Jag-Healey: 1952 Nash-Healey

We know what your thinking, “Jaguar and Healey never built a car together!” And your correct, they never did, but that didn’t stop reader Anthony’s father from taking this 1952 Nash-Healey and installing a Jaguar engine, making his own ‘Jag-Healey”. His creation has been parked in the garage for many years, but sadly Anthony’s father is suffering from Alzheimer and the car needs to go to help pay for his care.

Anthony shared the story of his father’s creation with us and here is how he described it, “In 1971, my father visited a local junk yard and came home with the body of a 1952 Nash-Healey Roadster.  Being a life-long Jaguar enthusiast, he got the crazy idea of reviving the Nash-Healey using all Jaguar running gear.  He installed a 3.8 liter engine, transmission and front suspension from a ’62 Jaguar Mark II, and a rear suspension from a ’67 Jaguar XK-E. He even modified the Nash hood ornament, replacing it with a classic leaping Jaguar hood ornament from a 1950’s Jaguar sedan.”

“My dad worked on this car off and on until about 5 years ago, and although he did have it running for periods of time through the years, he could never finish the project because he was always finding new things to do to improve the car. Currently, it is not running because it needs a new gas tank. Also, the upholstery needs to be re-done.”

“As a kid growing up, the Jag-Healey was always there, always being worked on by my dad (he was a professional mechanic and body & fender man). My childhood memories are rich with images of my father lovingly devoting all his free time to working on his project car. I remember when he showed me the Healey’s body, stripped to the bare metal before it was to be re-painted. It was truly like a gleaming aluminum and steel sculpture. Simply beautiful!”

“Sadly, my dad is now suffering from Alzheimer’s, and the “Jag-Healey” sits in our garage waiting for someone with a love of fast, stylish cars to come along and take it on as their own project, to finish and enjoy it. Selling the Jag-Healey will help us in taking care of the man who put so much of his heart and soul into its creation.”

Anthony needs to find a new owner for his father’s creation, but as he puts it, ” it needs to find a new owner who will appreciate it for what it is: a blend of sexy Italian styling with the power and handling of a great English road machine.” This car needs to go to someone who will appreciate it for what it is. He’s currently asking $20,000 for it and is open to offers. If you’re interested in helping Anthony out while getting an amazing project, click here to send him an email. Special thanks to Anthony F for sharing his father’s creation with us and we wish him and his family the best.

Fast Finds

Comments

  1. Wayne Norman

    I believe that Buddy Palumbo, down at the Sinclair also worked on this car.

  2. Mark Hershoren

    The heart of Lyons, the soul of Farina.

  3. scot c

    ~ @ Anthony,
    it’s unfortunate your father suffers this devastating affliction and that his pride and joy must go to provide his care. luckily you will have those memories of the car and the hours he spent building it.

    • Anthony F.

      Thank you, Scott. I really appreciate your
      comments.
      ~Anthony

  4. Dolphin Member

    This sale brings up an interesting issue, which I hope will not work against Anthony’s efforts to sell his father’s Nash-Healey. The question is, how much will the modifications, which are considerable, help or hurt the sale?

    Car collectors usually want originality in a car like this, and good Nash Healeys sell in the range of $140,000 to $190,000 according to the current Sports Car Market Price Guide. This strong price level is helped by the fact that Pininfarina designed and built the bodies for these 1952 Roadsters, and there were only 252 such cars built during 1952-53. Normally you would see the strongest prices for excellent, original cars, but this one has been extensively modified—mostly under the skin except for the wire wheels, but modified nevertheless. This would be expected to bring the value down, but on the other hand the modifications sound like they improved the car. For one thing, the DOHC Jaguar engine would be seen by many as an improvement over the rather unsophisticated Nash six the car came with. Perhaps the same could be said for the suspension changes.

    Do these changes derease or increase the value? Many might say they reduce it, but some might say they increase it, or perhaps don’t change it much from what an original car might be valued at.

    However the collector car world ends up deciding this issue, if this were my car I would not let it go for cheap money right away. I would roll it out of the garage and get the best possible photos. With all due respect to Anthony’s father, I would also remove the Jaguar hood mascot and replace it with the original one. Then I would start contacting car auction houses, and email them the photos. Some will probably not be interested, but some might be interested. For example, a 1953 Nash Healey Le Mans Coupe is being offered at RM’s Auction America Labor Day auction in Auburn in about a month. Anthony’s Nash Healey roadster will not likely be as desirable as RM’s Le Mans Coupe, but he might be able to find an auction venue that will accept the car. If so, I would be very surprised if the car would not sell for significantly more than Anthony is asking for it now.

    Anthony, I wish you the best in your effort to sell your father’s car. If you can maximize it’s value for your father by selling it to a serious collector for a good price, at the same time you will ensure that someone will care for it properly in the future. Best wishes for your sale, Anthony!

    • Anthony F.

      Thank you very much for your thoughtful and thought-out comments in regard to the Jaguar/Nash-Healey that I’m trying to sell. I will take your advice and shop it around to some auction houses, because I do think you’re correct in that it probably would fetch more money in that sort of venue. The reason I didn’t try that from the start is that I believe, as you mentioned, that because it’s not 100% original N-H, it would not appeal to the classic car collector who constitute the buying public at these auctions. If, however, I can find an auction house that would expose it to the right buyer, then that would be the way to go.
      Thanks again for your suggestions.
      Sincerely,
      Anthony Fernandez

      • Barn Finds

        We wish you luck Anthony. Please keep us updated on the fate of the Jag-Healey.

    • scot c

      ~ @ Dolphin, well reasoned questions and i join in wondering the value or detriment brought by modifications. i think i would prefer driving the car built this way to the Nash running parts. side-by-side, this has to perform better but collectors will choose originality.

  5. Bruce

    I bought it a couple of weeks ago. It was a pleasure meeting Tony and, though the car has certainly been modified, it was done with great skill and adherence to basic suspension geometry that allows it to handle well. (yes, with a new battery and installation of Tony’s dad’s stainless fuel tank and my Jag wire wheels, it fired and ran well). I wish that I could dig up the history of why this car found itself in a junk yard after 20 years, but the body/frame shows no evidence of damage or corrosion. It has excellent side curtains and even the soft top seems original. Much of the interior seems original as well. With minor paint repair and a new leather seat recovering, it should be ready for Doughnut Derelicts
    first showing.
    Thanks again to Tony. BB

    • Barn Finds

      Please send some “after” photos in Bruce. We love this car and were even tempted to pick it up ourselves!

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