1950 Healey Silverstone (Healey)
Chassis no. E94
- Eligible to the Mille Miglia
- One of the just 54 cars of the 1950 "E series."
- Incredible handling for a car of the era
- Time trials winning and fun to drive
- It is beautifully restored
Donald Healey Motor company completed its first car in 1945, going into full-time production the following year. Donald Mitchell Healey was a notable English car designer, rally driver and speed record holder. He founded with the chassis specialist Achille Sampietro and Ben Bowden the Donald Healey Motor Company Ltd basing its business in an old RAF hangar at Warwick. Their first cars were expensive high-quality cars. The firm's first car sold on the market was a 2.4-litre Riley-powered sports saloon with welded-up chassis and Healey's trailing arm independent front suspension. When the British government, in 1948, doubled the purchase tax on luxury cars that cost over £1000, from 33.33% to 66.66%, Donald Healey decided to make a high-performance car that was sold under £1000. The result was the Healey Silverstone, designed by Len Hodges. Built for the clubmans’ racers, the dual-purpose Silverstone was a model equally suited for road or track. It used the tuned version of the Riley twin-shaft 2.4-litre four-cylinder of the saloon, though featuring now 104 hp with two horizontal SU carburettors, a power-boosting exhaust system and a special aluminium-cast intake manifold. The car was built on a shorter frame with stiffer springing and, unusual for the time, a front stabiliser. The lightweight open two-seater body was made in aluminium, mudguards enhanced the car's functional appearance and closely-spaced headlamps mounted behind the radiator grille made it more aerodynamic. Another unusual feature was the spare wheel protruding from its compartment in the rounded and pulled it out slightly from the tail of the side, thus doubling as a bumper. The Silverstone had a top speed of 110 mph (177 km/h) and a 0-60 mph (97 km/h) with an acceleration time of 11 seconds. The Healey’s frames differed by a code letter: A, B, and C were used for Westlands, Elliot, and derived body styles. The first Silverstone used a "D." The air scoop on the hood could distinguish the later, introduced in April 1950, "E" type, it was a bit wider and had a more comfortable cockpit. When the Motor Magazine announced and featured the model in July 1949, it described the Silverstone as a “light competition-type two-seater to sell at the basic price of £975” while observing that “weighing only 18.5 cwt, the new Healey offers improved performance for competition work, yet remains entirely suitable for normal road use.” Its weight distribution, engine, transmission, driver and front passenger seat between the axles, gave an enormous ride balance and stability. The robust chassis gave the car excellent stability. Its active suspension and controlled direct steering made its driving, handling and directional stability far better than most contemporary cars. The Silverstone was soon making a name for itself in rallying and circuit racing, with many future famous pilots making their first sports racing experiences in the car. A young student persuaded his mother to buy a Silverstone to use for her errands. He then borrowed it and made a name for himself on the racetracks. The boy was Tony Brooks. It has been the sports car icon for a whole generation of drivers. The Silverstone has won many competitions including the 1949 edition of the famous Alpine Rally (officially Coupe des Alpes) where Donald Healey himself and Ian Appleyard drove the car. In 1951, Peter Riley and Bill Lamb won the Liège-Rome-Liège Rally, and in 1951 Edgar Wadsworth and Cyril Corbishley won the Coupe des Alpes again. Other notable placings included Peter Simpson's 6th place overall in the 1951 Isle of Man Manx Cup Races. With a Healey Silverstone, Franco Mostert e Carlo Castelbarco Pindemonte Rezzonico ranked 38th overall at the 1950 Mille Miglia. The Silverstone production was of 51 "D" types followed by 54 "E" types. 105 Silverstone were built overall between 1949 and 1951 and was so successful it led to an agreement with the American company Nash Motors. At the end of its career, it was replaced by the Nash-Healey.
The car chassis no. E94 is a beautiful specimen of the 1950's Healey Silverstone, one of the 54 cars of the "E" series, that had several improvements over the D-Type to make it more effective in the field, like the air intakes on the bonnet for better engine cooling, a different type of windscreen and a more comfortable driving seat, suitable for the gentleman drivers of the period. Even today, the twin-shaft Riley engine is potent and reliable. The chassis no. E94 is in excellent condition and entirely original in all its parts. The colour of the red bodywork and the black of the interiors correspond to the configuration in which it was purchased by W.L. Birch, 10 August 1950 from J.C. Alexander LTD. The provenance’s and ownership’s history is complete, this Silverstone was driven by three other English owners, participating in various events, and was exhibited from 1982 to 2009 at the Midland Motors Museum. In 2009 it moved to Italy. The car is in stunning conditions and was completely restored with meticulous attention to details. It comes with both the sunroof and a tonneau cover. The E94 has complete documentation and is featured on several historical books. It has the original UK 1950 logbook and the guarantee certificate delivered to the first owner. It has the FIVA certificate classified A3 and CSAI to face time trials. A winning and enjoyable car. Enthusiasm for the Healey brand has grown within the collectors worldwide, counting to now several races’ entries. Thanks to its qualities, the Healey Silverstone is a constant presence at the Mille Miglia re-enactments. The Silverstone is now a highly sought-after car. Many of the Silverstone cars that still exist have changed over the past sixty years due to accidents and repairs, competitive modifications or owners' wishes that modified their original "Warwick" specification or appearance. So this is a rare opportunity to get an original one.
- Bill Emerson, The Healey Book, A Complete Story of the Healey Marque, Coterie Press, UK 2002.
- Peter Garnier, Brian Healey, Donald Healey, My World of Cars, Patrick Stephens Ltd Ps, UK 1989.
- Hervé Chevalier, Les Healey des Mille Miglia, Hervé Chevalier, France 2012.
Certifications and Statements
Fiva, fiche CSAI
Registration and Italian license plates in order and updated.
- Mille Miglia. Eligible.
- Giro di Sicilia. Eligible.
- Targa Florio. Eligible.
- Goodwood Revival. Eligible
- Le Mans Classic. Eligible.
- Coppa d’Oro delle Dolomiti. Eligible.
- Circuito di Pescara. Elegible
- Vernasca Silver Flag. Eligible.
- California Mille: Eligible.
- Nürburgring Classic. Eligible.