1952 Nash-Healey Roadster by Pinin Farina

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Chassis No.
2204
Body No.
11808
Documents
US Title
  • One of only 150 Nash-Healeys with coachwork by Pinin Farina
  • An early and significant pioneer of trans-Atlantic cooperation; heralded as “America’s first post-war sports car”
  • Benefits from a later upgrade to an Chevrolet V-8 engine
  • Accompanied by an engine conversion manual, jack, side curtains, and a spare wheel
language

One of America’s most fascinating sports cars can trace its roots back to a chance encounter in 1949 between Donald Healey and president of the Nash Kelvinator Corporation, George Mason, while the pair crossed the Atlantic on a New York-bound voyage aboard the RMS Queen Elizabeth. Following a failed attempt to secure supply of V-8 engines from Cadillac, Healey turned to Mason, striking a deal for the Warwick outfit to design and build a new sports car for the US firm: the Nash-Healey.

The trans-Atlantic partnership brought with it access to Nash’s 3.8-liter Dual Jetfire straight-six and three-speed overdrive transmission, which were duly shoehorned into a modified chassis based on that of the Healey Silverstone. The body, meanwhile, was penned in-house, with construction of the first 104 examples, bodied in aluminum, outsourced to Panelcraft. With Pinin Farina slated to design the upcoming generation of Nash saloons, production soon moved to Turin, where the carrozzeria restyled the Nash-Healey with a longer tail, sculpted hips, and an altogether more pleasing shape. Italian-built examples were constructed predominantly in steel, with aluminum doors, hood, and trunk.

Built in 1952, chassis N2204 is one of 150 examples bodied by Italian design house Pinin Farina, and would have begun its journey from The Cape Works as a rolling chassis, likely fitted with a more powerful 135 horsepower 4.1-liter version of the Nash straight-six. Once in Turin, it would have been bodied and trimmed, before beginning its long journey to the United States.

Today, the car is finished in white over a red leather interior with matching convertible top, while the engine has been replaced with a modified Chevrolet V-8 sporting an Edelbrock manifold and Holley carburetor. This upgrade no doubt provides a substantial boost in output, giving the rakish roadster performance commensurate with its sporty looks.

Now offered from the Gene Ponder Collection, this appealing upgraded Nash-Healey is accompanied by an engine conversion manual, jack, side curtains, and a spare wheel.