Healey Silverstone Competition Roadster 1950
Chassis no. D36
UK registration 'KGG 829'
•Driven in period by famous rally driver Nancy Mitchell
•Very well documented with exceptionally comprehensive history file incl. period photos
•Retaining original interior
•Mille Miglia eligible
The Donald Healey Motor company completed its first car in 1945, going into full-time production the following year. The firm's first offering was a 2.4-litre Riley-powered sports saloon with welded-up chassis and Healey's own trailing arm independent front suspension. For the clubman racer there was the dual-purpose Silverstone, a model equally at home on road or track. The saloon's engine and basic underpinnings were retained, though with shorter frame, stiffer springing and - unusually for the time - a front anti-roll bar. The lightweight two-seater body was crafted in aluminium, and the car's purposeful look was enhanced by cycle wings and closely spaced headlamps mounted behind the radiator grille. Another unusual feature was the spare wheel protruding from its compartment in the tail, thus doubling as a bumper! The Silverstone was soon making a name for itself in rallying and circuit racing, with many future stars gaining their first track experience in the car, most notably Tony Brooks. In all, 104 Silverstones were built between 1949 and 1951.
The Motor, when it announced and featured the model in July 1949, described the Silverstone as a 'light competition-type two-seater to sell at the basic price of £975' while observing that 'weighing only 18.5cwt, the new Healey offers improved performance for competition work, yet remains entirely suitable for normal road use.'
This well-known Silverstone was first registered on 4th May 1950, although the chassis number indicates that it was built in 1949. 'D36' was despatched to Scotland where it was purchased new by one D Frazer in Glasgow and registered as 'HSF 360'. While in Scotland, the Healey was raced and hill climbed for two years, driven mainly by Bob Dickson and the famous rally driver, Nancy Mitchell. Nancy Mitchell was one of BMC's squad of British lady rally drivers in the 1950s, winning two European Ladies' Championships. She drove the Healey Silverstone in hill climbs, including the Rest And Be Thankful event at Arrochar. The car then came back to England and was reregistered as 'KGG 829', keeping that registration for the rest of its life in the UK.
'KGG 829' was used in publicity for the hard tops made for the Healey Silverstone by Universal Laminations Ltd (see original 1954 advertisement on file). From 1956 to 1970 the car belonged to one A J Bowers in Hampshire. Another long-term owner was Mr David Reader, who raced the Healey extensively and kept it from 1992 to 2012 when it was bought by the current vendor. The car is believed to have been repainted from green to red during that period.
The current owner re-sprayed the Healey in green, a wise decision, and has participated in many rallies with it including the Zoute Rally in 2013, 2014, and 2015. It was even featured on the cover of the 2014 Zoute Grand Prix programme! Other important international rallies attended include the Coppa D'Oro (2016) and Gran Premio Nuvolari (2017).
This well documented car comes with an exceptionally comprehensive history file – one of the best we have seen – close inspection of which is highly recommended. Far too lengthy to list in their entirety, its contents include logbooks dating from the 1950s and 1960s detailing all journeys, mileage totals, oil changes, work done, etc plus a vast quantity of original period invoices for parts and work carried out, mostly issued by the Donald Healey Motor Company. There is also a fascinating body of correspondence with the Donald Healey Motor Company dating from the 1950s. Other documents include period racing photographs; a copy of the old UK V5 in the name of David Reader; FIVA identity card (valid until 2023); instructions for the instruments; photographs of participation in the Zoute Grand Prix; rally results; restoration photographs; a copy of the Healey Silverstone brochure; and Belgian registration documents
This Healey seems to have always been well maintained and kept in top condition mechanically, reflecting the considerable sum of money invested in it by the current owner. Fitted with instruments for participation in regularity rallies, it is an ideal purchase for anyone wishing to take part in such events, which, of course, include the Zoute Grand Prix and Mille Miglia. As such, it also represents a relatively affordable entry into these high-profile motoring celebrations. Highly original, exceptionally well documented, ready for any event, and clearly well looked after throughout its career, this beautiful Healey Silverstone must be one of the better examples around.
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