Lot 3158

1951 Nash-Healey Roadster by Panelcraft


$154,000 USD | Sold

United States Flag | Marshall, Texas



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Engine No.
US Title
  • Methodically restored example of the first post-war American sports car, debuting two years before the Chevrolet Corvette
  • Powered by a Nash Motors 235-cu. in. overhead-valve inline-six engine fitted with an aluminum cylinder head and dual SU carburetors
  • Wearing an all-aluminum body designed by Donald Healey and fabricated by Panelcraft of Birmingham, England
  • Presented in maroon over tan leather upholstery with maroon piping and tan convertible soft top
  • Subject of a recent-bare metal respray with wet sand and buff at a cost of over $10,000

In 1949, having failed to secure a contract with Cadillac for a supply of their new overhead-valve V-8 engines, a dejected Donald Healey sailed back to England aboard the RMS Queen Elizabeth. As fate would have it, George W. Mason, the chairman of American car company Nash-Kelvinator, was also sailing to England. By the end of the voyage, a conversation that began over their mutual passion for photography had led to the creation of the first post-World War II American sports car.

Nash-Kelvinator would supply Healey with their Ambassador inline-six engine, which Healey would then modify with an aluminum cylinder head and dual set of SU carburetors. After Healey’s tuning, the chassis would be fitted with an all-aluminum body personally designed by Healey while utilizing grilles, bumpers, and other trim supplied by Nash.

Chassis number N0297, the 100th of these unique British-American creations built, is presented here. Equipped with its numbers-matching Nash Ambassador-based, Healey-tuned engine, according to the Nash-Healey Registry, the car was meticulously restored approximately 10 years ago. More recently, in June of 2021, the car received a bare-metal respray in maroon to complement its tan leather upholstery with maroon piping. The paint was painstakingly wet-sanded and buffed to a mirror finish at a cost of over $10,000.

Now offered from the Gene Ponder Collection, this is a vehicle that represents an impressive and historically noteworthy combination of British and American engineering. Counting rarity and a recent refinishing among its many attributes, this 1951 Nash-Healey stands ready to impress its next caretaker.