20-21 January 2011


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Lot 128

1950 Healey Silverstone Sports Roadster

Sold for $192,500

104 bhp, 2,443 cc Riley ohv four-cylinder engine, four-speed manual transmission, coil spring independent front suspension, live rear axle with coil spring suspension, and four-wheel hydraulic drum brakes. Wheelbase: 104"

- Twelve-year, meticulous award-winning restoration
- Formerly owned by Leslie Cato, founder of the Healey Drivers Club

British racing driver and motor manufacturer Donald Healey formed the Donald Healey Motor Company, Ltd. in 1945. At first, the company produced box-section chassis, with coil spring independent front suspension and a Riley rear axle on coil springs. The engine was also from Riley, the proven 2,443 cc four-cylinder unit with pushrod overhead valves operated by twin, high-mounted camshafts. The first models were a Westland roadster and Elliot saloon, introduced in 1946.

In 1949, Healey introduced a true sports racing car, the Silverstone, using a modified chassis with aluminum body and cycle fenders. A novel touch was tucking the spare tire into the lower part of the rounded rear contour, where it doubled as a bumper. There were two generations of Silverstones, designated D-Types and E-Types, in addition to two prototype “X” models. The D-Type had a front anti-roll bar and stiffer springs and retained the Riley powerplant and rear axle. An improved E-Type, with a wider body and more comfortable cockpit, was introduced in 1950. Silverstones were very successful on racing circuits, particularly in club events.

Chassis E-69 was delivered in 1950, and first registered as NUG 100 by A.G.H. Rimmel. Rimmel raced it at the Silverstone circuit during the next two years. The next owner, Mr. B. Simpson, competed with it in club events throughout England through 1954. Leslie Cato purchased it late in 1965.

Mr. Cato was one of the founders of the Healey Drivers Club, the first club for cars from the Donald Healey Motor Company. In the late 1960s, Cato was instrumental in founding the Healey Register, which became the Austin-Healey Club in 1962. The Austin-Healey Club continues as the network for Healey and Austin-Healey owners in Britain and the United States. Cato used the car for both racing and touring. His account of a London-to-Rome tour was published in the club magazine. He also documented his experiences in club racing in the United Kingdom.

Sold to the United States in the 1970s, E-69 raced extensively at New England circuits. By the time it was purchased by Bill Emerson in the late 1980s, it still ran well but required a full restoration to bring it back to original condition as first delivered. The restoration took 12 years, completed in 2002 in time for the 50th anniversary of the Austin-Healey, which was celebrated with a show honoring all Healey cars.

During the restoration, Emerson, the author of The Healey Book: A Complete History of the Healey, documented every aspect of the process. As part of the task he collaborated with Donald Healey, prior to Healey’s passing in 1988. Since restoration, the car has won 16 Best of Class or Best of Show awards at prestigious venues like Elkhart Lake, Lexington, Lake Tahoe and the Concours d’Elegance at Louisville and Amelia Island, the latter in 2004.

The current owner has treated it caringly, enjoying the occasional drive. A turn-key car for concours or competition, this Healey Silverstone runs beautifully, handles superbly and is very, very fast.


Please note that the estimate for this lot has been changed to $155,000 - $190,000.

Please contact our exclusive automotive transportation partner, Reliable Carriers, for a shipping quote or any other information on the transport of this vehicle.

Alexander Weaver

+1 864 313 6844
California, United States

Alexander Weaver joined RM Sotheby’s in 2011 as a Car Specialist after graduating from Furman University in South Carolina. Born... read more

Augustin Sabatié-Garat

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United Kingdom

Augustin Sabatié-Garat joined RM Europe in 2012 as a Car Specialist after more than a decade in the collector car hobby. Gradua... read more

Barney Ruprecht

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Ontario, Canada

Barney’s interest in classic cars began at an early age after being introduced to his father’s all-original 1965 Porsche 911. Barney l... read more

David Swig

+1 415 302 2247
California, United States

David Swig joined RM Sotheby’s West Coast division as a Car Specialist in May 2015. David is a life-long automobile enthusi... read more

Don Rose

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United States

Don joined RM in 2006 after several years of professionally trading sports and classic cars, and after earning a reputation as a noted... read more

Donnie Gould

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Florida, United States

Donnie Gould joined the RM team in 2002 as a partner and Car Specialist after more than two decades in the vintage automobile auction ... read more

Gord Duff

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Ontario, Canada

Gord Duff began his journey with RM Sotheby’s in 1998. Since then, he has gained an intimate knowledge of a variety of marques a... read more

Jake Auerbach

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California, United States

Jake Auerbach got his start in the automotive industry at an early age, spending his summers during high school working at a classic c... read more

Kurt Forry

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California, United States

Having worked for Bonhams’ Automobilia department for over 10 years, Kurt Forry joined RM Sotheby’s with more than a decad... read more

Matt Malamut

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California, United States

A long-time car enthusiast and Southern California native, Matt studied Automotive Technology at San Diego Miramar College and complet... read more

Michael Squire

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United Kingdom

Michael Squire joined RM Sotheby’s European Division in the summer of 2016. He comes to RM with a prestigious racing background ... read more

Mike Fairbairn

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Ontario, Canada

As one of the three founding partners of RM Sotheby’s, Mike has a long-standing interest in the classic car industry. Graduating... read more

Oliver Camelin

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United Kingdom

With an extensive background in exotic sports car history and sales, a particular passion for American curves, and fluency in three la... read more

Paul Darvill

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United Kingdom

Paul Darvill joined the RM Sotheby’s European team at the beginning of 2015. Paul holds a degree in French and Politics from the... read more

Pete Fisher

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Ontario, Canada

Pete Fisher was first introduced to antique cars in high school, working for Classic Coachworks in his hometown of Blenheim, Ontario. ... read more

Shelby Myers

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California, United States

Shelby Myers grew up with the classic car industry infused into every aspect of his life. He had the unique opportunity to watch the R... read more

Tonnie Van der Velden

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United Kingdom

Tonnie Van der Velden joined RM Sotheby’s European division in September 2015 as a Car Specialist. A lifelong enthusiast, Tonnie... read more