The Nash Healey must rate as one of the most desirable American classic car from the postwar period.
A two-seater produced between 1951 and 1954 it was solely for the American market. It used the Nash Ambassador drivetrain, a British chassis and Italian body.
It was America’s first post WWll sports car, was the result of the Nash and British carmaker Donald Healey partnership, and from 1952 Pinnin Farina, Italy, became the body builder.
Healey originally designed the body, see the second video below, but the car was restyled by Farina – see the top video – with final assembly being in Italy.
Expensive, yes. the Nash running gear was shipped to Britain where Healey fitted this to his own design frame, made and fitted an alloy cylinder head with twin SU carbs.
The rolling chassis was then shipped to Italy for the body to be made and fitted, and the finished car shipped back to the USA.
Price to buy was almost $6000 dollars, more than what a Cadillac cost back then. A Corvette was $3500, and the Ford Thunderbird $3000 so it would never sell in any great numbers.
The engine bay is quite large as long term the intention was to offer the Nash Healey with the option of the Cadillac V8 engine, and I understand some owners removed the 6 cylinder and did fit a V8.
The original Ambassador 6 was 234 cub in and 112 hp. the Healey designed twin carb head lifted this to 125hp. Later the motor became 252 cub in and 140 hp.
Transmission was 3 speed manual plus overdrive.
Interesting is a racing version was built which finished 3rd in the 1952 24hr LeMans race, no mean feat for any car.
Over the 4 years of production 506 Nash Healey sports cars were made for dealership sales, but the total number produced was 520 counting in the race and prototype cars.
Production stopped when Nash partnered with Hudson which later became AMC when merged with Chrysler, Kaiser[ Jeep ] and others.
No doubt about it, Pinnin Farina designed a great body as this video shows.
Special thanks to Paul Nash, and Wikipedia. Photos are video screen takes.
This is the Healey designed body, doesnt compare.
Thanks to Dennis Collins
This Nash Healey has the 234 cub in motor with twin SU carbs, the top car has the 252 cub in motor with the twin Carter carbs.