Journal: Which Nash Healey Would You Choose?

Which Nash Healey Would You Choose?

By Petrolicious Productions
July 25, 2013

1952 Nash Roadster

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1953 Nash Coupe

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British-American hybrid sports cars are nothing new, think Cobra, Tiger, Allard to name but a few. One of the earliest, best-looking, and least-known, though, has to be the Nash Healey. Utilizing the Nash Ambassador’s straight six with a custom high-compression head allied with a modified Healey Silverstone chassis, the Nash Healey featured a simple but elegant aluminum body penned by that British firm but incorporating several Nash elements such as the grille, bumpers, and other pieces.

Though built in England, finished cars were sold exclusively in America through the existing Nash dealership network. Only 507 were built over a four year span, largely due to the car’s relatively exorbitant price—a 1954 model (the last year of production, incidentally) cost nearly $6,000, compared to roughly half that for a similarly sporty and stylish Corvette or Thunderbird.

Today, Nash Healey’s are quite collectible, though quite reasonably priced when you factor in their rarity and unique history. This week we feature not one but two of these fantastic old Anglo-American mishmashes, a roadster and an even scarcer coupe, which is somehow the less expensive of the duo. Either one is family-heirloom-quality stuff, and would likely gain you instant and enthusiastic access to any number of Concours, vintage shows, and rallies for both domestic and foreign machines.

Top down or roof up, which is your preference?

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Ken Knapik
Ken Knapik(@tweewieler)
8 years ago

This was a the Lime rock vintage races last year. Make mine the coupe please.

john tolle
john tolle(@runner)
8 years ago

You know me…definitely the coupe.

Garrett Hammerel
Garrett Hammerel(@fb_754953546)
8 years ago

Here’s the only good picture I got.

Garrett Hammerel
Garrett Hammerel(@fb_754953546)
8 years ago

I was in a checkout line at a store here called Winco, when I heard the guy in front of me talking about his British roadster. I chimed in, “British roadster? You must have the same SU-style carbs that my Datsun roadster has!” He then told me that he had several Datsun roadsters of his own and gave me his card.

Fast forward several weeks, and I finally call him. He invited me to his shop, and we chatted for a while. Among the many Triumphs, Datsuns, MG’s and Austin-Healey’s was one red car sitting in the corner that I didn’t recognize. It said Nash Healey on the back, and the thing was gorgeous! He proceeded to tell me how his father had purchased it from a tow truck driver in the 70’s for $675, and he had done a full restoration on it.

This only happened last week, and I was blown away by the thing. The design of it is absolutely nuts. From the tiny shift knob to the way the water pump is on the side of the engine to the wrap-around exhaust headers, the car has character.

Matthew Lange
Matthew Lange(@365daytonafan)
8 years ago

The orginal design was in house but both of these are the later version with revised styling by Pinin Farina (before it became one word). You can see the Pinin farina badges clearly on the side of the roadster.