Warwick Healey Motor Company Archive Bulletin II

November 2017

I was delighted with the response that the inaugral edition of the WHMCA Bulletin received and thank you to all those who subscribed to receiving future editions. It looks as if that is a list that is going to grow and grow. I trust that we prove worthy of your interest.

In this edition I am going to refer back to Gary Collins previous blogs mainly because we have had further responses to them which it is important to share with you. I will of course reveal other photos from the archive, the main reason for the Bulletin’s existence.

First of all I want to revisit the Ferrari 625 F1 photo that Gary put on his blog in July.

CR4804/2/197A**
CR4804/2/197A** Rear (de Dion) Suspension and trans-axle from the Ferrari 625F1 fitted to X224 (photographer D.G. Bird, Warwick)

In August Gary reported that a number of people had been touch, I was one of them but in all honesty all I could do was identify the car in the photo as a Ferrari 625 F1.

One other person went further and mentioned that it was the car driven by the Marquis de Portago or to give him his full name – Alfonso Antonio Vicente Bias Angel Francisco Borjia Cabeza de Vaca y Leighton, Grandee of Spain, Count of Mejorada, Count of Pemia, Marquis de Moratalla, Marquis de Portago and Duke of Alagon (courtesy Doug Nye, Motor Sport magazine). The 625 was one of Ferrari’s least successful F1 cars, Portago’s was a private entry with works support during non Championship events in 1955. He crashed the car at Club Corner, Silverstone in the practice session for the International Trophy race, he sustained a fractured leg.

All very interesting but what is the connection with Healey, I hear you say. The answer is, X224, that was the code given to Donald and Geoffs’ project to fit the 2.5 Ltr. four cylinder engine and trans-axle from the Ferrari 625 into a modified Austin Healey 100 S chassis. The body used panels similar to those used on  the three 100 -sixes used in the 1957 Sebring 12 Hours race, they in turn had been developed from the 1956 Record Breaker (see below). The Ferrari engine developed 210BHP using petroleum spirit, down from the 240 BHP that it developed when using Methanol.

The X224 was raced once during the 1957 Nassau Speed Week. It was driven by Peter Collins in the Nassau Trophy race held on 8th December. The race was won by Stirling Moss driving a Ferrari 290 Mille Miglia. Collins finished 10th overall and 1st in class. The car was considered to be a disappointment and was converted to a 100/6 competition car for the 1958 season.

Non credited photo taken from the internet, see ‘Legal Stuff’

 

CR 4804/2/128** Healey Drawing No. AHC 3192 The writing at the bottom says – Peter Collins 4.3 LA??? (large?) Ferrari Body Outline 1/8 Scale. This drawing is intriguing rather than significant. 1. It is unusual to have a design designated by a particular driver. 2. The hardtop. 3. the rear wing profile.

Readers responses –

Mr. Brent Byers from the U.S. got in touch with the WCRO in response to some photos that Gary had asked for help in identifying, here are the photos and Brent’s comments –

CR 4804/3/200A**

This photo shows the engine compartment of TFR-3/4. TFR-3 was the 1965 Targa Florio Sprite roadster, reg. no. EAC 90C. It was later rebuilt into TFR-4, a fastback coupe for the 1966 Targa. Due to the composition of the photo it is unclear which version is shown. The key identifying feature is the split cowl vent with bonnet strap in the center. The car is said to have been broken up after a 1970 crash

CR4804/3/179B**

This photo is of Philip Payne, a British citizen then living in Los Angeles, California. He was a mechanic at International Motors, a sports car dealer. He purchased the pictured car from its builder, Willis Baldwin, in 1947. He replaced Baldwin’s side-valve Cadillac v8 with a lighter side-valve Mercury engine. It is known as the Baldwin-Payne Special and is considered a seminal American sports-racing special. Payne brought the car with him when he returned to England in 1950.

Note: – Brent provided a couple of urls so that we can read more about the Sebring Sprite and the Baldwin-Payne Special; you can find them at the bottom of this page [I don’t want you to get distracted yet :-)].

Talking about Cadillac engines reminds me that I came across these photos in the Archive –

CR4804/2/150**

 

CR4804/2/150A**

These photos show a Cadillac 331 (cu.ins), V8 engine (with Healey name plates on the rocker covers) fitted to a Silverstone chassis and mated to a Ford gearbox.

These photos pose some questions. It was Briggs Cunningham who first fitted a Cadillac 331 V8 into a Healey Silverstone. I have read that he ordered two Silverstones from the Donald Healey Motor Company, one a standard car with the Riley engine and the other as a rolling chassis. It was, of course, the latter into which the Cadillac engine was fitted. This car was raced with success in club events in the States in the early 1950s and led to Cunningham designing and building the first ‘All American’ sports racing car, the C-1.

DMH was interested in fitting Cadillac engines to his cars hence the famous voyage to the States during which he bumped into  George Mason of Nash Kelvinator. This fortuitous meeting, in turn, led to the Nash-Healey being created. Incidentally, some Post War Jensens were also fitted with Nash engines, but that is another story, not for this bulletin.

The question is, did Healey also build a Cadillac engined Silverstone and are these photos of that car, or, are the photos of Brigg Cunningham’s car? If you have the answer please get in touch.      My own guess is that this is a Warwick built car because I cannot imagine that Cunningham would bother to put Healey name plates on the rocker covers of his car.

Mr. David Moore contacted the Record office in response to another photo that Gary was seeking help on  –

CR4804/2/151A** Photograph of ‘Warwick Healey’ front suspension swinging arm

This is what David said “Re the unidentified photos on the website, I believe this photo is of the front suspension swinging arm and its bearings as used in all the ‘Warwick Healey’ chassis. Far too expensive a set-up for the (Austin ed.) Healey 100s & 3000s!” Thank you David, your description has been added to the catalogue.

Get in touch, we would love to hear from you –

If you have information on Healey Motor Company related information you wish to share with readers of this bulletin, then please send an email to – warwick.healeyarchive@carsceneinternational.com

Gateway to the Healey Archive Catalogue –

http://heritage.warwickshire.gov.uk/category/warwick-healey-motor-company/

This will take you to Gary’s previous blogs. To get to the ‘Catalogue’ click on ‘Warwick Healey Archive Bulletin’ that will take you to another page at the bottom of which is a link to the WHMCA ‘online’ Catalogue.

Further reading –

More on the Sebring Sprite referred to by Brent Byers –

http://www.sebringsprite.com/eac90c.html

More on the Baldwin-Payne Special –

http://www.tamsoldracecarsite.net/BaldwinSpecial2.html

To see other ‘Healey’ related posts on the Carsceneinternational.com website click on this image –

Previous Bulletin (click on image)

The ‘legal’ stuff

  • The content in these WHMCA bulletins is subject to statutory copyright law. Nothing must be used or copied from them without the written permission of the author and publisher (one and the same).
  • Content will comprise of items from several sources. Those items sourced from the Warwick Healey Motor Company archive and or other files owned by the Warwickshire County Record Office have been vetted by authorised members of staff of that organisation before being allowed to appear in WHMCA Bulletins. These items (marked thus**) are credited on the website as ‘Part of the Warwick Healey Motor Company Archive held at Warwickshire County Record Office.’ If you want to reproduce any item from their collection, you will need to contact them for permission, quoting the image reference number. Details of how to do this can be found here:
    http://heritage.warwickshire.gov.uk/warwickshire-county-record-office/county-record-office-access-to-information/county-record-office-copyright/
  • To protect the originals’ copyright and authenticity, documents and photographs etc., sourced from the WCRO and shown in the WHMCA bulletins, will not be replicated in their entirety. It is intended that there will be sufficient detail to make them interesting to visitors to this website. Copies of the originals may be purchased from the WCRO, subject to that organisation’s terms and conditions.
  • Images may also be enhanced for reproduction on this website, therefore their appearance, on a computer screen or a mobile device, may differ to that of  the original.
  • Save for the authorisation of the publication of Warwick Healey Motor Company Archive material described above, this website is entirely independent of the Warwickshire Country Record Office. Views expressed in the WHMCA bulletins are not necessarily views that the WCRO agrees with. The WCRO or the Warwickshire County Council will not be held liable for any views or material appearing in the said bulletins unless it is clear that they are attributable.
  • We (this website and the WCRO) operate a ‘take down’ policy in respect to any complaint we receive about a copyright issue in connection with any images featuring in WHMCA Bulletins. This means that images which are the subject of such complaints will be removed immediately until the complaint is resolved.

Explore more

spot_img
Healey Silverstone 75th Anniversary

Healey Silverstone 75th Anniversary

CSI is please to bring you this 'Press Release' from Silverstone Festival 2024 "HEALEY SILVERSTONE CELEBRATES ITS 75th AT SILVERSTONE FESTIVAL • Special milestone for racy roadster...
Midget & Sprite Club

Healeys at the Classic Car & Restoration Show 2024

I made my annual visit to the 'Practical Classics' Classic Car & Restoration Show last Friday. As ever, it was a friendly and joyful...
Classic Car & Restoration Show

Classic Car & Restoration Show Birmingham NEC 2024 – Report

It's always a pleasure to attend this annual event. Everyone you meet is friendly and courteous, the people on the various stands are keen...
MG Prototypes

MG Prototypes at the British Motor Museum

Last year I read various articles on how MG enthusiasts had spotted rare MG prototypes rotting away on the old MG Rover site at...
Historic Rally Car Register Open Day at Gaydon 2024

Historic Rally Car Register Open Day at Gaydon 2024 – Report

In previous years I have been pleased to publicise the Historic Rally Car Register Open Day held at the British Motor Museum, Gaydon, in...
Singer Le Mans

The Patrick Foundation supports ‘The Learning Hub’ at the British Motor...

A press release from the British Motor Museum - "The British Motor Museum is delighted to announce the opening of ‘The Learning Hub’, a brand-new...

Healeys at the Classic Motor Show Birmingham NEC 2023

Last Friday I made my annual pilgrimage to the Classic Motor Show held at the Birmingham National Exhibition Centre. I have attended for the...

Classic Motor Show Birmingham NEC 2023 – Part One

On Friday 10th November I made my annual pilgrimage to the temporary cathedral dedicated to worshipping classic cars that is the Birmingham NEC. I...