Lot 264 - 1953 13006 Healey Le Mans Convertible
|Odometer reading||33,866 miles|
|Estimate||£67,000 - £77,000|
For 1952, Nash commissioned Italian designer Pininfarina to revise Healey's original body design. One objective was to make the sports car more similar to the rest of Nash's models. The front received a Nash-style grill incorporating inboard headlights. The sides now featured distinct wing character lines ending with small tailfins in the rear. A curved windscreen replaced the previous two-piece flat windscreen. The restyled car appeared at that year's Chicago Auto Show. Carrozzeria Pininfarina in Turin built the bodies which, apart from an aluminium bonnet, boot lid and dashboard, were now all steel. The Nash engine was now 4.1 Litres with American-made twin Carters producing 140hp. Shipping costs were considerable; from Kenosha, Wisconsin the Nash engines and drivetrains went to the UK for installation in the Healey-fabricated chassis. Healey then sent the rolling chassis to Italy, where Pininfarina's craftsmen fashioned the bodywork and assembled the finished product. Finally Farina exported the cars to America. The result was a price tag of $5,908 in 1953, while the new Chevrolet Corvette was $3,513. The 1953 model year saw the introduction of a new closed coupé alongside the roadster (now termed a 'convertible'). Capitalising on the 3rd place finish at Le Mans by a lightweight racing Nash-Healey purpose-built for the race, the new model was called the 'Le Mans' coupé; Nash had already named the engine unit the 'Le-Mans Dual Jetfire Ambassador Six' in 1952, in reference to the previous racing exploits of the lightweight competition cars. The 1953 'Le Mans' model was awarded first prize in March of that year in the Italian International Concours d'Elegance held at Tresa, Italy. Leveraging the popularity of golf to promote their cars, Nash Motors and Nash dealers sponsored 20 major golf tournaments across the country in 1953, and golfer Sam Snead was shown with his Nash-Healey roadster on the cover of the June 1953 issue of Nash News. A roadster owned by Dick Powell was driven by George Reeves, as Clark Kent, in four TV episodes of the Adventures of Superman.
This excellent 1953 Nash Healey Le Mans Convertible was imported to the UK in 2010 after being found in storage in a barn in New York State, having been in the same family ownership since 1977. Finished in white with blue/grey interior, the vendor informs us that the engine is in excellent condition and the car drives superbly. The Nash Healey is currently unregistered but is supplied with the New York registration document and the UK customs papers showing that all duties are paid. The car is also supplied with all the weather equipment including side screens, and a set of photographs taken when the car was put on the market in 2010. It is very rare for one of these Nash Healeys to be offered in Europe; a car that can only be described as combining the best in the world; English mechanics with Italian coachwork.
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