Eeny, Meeny, Nash-Healey

1952 Nash Healey Roadster Front Corner

Nash wasn’t a company known for sports cars, but after George Mason and Donald Healey had dinner one fine evening in 1949, they set out to change that image. The two CEOs struck a deal and formed the marque Nash-Healey, and by 1951 the first Nash-Healey was born. In 1952 it was decided that the car needed more flare, so they brought Pinin Farina in to redesign it. This merging of Italian style, British engineering, and American know-how produced one of the most attractive vehicles to ever come out of Nash Motors. Today we came across not just one, but two Nash-Healeys. Now we just need to decide which one we would choose.

1952 Nash Healey Roadster Rear Corner

This 1952 Nash-Healey Roadster is very rough, but it appears to be solid and restorable. Someone has already pulled the motor out, but luckily it’s with the car. We don’t know if it turns freely or not though. The car is also going to need a new top and a new interior as well as a complete mechanical restoration. The majority of the difficult to find pieces are still with the car, so that should help keep restoration costs down a bit. The car is being offered by Hyman Classic Cars, but they have listed it here on eBay. It currently has a high bid of $10,100 and the reserve is unmet. We just hope this dealer has priced it realistically.

1954 Nash Healey Le Mans Front Corner

If the roadster is just too common for you, than we think you’ll love this very rare 1954 Nash-Healey Le Mans Coupe. This car is also in rough condition and has just been pulled out of storage. Someone obviously started the restoration, but quickly lost steam. Sadly this means the original engine, transmission, and grille are no longer with the car. The car is currently located in Taylor, Michigan and can be found here on eBay with a BIN of $18,995, but they are willing to hear offers.

1954 Nash Healey Le Mans Side View

We really love the Pinin Farina styling of these cars, but of the two we would rather have the Le Mans. While it is going to be the most expensive and difficult to restore, the outcome will be well worth it. Nash-Healey named these coupes in honor of their third place finish at Le Mans. There were only 506 of these coupes built and we doubt you’ll run into another one anytime soon. After hearing the details, which one would you pick?

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Comments

  1. William E. Holt

    Would love to have one of those little Healeys… even a little MG. Unfortunately all I could is build it for someone else. At 6’5″ I would look like John Wayne riding a shetland pony trying to drive one.

    • DENIS

      hmmmm, what’s that they say, William, about a cub-bear makin’ love to a basketball???
      I’m havin’ trouble bein’ politically correct today…..

      • William H

        LOL… That pretty much sums it up. I had a Chevette back in the day and it was pretty comical to watch me get in and out of that little thing. I almost bought a little convertible MG years ago but would have only been able to drive it in good weather as my head stuck up about 4″ above the windshield.

  2. J. Pickett

    Considering that the mechanical parts are all Nash, and that some parts carried over to the Rambler and AMC days that should help with restoration. As for the size, if I remember correctly they are more Austin Healey 3000 sized or larger. The Nash 6 was a large engine and to finish so high at LeMans they must have been in a larger class. It certainly looks larger than the mid 60’s Rambler American next to it.

  3. William E. Holt

    I see what you mean. In respect, it does seem to be the same size, if not larger, than the Rambler. I was focusing too much on the convertible in the first two pics. With nothing to give it aspect it looks almost the size of a midget with a longer trunk.

  4. Jeff

    Kenosha, Wisconsin was the birthplace of AMC, I was wondering what the roots of these were?

  5. Josh Staff

    Jeff, Nash was also based in Kenosha. AMC was formed when Nash and Hudson merged in 1954.

  6. Jeff

    Thanks Josh, I thought AMC was started just shortly after WW2 like the Tucker (48′).

  7. J. Pickett

    Actually as good as a performer as the first Vettes. Or better. Surprising amount of information about this car on Google. Even an Ad from Mecum about one for sale. Check out that and other sources for info about AMC and it’s predecessor’s back to the 1st Rambler which started the whole Kenosha plant. Gearheads should know car history.

  8. Chris

    Interesting cars, although the coupe has the better racing history. I was surprised to read how well the coupe did at Le Mans. A restored coupe presently runs in the VSCCA series. Very attractive car. I hope both of these can be saved.

  9. Ben Bliss

    I restored five of these cars . CORRECTION– there were only 506 of these made 1951–1953 (54s were actually 53s carried over ) . ( TOTAL COUPS & CONVERTIBLES ) 1951s were made in ENGLAND by PANELCRAFT–the rest were bodies by PININ-FARINA . They are the biggest sports car ever made–room for three people in the seat , although shifting is somewhat difficult that way . The coups are hardest to restore , though NONE are easy . The coups are very hard to seal around windows . ALL HAVE MANY VERY SMALL PARTS –especialy the PININ-FARINAS , due to very small metric screws (VERY VERY MANY of these screws .) They are also quite fast . ALL have overdrive–some overdrive parts are VERY hard to find (controls ) . Originally they had ALUMINUM GEADS , though many have been changed to the cast iron heads . This change was due , usually , to corrosion of the aluminum heads . There are many other pros and cons to these cars .

  10. Lynn Nash

    There is plenty of room even for big guys in the Healeys. Just returned from a 2000 mile trip in my ’54. Cruises about 65mph at about 2100 revs with its overdrive. A very comfortable, quick & gas economical car for a ’50’s type sports car with Hi- performance engine.

  11. Larry Varley

    The coupe pictured above is now in Australia being restored by me. Ben is correct these are not simple cars to restore, but they are worth restoring. The workmanship that went into building these low volume cars is now almost a lost art. Images of the progress on the coupe can be seen on my website – http://www.acmefluid.com.au/nash/docs.html
    Regards
    Larry Varley

  12. Jim

    Neat little car, and one of the funniest and unusual grilles I have ever seen. It’s strange, when Japanese role-playing videogame designers draw an old junk car into the scenery, there always seems to be some odd looking “Franken-Car” in there, all rusty and beat. And it’s usually very similar to the Nash Healey! The Japanese seem to know what we like, and how to grab our attention straight away.

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