The magazine Motor, when it announced and featured the model in July 1949, described the Silverstone as a ‘The new Healey offers improved performance for competition work, yet remains entirely suitable for normal road use.‘
Donald Healey, a British rally racing driver and car manufacturer, founded the company bearing his name in 1945.
Healey had started out racing, and then, turned to car manufacturing.
At first, the Donald Healey Motor Company manufactured box-section chassis.
Riley supplied the engines and the rear axles.
The Riley engine Healey used was 2,443 cc. It had overhead valves actuated by twin, high-mounted camshafts and pushrods.
Healey created a roadster known as the Westland and a saloon called the Elliot. Both were unveiled in 1946.
Healey then decided to make a car truly made for sports car racing.
In 1949, Healey introduced the Silverstone.
Virtually a single-seat styled grand prix car with fenders, the chassis consisted of what was a heavily-rounded box chassis, made up of aluminum.
The nose was rounded off and fell steeply at the very front.
Interestingly, behind the vertical-bar grill set the car’s two headlights.
The front suspension incorporated a trailing link design similar to the German cars of pre-war design. In addition, the tires were neatly covered by cycle fenders.
One of the other interesting design aspects to the Silverstone was Healey’s placement of the spare tire.
Healey rounded the rear end of the car and pulled it in slightly from the sides. A slot was cut out of this rear end. This slot was used to house the tire. The tire then doubled as a bumper.
In total, only 104 Silverstones were built between 1949 and 1951.
ABOUT THIS SPECIFIC EXAMPLE
This specific Healey Silverstone was first registered on the 4th. of May 1950, although the chassis number indicates that it was built in 1949.
The car was despatched to Scotland where it was purchased new by a Mr. D. Frazer from Glasgow.
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, Scotland.
Amongst the rally history, this specific Healey was also 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 a person named A J Bowers in Hampshire, South East England.
Another long-term owner was Mr David Reader, who raced the Healey extensively and kept it from 1992 to 2012.
This specific Silverstone have had already a Houtkamp history.
In 2012 the car was sold via The Houtkamp Collection to a Belgium owner.
The Belgium owner re-sprayed the Healey in Green, a wise decision, and he has participated in many rallies including the Zoute Rally in 2013, 2014, and 2015.
It was even featured on the cover of the 2014 Zoute Grand Prix program!
Other important international rallies attended included the Coppa D’Oro (2016) and Gran Premio Nuvolari (2017).
In March 2021 the Healey became one more time part of the Houtkamp Collection and shortly after, in July 2021 it was sold to an American owner from Dallas with the intention to participate in the next Mille Miglia.
The Healey participated then in the 2022 and 2023 Mille Miglia.
This example is a very well documented car, with an exceptionally comprehensive history file – one of the best we have seen.
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 correspondences with the Donald Healey Motor Company dating from the 1950s.
Other documents include
Fitted with instruments for participation in regularity rallies, it is an ideal purchase for anyone who likes to buy a very special (1 of only 104 examples built) but still reasonable priced car.
The Healey Silverstone has driven quite some rallies but has been used very carefully. Therefore the condition of the car is very nice.
The Healey benefit from a total respray approximately 2 years ago resulting in a very nice deep shine paint.
A respray on a Silverstone is very easy as the car can be easily dismantled and all parts can easily be reached. In other words, if one would like to change the color for example it is easily doable.
The body of the Healey Silverstone is absolutely amazing. The shape is great and the car has been so well designed. It was a smart design as the lamps were hidden behind the grille and the tire was used as bumper.
As described above, the paint on the car is very nice. The chrome shows a beautiful patina as it is still completely original. We personally like this historical touch but it’s off-course relatively easy to re-chrome the grill for example.
The cockpit of the Healey Silverstone is very minimalistic. The necessary buttons and meters are visible but nothing more then that. Like in a race car.
The seats, dash, floor, and rear shelf upholstery are all in a beautiful condition as they have benefit from a complete re-trim 2 years ago.
The tonneau cover has also been renewed so the cockpit can be closed when the car is parked or can be half closed when only the driver is in the car.
On the dashboard one can find a tripmaster for rally driving.
We personally know very well how a Healey Silverstone is driving.
We have driven the 2015 the Mille Miglia with a Healey Silverstone and can confirm that the handling of a Silverstone is difficult to describe as it is seriously spectacular.
A Silverstone is a real race car which can also be used on a relaxed way on the normal road.
The car is very powerful and has an enormous torque. This makes the car great to accelerate on a circuit or in mountain areas.
The brakes are very direct so the car gives a safe feeling when it’s seriously raced.
Highly original, well documented, ready for any event, and clearly well looked after throughout its career, this is a wonderful sporting Healey with great character.
The car is ready to be subscribed in the world’s nicest classic car events such as The Zoute Grand Prix, The Gran Premio Nuvolari, The Mille Miglia and many many other nice classic car events.
Its rarity, but also its sporty and powerful appearance, make this vehicle a very good choice for a subscription in the Mille Miglia.
We certainly hope to see this Healey in the next 2024 Mille Miglia at the start.