Nash Healey Coupe

The origins of this arrangement are quite peculiar. Donald Healey and Nash-Kelvinator CEO George W. Mason met on the Queen Elizabeth, which was an ocean liner traveling from the United States to Great Britain. Healey was on his way home returning to Great Britain after his attempt to purchase engines from Cadillac. That failed as General Motors declined his idea. Mason and Healey met over dinner one evening and a production plan arose that was discussed during the remainder of the voyage. The two quickly became friends on account of them both being interested in photography. The Nash-Healey that resulted was a two-seat sports car, built in partnership between the two cohorts, Nash-Kelvinator Corporation and British auto enthusiast Donald Healey. This was all occurring between 1951 and 1954. This was the first American sports car built since the Great Depression and served as example model to promote the sales of the other Nash models. The Nash-Healey made its grand entrance at the 1951 Chicago Auto Show where it was warmly welcomed. It had luxurious details including leather upholstery and an adjustable steering wheel, which was not common at the time. The new Nash model was compared to the Jaguar XK120, which was a great compliment. As was originally conceived, Nash Motors would supply the Ambassador's inline six-cylinder engines, the three-speed manual transmissions with overdrive, and the differentials to Great Britain. They were responsible for installing them into handcrafted aluminum bodied 2-seat sports cars that were designed and built by Healey. The car had a steel frame, with Healey's suspension components. The cars were exported to the United States for sale through the Nash dealership network. It seems that perhaps GM should have sold Healey the engines he had wanted and saved themselves the competition that they inevitably, and unknowingly, spawned.