1953 Nash-Healey Le Mans

RM Open Roads, April 2021 (Online Only)
Wednesday, 21 April - Thursday, 29 April 2021
Sale Price
$75,000 - $90,000
Est. Range
29 April 2021
Sold Date
Lot Number
Enthusiast restoration
RM Sotheby's
Auction House
Chassis no. 3048; Engine no. NHA1271. Red over beige leather. 253/140hp Nash Ambassador Dual-Jetfire OHV inline six, two Carter sidedraft carburetors, floor shift overdrive 3-speed, chrome wire wheel covers, pushbutton radio, whitewall tires, polished aluminum valve cover, Ronco Vertex magneto, exhaust header, underdash oil pressure gauge.

Evaluation: Restored in the 1990s to decent standards for the time but the paint has preparation flaws and age. The upholstery, carpets and interior trim are good and the engine compartment is orderly and clean. Pedal pads are badly worn. A sound, usable and presentable car.

Bottom Line: Rare bodywork produced only in the last year of Nash-Healey production. Built before Chevrolet introduced the Corvette, the Nash-Healey was rated at only 10hp less than Corvette and came with a proper 3-speed manual transmission with overdrive. An earlier owner of this example sought to compensate for the rated performance difference with the magneto and exhaust header. The result here is a thoughtful balancing of the Le Mans Coupe’s rarity and the driver-quality condition and should leave both seller and buyer satisfied.

by Rick Carey
5 May 2021
nash-healey side
nash-healey interior
nash-healey engine
nash-healey gauge
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Condition definitions
Condition #1: Concours
Condition #1 vehicles are the best in the world. The visual image is of the best vehicle, in the right colors, driving onto the lawn at the finest concours. Perfectly clean, the vehicle has been groomed down to the tire treads. Painted and chromed surfaces are mirror-like. Dust and dirt are banned, and materials used are correct and superbly fitted. The one word description for #1 vehicles is “concours.“
Condition #2: Excellent
#2 vehicles could win a local or regional show. They can be former #1 vehicles that have been driven or have aged. Seasoned observers will have to look closely for flaws, but will be able to find some not seen by the general public. The paint, chrome, glass and finishes will all appear as excellent. No excessive smoke will be seen on startup, no unusual noises will emanate from the engine. The vehicle will drive as a new vehicle of its era would. The one word description for #2 vehicles is “excellent.“
Condition #3: Good
#3 vehicles could possess some, but not all of the issues of a #4 vehicle, but they will be balanced by other factors such as a fresh paint job or a new, correct interior where applicable. #3 vehicles drive and run well, but might have some incorrect parts. These vehicles are not used for daily transportation but are ready for a long tour without excuses, and the casual passerby will not find any visual flaws. “Good” is the one word description of a #3 vehicle.
Condition #4: Fair
#4 vehicles are daily drivers, with flaws visible to the naked eye. The chrome might have pitting or scratches, the windshield might be chipped. Paintwork is imperfect, and perhaps the body has a minor dent. Split seams or a cracked dash, where applicable, might be present. No major parts are missing, but the wheels could differ from the originals, or other non- stock additions might be present. A #4 vehicle can also be a deteriorated restoration. “Fair” is the one word that describes a #4 vehicle.
Condition #5: Poor
Running, but battered, incomplete, and perhaps rusty.
Condition #6: Parts car
Parts car.
Hagerty only assigns condition ratings to vehicles we can inspect in person or, for online listings, via high-quality photography.