1953 Nash Healey Roadster
I am pleased to offer this exceptional 1953 Nash Healey Roadster from the Golden Age of postwar sports car motoring. Owned by a passionate enthusiast known for his meticulous attention to detail, historical accuracy and top flight mechanics.
Introduced in 1951, the Nash-Healey was America’s first postwar sports car. The car was a collaborative effort between British car maker Donald Healey and the U.S. car manufacturer Nash Kelvinator chief George Mason. After a chance meeting between the two excecutives, a deal was struck to jointly manufacture a new car aimed at returning WWII veterans and the sporting minded alike. Nash Ambassador six-cylinder engines and three-speed gearboxes were shipped to Warwickshire, England. Here, 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 4th overall at Le Mans.
However, Mason never cared for the original slab styling of what would become the first generation Nash Healey, and commissioned Italian coachbuilding firm Pinin Farina to style the senior Nashes for 1952 along with the Nash-Healey. A far more sophisticated and voluptuous shape emerged in steel with open and coupe versions for the 1953 model year. It was powered by an enlarged Nash 140-horsepower six-cylinder engine displacing 252-cid and featuring twin Carter YH side-draft carburetors adding another ten horsepower. With its big torquey six and standard overdrive transmission, the Nash-Healey Roadster could cruise at 70 mph at 3,000 rpm. The "new" Nash Healey came in at a hefty price point of over $5,800 when the Jaguar XK120 Roadster priced out at a comparatively modest $3,950. In total, just 506 Nash Healeys were built.
The vehicle under offer was restored by the original owner's son as a gift to his aging father. Professional work was completed at Ben Bliss Auto Repair in Rockford, Ill during the 1998 and 2001 timeframe. It briefly passed to a Connecticut collector, then to the current Texas owner in 2016. With only two recorded registrations, this remarkably preserved Nash Healey is essentially a two-owner vehicle.
It is in show-ready condition, fully road tested and spanking clean after light use in the dry climate of western Texas. The body work is near mint and the undercarriage was properly restored to a coated non-gloss black as done at the factory. VIN and engine numbers match the car’s record.
Complete with a fresh set of Vredestein blackwall radials tires, top, side curtains, books and literature... plus a set of NOS original wire wheel hubcaps!
The new owner will be able to enjoy the services of a supportive club and Facebook community. As one of just 100 Nash Healey Roadster constructed in 1953, it is sure to be welcome at international concours and driving tours alike. And what's not to like about reliable American ingenuity clothed in one of Pinin Farina's finest metal sculptures?!