A NEW APPROACH IN AN AGE OLD BUSINESS+44 (0) 1926 691 141
Sold for: £212,750
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. Designed by Len Hodges, the lightweight two-seater body was crafted in aluminum, while the car's purposeful look was enhanced by cycle wings and closely spaced headlamps mounted behind the radiator grill. Another unusual feature was the spare wheel protruding from its compartment in the tail, thus doubling as a bumper. "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. Observing a weight of only 18.5cwt, the new Healey offered improved performance for competition work, yet remained entirely suitable for normal road use. Getting the price down to less than £1,000 had been an important consideration in the Silverstone's development, as that was the level at which the swinging 66% Purchase Tax would be levied.â€¨The Silverstone was soon making a name for itself in rallying and circuit racing. With Donald himself, together with co-driver Ian Appleyard, securing a second in class and second overall in the 1949 Alpine Rally, they were the highest placed British car. Other noteworthy international successes included Peter Riley and Bill Lamb's class win in the 1951 Liège-Rome-Liège Rally, Peter Simpson's 6th place overall in the 1951 Isle of Man Manx Cup Races and Edgar Wadsworth and Cyril Corbishley's victory in the 1951 Coupe des Alpes.â€¨Many future stars gained their first track experience in the Silverstone, most notably Tony Brooks. There were two generations of Silverstone's, designated ‘D-Types' and ‘E-Types', in addition to two prototype "X" models. The D-Type had a front anti-roll bar and stiffer springs and retained the Riley power plant and rear axle. An improved E-Type, with a wider body and more comfortable cockpit, was introduced in 1950. "LRR 267" is chassis number ‘E66' and first registered on the 12th July 1950 to Fredrick Gordon Stewart Sims. It is an outstanding example of the rare E Type series. Over the past two years it has been subject to a complete nut and bolt restoration after lying dormant in a garage for 30 years. A photographic trail of the restoration accompanies the history file of the car, which includes the original buff logbook. John Godley of "Classique Car Conduits" has researched "LRR 267" and produced a 30-page document that will accompany the car at the Sale. Notable findings include the second owner, as shown on the buff logbook, a Mr Joseph Cecil Winby. He was employed by Brico Pistons, a friend of the Healey family, and he went on to own and campaign it competitively for two years from 1955. Pictures show him at various "MMEC" races. Winby went on to become a respected racing driver and finished second in the Milli Miglia when partnering Tommy Wisdom. The restoration was carried out during the last 2 years by Hennessy Motorsport LTD and completed to an exceptional standard. It has been prepared to racing specification with twin brake master cylinders and remote bias adjustment. The engine is fitted with high compression pistons and the block has been re-bored. A lightened, balanced and reground crank installed while the head has been ported, polished and flow tested. The cams were re-profiled by Newman cams, new valves and hardened valve seats cut with three angle seats for better flow. No expense has been spared in preparing the bodywork, as the professional finish shows. The original body was soda blasted back to bare alloy ~ any cracks re-welded and racing dents removed. The bonnet ( as in period) is similar to the original Le Mans Silverstone and is chopped down to allow for quick and easy access. Painted in Aston Martin Grey the finish is truly stunning. The Healey Silverstone has an excellent power to weight ratio offering fantastic performance from a car which was a pace setter in 1950 offering exhilarating performance to the most discerning enthusiast in excess of 100 mph well within the stride of this iconic 1950 sports car.A car with wonderful road presence, it is also very rare, with just 105 cars ever built ~ this car now offers blue chip investment potential, year on year these fabulous cars continue to appreciate.