Classic Nash Healey souped up with Jaguar engine, suspension

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Just in case you think resto-modding is a recent phenomenon, consider the Pick of the Day, a 1952 Nash Healey being advertised on ClassicCars.com by a dealership in Astoria, New York.

“Around 1963 the second owner commissioned Hollywood Sportscars to install a 3.8 Jaguar engine with Moss gearbox,” the dealership notes in the ad. 

“The chassis was also professionally modified to accept the full front and rear Jaguar independent suspension components, thus the car now sports fully independent suspension front and rear with 4-wheel disc braking. It also rides on Jaguar wire wheels.

“The overall statement this Nash makes is that of a highly original car with perfect gaps, original paint, and straight panels.”

The car also has recently received a refinished interior with Connolly leather and Wilton wool carpeting, as well as a new top and side curtains.

In other words, it’s a resto-mod, a car that looks factory original but has updated components hidden beneath that sheet metal.

The Nash Healey was the result of a chance meeting in 1949 when British sports car constructor Donald Healey and Nash president George Mason both were passengers on the Queen Elizabeth as it sailed from England to the United States. 

“By the time they docked in the US, a deal had been hatched to build Healey sportscars, with Nash 6-cylinder engines, to be sold through the Nash dealer network,” reports the Beaulieu Encyclopedia of the Automobile. 

The 1951 models were considered “plain and slabsided,” but for 1952 new coachwork was designed by Pinin Farina in Italy.  Production for the 1952 model year included 150 convertibles.

The resto-mod being advertised was a California car from new, says the dealer, who adds that it has a history of dry storage when not in use and of single ownership from 1962 until 2014.

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The car is on offer for $59,500.

To view this listing on ClassicCars.com, see Pick of the Day.

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A former daily newspaper sports editor, Larry Edsall spent a dozen years as an editor at AutoWeek magazine before making the transition to writing for the Web and becoming the author of more than 15 books. In addition to being Editorial Director at ClassicCars.com, Larry has written for The New York Times, writes a weekly automotive feature for The Detroit News and is an adjunct honors professor at the Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication at Arizona State University.

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