Hershey

9-10 October 2014

Offered from the collection of John Moir

Previous Next

Lot 120

1953 Nash-Healey Sports Roadster

  • Chassis no. 2347
  • Engine no. NHA 1362
  • Body no. 11951

Sold for $71,500


140 bhp, 252.6 cu. in. OHV inline six-cylinder engine, three-speed manual transmission with overdrive, coil-spring independent front suspension, live rear axle with semi-elliptic leaf springs, and four-wheel hydraulic drum brakes. Wheelbase: 102 in.

  • Offered from the collection of John Moir
  • Formerly owned by Robert Valpey
  • Largely original condition, including its matching-numbers engine
  • An ideal, honest basis for restoration


During a chance meeting crossing the Atlantic on the Queen Elizabeth, Englishman Donald Healey and Nash-Kelvinator Chief George Mason discussed the prospect of collaborating on a sports car. The duo came to an agreement, and batches of Nash Ambassador six-cylinder engines and three-speed gearboxes with overdrive were shipped to Warwickshire, England. There, they were mated with Healey Silverstone chassis and a Panelcraft body of Healey design. Production began for the 1951 model year in December 1950. Racing versions finished 9th in class in the Mille Miglia and 4th overall at Le Mans, but the steep $4,063 price for Nash’s halo car kept sales to just 104 units that first year.

Mason never cared for the original slab styling of the car, and as he had already contracted Italy’s Battista “Pinin” Farina to style the senior Nashes for 1952, he asked Farina to update the Nash-Healey as well. Steel bodywork replaced aluminum, and the price jumped to $5,858, with a total of just 150 produced. A companion Le Mans Coupe on a six-inch-longer wheelbase was introduced for 1953, yet production remained low, with 162 units built for the model year. Thanks to its high price and the emergence of the Jaguar XK120, production ended in 1954, after a total of 506 units had been built.

The Nash-Healey offered here is believed to have been a New England car since its earliest days, as is evidenced by the 1961 Vermont registration sticker still present on the windshield. It was acquired by Mr. Moir from his long-time friend, renowned car enthusiast, and fellow New Hampshire resident Robert Valpey.

The car has been repainted several times over the years but is otherwise unrestored, as it retains its original interior and many of the original finishes under the hood and underneath. The glass windshield is still in good condition, as are the gauges and dashboard. Importantly, the number on the engine matches the original engine number printed on the firewall tag, and the mileage since new was about 36,000 at the time of cataloguing.

The file accompanying the car includes a service invoice dated on 2002, several photographs of the car taken when Mr. Moir purchased it, and an original Nash-Healey brochure, advertising “The World’s Outstanding Sports Car.”

With the majority of the extant Nash-Healeys having been restored, this solid, original example would present an ideal basis for a quality restoration to the highest levels.

Please contact our exclusive automotive transportation partner, Reliable Carriers, for a shipping quote or any other information on the transport of this vehicle.

Alexander Weaver

aweaver@rmsothebys.com

+1 864 313 6844
California, United States

Alexander Weaver joined RM Sotheby’s in 2011 as a Car Specialist after graduating from Furman University in South Carolina. Born... read more

Augustin Sabatié-Garat

asabatie-garat@rmsothebys.com

+44 (0) 74 1511 4179
United Kingdom

Augustin Sabatié-Garat joined RM Europe in 2012 as a Car Specialist after more than a decade in the collector car hobby. Gradua... read more

Barney Ruprecht

bruprecht@rmsothebys.com

+1 203 912 7168
Ontario, Canada

Barney’s interest in classic cars began at an early age after being introduced to his father’s all-original 1965 Porsche 911. Barney l... read more

David Swig

dswig@rmsothebys.com

+1 415 302 2247
California, United States

David Swig joined RM Sotheby’s West Coast division as a Car Specialist in May 2015. David is a life-long automobile enthusi... read more

Don Rose

drose@rmsothebys.com

+1 617 513 0388
United States

Don joined RM in 2006 after several years of professionally trading sports and classic cars, and after earning a reputation as a noted... read more

Donnie Gould

dgould@rmsothebys.com

+1 954 566 2209
Florida, United States

Donnie Gould joined the RM team in 2002 as a partner and Car Specialist after more than two decades in the vintage automobile auction ... read more

Gord Duff

gduff@rmsothebys.com

+1 519 352 4575
Ontario, Canada

Gord Duff began his journey with RM Sotheby’s in 1998. Since then, he has gained an intimate knowledge of a variety of marques a... read more

Jake Auerbach

jauerbach@rmsothebys.com

+1 310 559 4575
California, United States

Jake Auerbach got his start in the automotive industry at an early age, spending his summers during high school working at a classic c... read more

Kurt Forry

kforry@rmsothebys.com

+1 717 623 1638
California, United States

Having worked for Bonhams’ Automobilia department for over 10 years, Kurt Forry joined RM Sotheby’s with more than a decad... read more

Matt Malamut

mmalamut@rmsothebys.com

+1 805 231 6410
California, United States

A long-time car enthusiast and Southern California native, Matt studied Automotive Technology at San Diego Miramar College and complet... read more

Michael Squire

msquire@rmsothebys.com

+44 (0) 20 7851 7070
United Kingdom

Michael Squire joined RM Sotheby’s European Division in the summer of 2016. He comes to RM with a prestigious racing background ... read more

Mike Fairbairn

mfairbairn@rmsothebys.com

+1 519 352 4575
Ontario, Canada

As one of the three founding partners of RM Sotheby’s, Mike has a long-standing interest in the classic car industry. Graduating... read more

Oliver Camelin

ocamelin@rmsothebys.com

+44 (0) 75 0110 7447
United Kingdom

With an extensive background in exotic sports car history and sales, a particular passion for American curves, and fluency in three la... read more

Paul Darvill

pdarvill@rmsothebys.com

+44 (0) 20 7851 7070
United Kingdom

Paul Darvill joined the RM Sotheby’s European team at the beginning of 2015. Paul holds a degree in French and Politics from the... read more

Pete Fisher

pfisher@rmsothebys.com

+1 519 784 9300
Ontario, Canada

Pete Fisher was first introduced to antique cars in high school, working for Classic Coachworks in his hometown of Blenheim, Ontario. ... read more

Shelby Myers

smyers@rmsothebys.com

+1 310 559 4575
California, United States

Shelby Myers grew up with the classic car industry infused into every aspect of his life. He had the unique opportunity to watch the R... read more

Tonnie Van der Velden

tvandervelden@rmsothebys.com

+31 653 84 19 60
United Kingdom

Tonnie Van der Velden joined RM Sotheby’s European division in September 2015 as a Car Specialist. A lifelong enthusiast, Tonnie... read more