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1946 Austin-Healey Elliott news, pictures, specifications, and information

Saloon
 
Donald Healey began producing a long series of sporting motor cars in 1946 at his Warwickshire factory. The Healey Elliot was his second design of which 101 examples were produced. Among other racing records, the car set the fastest British production saloon time at 101 mph in Belgium. This example was present for the historic 1947 Watkins Glen race. Its present owner has campaigned it vigorously at VSCCA events throughout the Northeast.
Prior to World War II, Donald Healey worked at the Triumph Motor Car Company where he worked as a technical director, and later as a general manager. During the war he moved to Humber where he aided the development of armored cars and fostered relationships with individuals who would be influential in the creation of his own car.

Donald Healey commissioned stylist Ben Bowden to design an automobile; the result was the Elliott and Westland. The Elliot was a sedan and the Westland a drophead coupe. Healey attempt to sell the designs to Triumph, but was unsuccessful.

One of Donald's friend, Westlands, was a director of Hereford Humber distributors. The company had a metal-forming machine which was used to fabricate the first chassis. The body soon followed and the inspiration for the name 'Westland' is obvious. The engines, gearboxes, and many other mechanical components were supplied by Riley. When demand for the vehicles increased beyond their ability to keep pace, Donald contracted the Elliott's firm who had some experience with creating car bodies. Elliott supplied the saloon bodies while Westland created the dropheads.

The frame of the car was created from timber and clothed with a magnesium alloy body. The result was a light vehicle with structural rigidity. The four-cylinder Riley engine displaced 2443 cc which provided for nearly 105 horsepower. Top speed was in the 100 mph range, a very fast pace at the time especially considering the vehicles small stature. In December of 1946 a Healey Elliot was driven to 104.65 mph making it the fastest British production car.

Since Donald Healey was a racing fan and a racing and rally driver, the cars were built with sporty intentions. Italian race car driver, Count Lurani, drove an Elliott in the Sicilian Targa Florio where he emerged in an impressive 13th place. The car was mostly stock with only few modifications. The same car was later entered in the 1948 Mille Miglia where it was joined by another Elliott driven by Nick Haines. Donald Healey also entered the race, driving a Westland. Haines had a DNF but Lurani finished in 13th. Other races soon followed, including the Spa 24-hour race, Goodwood, and more.

In October of 1950, the Westland and Elliot models were replaced by the Tickford and Abbott. The Tickford was the saloon while the Abbott was the drophead. The Silverstone sports-racer soon followed, as did the Healey 100. In total, there were 101 examles of the Elliot produced and 64 examples of the Westland.

By Daniel Vaughan | Sep 2007
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