fourth overall at Le Mans, but the steep $4,063 price for Nash’s halo car kept sales to just 104 units that first year.
Mason never cared for the original slab styling of the car, and having contracted with Italy’s Battista “Pinin” Farina to style the senior Nashes for 1952, he asked Farina to update the Nash-Healey, too. Steel bodywork replaced aluminum. The price jumped to $5,858, and a total of just 150 were produced. A companion Le Mans coupe on a six-inch longer wheelbase was introduced for 1953, yet production remained low, with 162 units built for the model year. Thanks to its high price, and the emergence of the Jaguar XK120, production ended in 1954, after a total of 506 units had been built.
This unusual, highly original Nash-Healey has been in the current owner’s possession since coming to the United States in March 2008. Previously, it was found resting in a warehouse in Holland for the better part of 25 years. It is a numbers-matching car, including the original engine. Though believed to have been repainted many years ago, the remainder of the car is likely all-original, and aside from a missing rearview mirror, it is virtually intact, including its top and side curtains. Period advertising materials are included in the sale. The car is running, though further recommissioning is recommended prior to making the car roadworthy after long-term storage. With today’s interest in original cars and barn find examples, this is an outstanding and uncommon opportunity to purchase an iconic and rare Nash-Healey convertible.
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