1953 Nash Healey Pininfarina

Nash-Kelvinator president George Mason was returning from Europe in 1949 on the Queen Elizabeth. During the journey, he met Donald Healey, a British sports car designer, and builder, whose cars used Riley drivetrains. Mr. Healey was bound for Detroit where he was intending to buy Cadillac engines for a new series of cars. Mr. Mason told Mr. Healey that if a deal with Cadillac did not work out, he would supply Nash Ambassador engines instead. The Cadillac discussions proved to be unproductive, so a shipment of Nash drivetrains was soon dispatched to England.

British metalsmiths Panelcraft of Birmingham clothed the first Nash-Haley roadsters in Aluminum, and prototype examples were shown in the fall of 1950 and production commenced in December. A Nash-engined car was entered by Healey in the 1950 Le Mans race in June, finishing fourth among 29 remaining cars and beating Briggs Cunningham's two Cadillacs.

A prototype example was shown in September of 1950 at the Paris Motor Show, and a production model debuted at the February 1951 Chicago Auto Show. Donald Healey gave the first example to Petula Clark, a British singer, actress, and composer. When it arrived in Nash showrooms it had a price of $3,767, which was very expensive and few were sold. Available colors included 'Sunset Maroon' and 'Champagne Ivory.' Mason hoped that it would attract buyers into the showroom, either to buy the Nash-Healey or a Nash automobile. After two years and just 250 sold, Mason and Healey tried a different approach. Believing the problem may be the British styling, coachbuilder Pinin Farina of Turin, Italy was contracted to perform a makeover on the American Nashes. The running chassis was then sent from England to Italy where they received Farina steel bodies and re-shipped to the United States. The design featured closely-spaced headlamps on the edge of the grille that was later used on the domestic 1955 and 1956 Nashes. Aluminum was used for the hood, trunk lid, and dashboard, while the remained were formed from steel.

The restyled car was introduced in 1952 at the Chicago Auto Show. The 1953 examples had a base price of $5,908 which was considerably more than other sport car options including the Chevy Corvette which sold for $3,513.

Demonstrating the car's performance, Nash-Healeys returned to Le Mans again in 1952 and 1953. The team placed third overall in 1952, behind two Mercedes-Benz, and took class title for cars of three to five liters. A single entry contested the 1953 event and finished eleventh. The Nash-Healey team had a respectable showing in the 1952 Mille Miglia.

The engine was a Dual Jetfire 252 cubic-inch overhead valve inline 6-cylinder unit that it used since the 1951 introduction. Over the years, several upgrades were added including a lightweight aluminum head, larger displacement, and enhanced twin carburetors.

Despite the performance, the addition of a Le Mans coupe in 1953, and the attractive Pinin Farina styling of the second-generation cars, production came to a close in August of 1954 with only 252 examples built. A total of 506 examples were built between 1951 and 1954 with approximately 50 examples built in 1953.


by Daniel Vaughan | Jun 2020

Related Reading : Nash Healey LeMans Roadster History

In 1949 Donald Healey and George Mason had a chance meeting on an ocean liner. Healey was in the business of designing and producing sports cars while Mason was the president of Nash-Kelvinator. Their conversation led to sports car and resulted in an agreement that the Nash Company would provide engines for a new Healey sports car. In 1950, production began on this Nash-Healey alliance. In 1951, the....
Continue Reading >>

1953 Vehicle Profiles

1953 Nash Healey Pininfarina vehicle information

LeMans Roadster
Coachwork: Pininfarina

The Nash-Healey was a two-seat sports car produced for the American market between 1951 and 1954. Sometimes erroneously described as the first American sports car built since the Great Depression, it was in fact the product of an Anglo-American partn....[continue reading]

1953 Nash Healey Pininfarina vehicle information

LeMans Roadster
Coachwork: Pininfarina

Chassis Num: 12486

This 1953 Nash-Healey Roadster was offered for sale at the 2007 Sports and Classic Car Auction presented by The Worldwide Group, in Hilton Head Island, SC where it was estimated to sell for $60,000 - $100,000. The vehicle was offered without reserve....[continue reading]

1953 Nash Healey Pininfarina vehicle information

LeMans Hardtop
Coachwork: Pininfarina

This automobile was designed by Donald Healey in England at the request of Nash Motors, USA. The coachwork was designed by Pinin Farina of Italy. The drive train was made of Nash components - frame, suspension, 6-cylinder motor, transmission and rear....[continue reading]

1953 Nash Healey Pininfarina vehicle information

LeMans Roadster
Coachwork: Pininfarina

Chassis Num: N2360

This 1953 Nash-Healey Roadster was brought to the 2007 Monterey Sports & Classic Car Auction presented by RM Auctions, where it had an estimated value of $110,000-$140,000. The lot was offered without reserve. It is powered by a 242 cubic-inch Dual....[continue reading]

1953 Nash Healey Pininfarina vehicle information

LeMans Roadster
Coachwork: Pininfarina

Chassis Num: 3142
Engine Num: NHA 1499

The president of Nash Motors and British sports car builder Donald Healey met in 1949 when they were passengers on the Queen Mary, bound for New York. They decided to develop a line of cars powered by Nash engines and sold through Nash dealerships. ....[continue reading]

1953 Nash Healey Pininfarina vehicle information

LeMans Hardtop
Coachwork: Pininfarina

Chassis Num: 3072

There was a new breed of vehicles capturing America's interest in the post-WWII era, and that was the sports cars. MG followed by Jaguar, Fiat, Mercedes-Benz and many others soon capitalized on this new desire. American automakers soon realized that ....[continue reading]

1953 Nash Healey Pininfarina vehicle information

LeMans Roadster
Coachwork: Pininfarina

Chassis Num: 2321

This 1953 Nash-Healey Roadster is finished in white with a red interior. It has been given a ground-up restoration and been fitted with all the correct equipment, accessories and trim. It was once part of the Skip Barber collection. It was sold by....[continue reading]

1953 Nash Healey Pininfarina vehicle information

LeMans Hardtop
Coachwork: Pininfarina

Chassis Num: 13557
Engine Num: NHA 11286

This unique and rare Nash Healey Le Mans coupe is one of 62 coupes built in 1963, and one of only 506 Nash Healeys that were ever built. The Nash Healey was a hybrid, but not the kind that is so popular on today's roads. Rather, it combined the Ameri....[continue reading]

1953 Nash Healey Pininfarina vehicle information

LeMans Roadster
Coachwork: Pininfarina

Chassis Num: 2347
Engine Num: NHA 1362

Donald Healey and Nash-Kelvinator Chief George Mason collaborated on building a sports car. The duo came to an agreement, and soon Nash Ambassador six-cylinder and three-speed gearboxes with overdrive were shipped to Warwickshire, England. There, the....[continue reading]

1953 Nash Healey Pininfarina vehicle information

LeMans Roadster
Coachwork: Pininfarina

The Nash-Healey is a 2 seat sports car built for the American market between 1951 and 1954. A chance meeting between Nash President George Mason and Healey President David Healey began a partnership that ended with production of the Nash-Healey.....[continue reading]

1953 Nash Healey Pininfarina vehicle information

LeMans Roadster
Coachwork: Pininfarina

During a chance meeting crossing the Atlantic on the Queen Elizabeth, Englishman Donald Healey and Nash-Kelvinator chief George Mason discussed collaborating on a sports car. The Nash-Healey was born and batches of Nash Ambassador six-cylinder engine....[continue reading]

1953 Nash Healey Pininfarina vehicle information

LeMans Hardtop
Coachwork: Pininfarina

Chassis Num: NHA1275

The Nash-Healey sports car was the result of a chance meeting on a cruise between British sports-car maker Donald Healey and the president of the Nash Kelvinator Corporation, George Mason. By the time the journey had come to an end, the two individua....[continue reading]

1953 Nash Healey Pininfarina vehicle information

LeMans Hardtop
Coachwork: Pininfarina

Chassis Num: 3004
Engine Num: LMA277104

Nash-Healey produced 62 hardtops in 1953 crafted by Pinin farina and approximately ten inches longer than their roadster counterpart. With a list price of $6,399, the Nash-Healey was an expensive and exclusive automobile.....[continue reading]

LeMans Roadster by Pininfarina
 
LeMans Roadster by Pininfarina
Chassis #: 12486 
LeMans Hardtop by Pininfarina
 
LeMans Roadster by Pininfarina
Chassis #: N2360 
LeMans Roadster by Pininfarina
Chassis #: 3142 
LeMans Hardtop by Pininfarina
Chassis #: 3072 
LeMans Roadster by Pininfarina
Chassis #: 2321 
LeMans Hardtop by Pininfarina
Chassis #: 13557 
LeMans Roadster by Pininfarina
Chassis #: 2347 
LeMans Roadster by Pininfarina
 
LeMans Roadster by Pininfarina
 
LeMans Hardtop by Pininfarina
Chassis #: NHA1275 
LeMans Hardtop by Pininfarina
Chassis #: 3004 


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Performance and Specification Comparison

Price Comparison

$1,260-$6,000
1953 Healey Pininfarina
$6,000-$12,680
1953 Nash Healey Pininfarina Base Price : $6,000

$2,000 - $2,145

Model Year Production

#1#2#3Nash
1958Chevrolet (1,142,460)Ford (987,945)Volkswagen (451,526)
1957Ford (1,676,449)Chevrolet (1,505,910)Plymouth (726,009)10,330
1956Chevrolet (1,567,117)Ford (1,408,478)Buick (572,024)83,420
1955Chevrolet (1,704,667)Ford (1,451,157)Buick (738,814)96,156
1954Ford (1,165,942)Chevrolet (1,143,561)Plymouth (463,148)91,121
1953Chevrolet (1,346,475)Ford (1,247,542)Plymouth (650,451)121,793
1952Chevrolet (818,142)Ford (671,733)Plymouth (396,000)154,291
1951Chevrolet (1,229,986)Ford (1,013,381)Plymouth (611,000)205,307
1950Chevrolet (1,498,590)Ford (1,208,912)Plymouth (610,954)171,782
1949Ford (1,118,308)Chevrolet (1,010,013)Plymouth (520,385)135,328
1948Chevrolet (696,449)Ford (430,198)Plymouth (412,540)110,000

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