Rather Rare: 1954 Healey Tickford

left-front

When you think of “Healey” automobiles, Austin-Healey and perhaps Nash-Healey probably come to mind, but there are other cars. Healey Motorcars was founded in 1945 and built a line of high performance, low volume cars using the four-cylinder Riley twincam engine. Healey also saw a market for a high volume sports car in America and designed a car using inexpensive massproduced components. This became the Austin-Healey 100 and it was built by Austin. Healey produced a line of Saloons, roadsters and drophead coupes between 1946 and 1954, including 222  Tickfords. This Tickford is being offered by Gullwing Motorcars of Astoria, New York and is listed on eBay for $17,500. No information is provided beyond the pictures.

inside

It looks mostly complete from the outside, but the  interior appears to be missing several, possibly many, bits. This could make the restoration interesting.

engine

Things look complete and original under the hood, if a bit messy. There’s no word on whether the engine is frozen or not. This is a 2.4 litre Riley four-cylinder, dual overhead cam engine.

left-rear

This Tickford looks solid from the rear as well. There’s no major damage or rust showing. It looks like it just needs a bumper and hubcaps to be complete.  This car is yet another example of rarity not necessarily meaning valuable. Hagerty shows that a Healey Tickford in fair condition is worth only about $17,500. That would be a daily driver with minor flaws. A restored, concours car is only showing it’s worth a bit over $60,000. Perhaps one could restore this for less than $60k if you didn’t include labor, but you’d likely end up with an “excellent” car at best and valued at only about $40,000. Is there anyway this might be worth restoring? It would have to be a labor of love for someone with deep pockets and a real passion for the car.

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Comments

  1. Vintageant
  2. bcavileer

    Far from “Fair”. Another interesting car priced beyond reason.

  3. Howard A Member

    Again, what’s with the dirt. Does nothing for the sale. What an unusual looking car. I’ve always wondered if the British look at, say, a 1954 Buick, and say, what an unusual looking car. I believe I’ve heard of just about every American car name or model, but the British seem to have all sorts of cars I’ve never seen. This would be quite a restoration, but the basics are there. Again, can you imagine? This is what the interior looked like once.( similar Healey Elliot shown) What a cool car ( and clean it up, please)
    http://www.vintagesportscar.net/images/forsale/1947Healey/006.jpg

  4. Fred W.

    Listing removed!

  5. JW454

    Is there any hope that the parts needed to restore this could even be found? If not, all you’d have is some sort of modified version of it. At that point, you may as well put a big block Chevy or newer Chrysler Hemi in it with a custom interior. If there is no hope of restoring it back to original, what would be the difference?

    I like it and I’d hope it could be restored.

  6. RayT Member

    It could indeed be restored. Just bring money!

    I’ve seen worse cars restored to as-new condition, no matter how many obscure and unavailable parts had to be remanufactured or recreated. There are a number of Healey-specific chassis parts, and of course the body was produced in minuscule numbers by Tickford. Virtually the only area where apres should be available — and probably only in the U.K. — is the Riley drivetrain.

    My not-at-all-expert opinion is that a restoration would set the owner back something north of $100K, which pretty much puts thia in the class of being something a well-off Healey enthusiast would take on, not someone looking for an “investment.”

    Personally, whenever I see an ad for “Gullwing Motorcars” or “Beverly Hills Motor Club” (is that the right name?), I feel compelled to grab my wallet and run away. Fast.

  7. Patrick Quinn

    A total of 225 Healey Tickfords were produced between late 1949 and early 1952. They feature the Healey chassis with its unique trailing link front suspension and coils all round. It’s nothing like the Austin-Healey chassis. Engine, gearbox and differential were from the from the 2.5 litre Riley. The engine itself is a twin camshaft with the camshafts high in the block driving to angled valves through short pushrods. Riley had been using a hemispherical cylinder head for years before Chrysler thought about it. The body is coachbuilt with alloy over a wooden frame, therefore no rust. However problems with the wood such as dry rot and borers can be easily kept at bay. Parts, providing you know where to go are easily obtainable. Any Healey is good condition is a 100mph motor car. While this car has been up for sale for some time it represents good value and would make for a very interesting restoration. I have a 1948 Healey Duncan Sports Saloon and an Austin-Healey.

  8. Alan Brase

    Who cares what it is worth? It’s very hard to establish a market when about three come up for sale every decade. You buy and fix this because you cannot stop yourself. Love or infauation, I guess. I understand completely.
    But for anybody that believes those values in Hagarty or Hemmings for low production cars, you really must understand it is very much more about romance and less about logic.
    Even Speedsters never counted on Seinfeld and one other bidder bidding up a rusty one a year ago to near half a million. But this might raise the book price but it shouldn’t. It will likely not happen again. But this Healy could be driving and enjoyed for about $20k if you did the work yourself.

  9. Martin Horrocks

    This could be a decent long distance classic rally car, which would maybe justify the spend to a rich owner. It is rare and desirable, some Healeys of this era are Mille Miglia eligible (problem is, entry to MM seems to depend on the owner´s credentials, more than the car).

    Wood frame body, I think, so expect a lot of unseen problems, but mechanics and chassis not a big problem.

  10. Rocko

    Finally something from the Fifties that is actually beautiful! From the scary Lord Lucas headlights to those big front fenders incorporated into those suicide doors . Maybe lower the roof ? Definately overpriced.

  11. Chebby

    Love it. Has that Chitty-Chitty-Bang-Bang, old-English-car-found-in-a-petrol station charm. Price is nuts though.

  12. Alan Brase

    No, it’s not so much overpriced. This is a hand built, reasonably high performance, unique car. Kind of a 1930’s type car, a little more like Figoni styling, Last hurrah of the sporting gentleman’s car. Jaguar coupe, maybe Bristol, Aston Martin was a notch above. A 1957 Cadillac Eldorado Brougham is a similar level car. (Well, I like the Caddy better.)
    But this Healey with Riley motor is a pretty neat thing. (I don’t like the grille, but like the rest of the styling)
    Al

  13. Jake

    I live on Long Island and stumbled across Gulleing Motors once. In an industrial neighborhood but I circled te block three times. Bentleys Aston Martins and Jaguars all lined up fully restored on the street

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