Before Austin-Healey, there was the Donald Healey Motor Company. The Healey Abbott was one of the fastest cars in its day, with a tuned twin-cam motor capable of speeds over 100 m.p.h. The example featured here has the added bonus of being the first of 77 cars made and the Healey display car from the 1950 Earls Court Motor Show in London. Find it here on eBay with bidding at $3,550.
Founded in 1945, the company reflected Healey’s sporting approach to motor cars. It also catered to buyers seeking luxurious accommodations. Healey partnered with Abbott, a British coachbuilder that produced bodies for the likes of Aston Martin, Daimler and Talbot. When creating the Healey Abbott, a traditional ash frame was paired with aluminum body panels. The seller of this rare find notes that the frame is in good condition and the body panels appear straight but needing a respray.
A Riley-sourced 2.4L twin-cam four-cylinder powered the Abbott. The motor made headlines for its top-speed capabilities that were unheard of for production cars in the early 50s. The car featured here has been in storage for 37 years, but the seller notes that the engine still turns freely. It’s fun to picture Britain’s early sports car fans inspecting this very engine while the Abbott sat on display at the motor show.
The interior fittings were luxurious, a direct influence of Abbott’s partnerships with the world’s most expensive auto makers. Leather, wool and walnut finishes were the key ingredients in the interior, and amazingly, this car’s cockpit has survived largely intact. The driver and front passenger enjoyed leather buckets while rear seat occupants could relax on a bench seat with a center armrest. Walnut trim lined the dashboard and door cappings. All of these elements have survived, though a closer inspection would be required to determine their actual condition.
The car comes complete with its original log book and shows only two owners since new. The show car still retains its original tool kit, hand crank, jack, workshop manual, and spats. The survival of these components indicates to us that this car has been treasured by someone despite being locked up all those years. The seller says that whoever restores the first Abbott could benefit from a financial reward at the end – but we are not so confident… The car has been on the market for a while and the reserve price is likely to be high. It will be interesting to see what becomes of this unique Healey.