This 1952 Nash Healey Pininfarina Roadster was originally ordered and owned by Charles Tyroler II who was a member of the President’s Intelligence Oversight board during the Reagan and Bush administrations and a long time United States Democratic Party strategist. It was originally factory equipped with a Nash 6 cylinder engine and double carburetors, but later the engine was swapped in 1957 when the first Chevrolet 348 V8 engine became available.
This cutting edge engine was bought directly from the factory. Tyroler retained the original Nash transmission. A custom dual exhaust was also added to the car. This rare beauty has a champagne ivory exterior (which was one of only two colors known to be offered during this production time) with burgundy leather interior. Purchased out of New Jersey sometime in the late 1980s by a US-German citizen living in Virginia. He drove it for about 3 years, and (this will sound familiar to many) – he parked it in his garage and there it sat for about 23 years, until purchased by its third owner in 2013.
Nash may be an American Automotive company of the past, but 100 years later we can still value the design work that went into creating some of the most iconic vehicle components. We can thank Nash for the first offered HVAC system (heating and cooling), seat belts, and reclining seats. Nash produced the first proto-type muscle car, the Rambler Rebel, the fastest stock vehicle offered at that time.
Donald Healey was very interested in creating a car built with a Cadillac V8 engine. Healey decided to set out to America on the Queen Elizabeth to try and save his motor company and meet with Cadillacs chief engineer Ed Cole to possibly have production of their V8. On the ship he happens to strike up a conversation with a tall, portly gentleman carrying an elaborate stereo camera rig. The man turned out to be George W. Mason, president of the Kenosha, Wisconsin-based Nash-Kelvinator Corporation. Mason turned out to be very interested in Healey’s concept so he invited him to visit Kenosha if his meeting with Cadillac didn’t pan out.
The high demand of the V-8 caused Healey’s request to be shot down. So, he headed off to Wisconsin for a meeting with Nash. Instead of a V-8, the initial idea had to change, Nash only had a 3.8 liter (235 cu. In) 6 cylinder. He offered the engines up front for production and only after they sold they would receive a percentage of the sale. Nash also offered to sell the vehicles through their US based dealers providing a straight path into the American Market. The Nash-Healey was born and made its official debut at the Paris Salon. It sported a new aluminum body with integral fenders, designed by Donald Healey and Len Hodges (Nash).