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Healey-Alvis G Type 1951-1953: Only 25 Classic Cars Made

Bev Roberts 2. November 2015 Cars, Healey-Alvis G type No Comments
Healey-Alvis G type 1951-1953 by Andrew Bone front left corner white
The exact chronology of Healey production is difficult to follow, most models over-lapped other models most of the time. This led to some rare anomalies, like the classic Healey-Alvis G type for example. It began production in 1951, slowly grinding out 25 examples, continued through the Austin-Healey transition to be the final `Healey` car made, in 1954.

The Healey-Alvis G type has the feel of a `built to order` car, not a volume production car. All 25 cars were successfully sold but no attempt was made to step-up production which suggests `special-order` status. The 3-litre Alvis engine was obviously successful but was never used in any other Healey car. It was a different Healey and was not made for mass-consumption. Let us consider it in detail, although information on the car has been hard to come by.

The Healey-Alvis G type was a two-door, two seat, convertible roadster that was too luxurious to be called a sports-car. It is more accurate to describe it as a luxury Grand Touring Car in the traditional style.

The chassis:

Donald Healey`s own chassis was built using box-section, lightweight steel. The chassis was constructed in a ladder-form pattern. Front suspension was by means of coil-springs and Healey`s alloy trailing-links. Lever-arm dampers, worm & roller steering and drum brakes front and back were utilised. The rear suspension comprised Alvis`s live axle with Healey`s arrangement of coil-springs, trailing links and Panhard rod.

Engine and transmission:

The Alvis engine and gearbox were from the successful Alvis TB21. The 3 litre engine was a straight 6 of 2993 cc displacement with twin SU carburettors. The Alvis 4-speed manual gearbox was behind it, driving the Alvis rear-axle.

Performance:

The Alvis 3-litre produced 106 bhp and 140 ft/lbs of torque. It achieved a top speed of 100 mph with a 0-60 time of 13.5 seconds. Not as impressive as the Austin-Healey 3000 but when you have one out of 25 cars ever built, who cares how fast it goes?

The body specs:

Healey-Alvis G type body was created using all-aluminium coachwork, hand-beaten onto an ash-timber framework. Convertible styling with two doors and seating for two, protected from wind and flies by a full-framed split-windscreen.

Production ended in 1953 but one car was assembled from stock-parts and left the factory in 1954. Officially it was the last product of Donald Healey Motor Company. However, the story does not end there.

Back in 1952 Healey`s engineers were working on a new concept, the Healey 100. Development had continued steadily until Austin Cars (British Motor Company) expressed an interest in it. Donald Healey made the decision to create a new company with BMC called Austin-Healey. The Warwick factory would continue the research & development on the car, it would be called Austin-Healey 100/4. Healey would develop the car through 100/6 to the legendary Austin-Healey 3000. Healey`s reputation was therefore guaranteed to survive for as long as people drive cars, especially British classics.

Healey-Alvis G type 1951-1953 Specs
 
 
Body Type2 seater Drophead coupe
Engine PlacementFront
Drive TypeRear wheel drive
Brakes
FrontDrum
RearDrum
Dimensionsmminches
Length4420174
Width165165
Height142256
Wheelbase2590102
Cargo VolumeEnough room for passenger luggage
Engine3.0 OHV 12V Alvis
Cylindersstraight 6
Displacement2993 cc182.6 cui
Power79 Kw106 bhp4200 RPM
Torque190 Nm140 ft. lb2000 RPM
Power/weight83 bhp/t
FuelPetrol
Top Speed161 km/h100 mph
Acceleration0-100 km/h - 0-60 mph13.5 s
Fuel consumptionl/100 kmImperial mpg
Urban14.919
Extra-urban9.928.5
Combined12.422.8
Gearbox4 speed manual
Weight1270 kg2800 lb
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About Bev Roberts

Speed, the smell of hot oil, the roar of a straight-through exhaust and the scream of an engine at max revolutions. They have all been a large part of my life for almost 50 years. It is time to share my experiences with you, dear reader. Do you want to know more? Read on through my `Full Bio` and many articles.

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I was born in Hereford UK in 1948 and brought up in Gloucester UK. I played Rugby football internationally as a schoolboy. At the age of 17, a new and wet driving license in my paw, I entered motor racing. I was supported and financed by my parents and so my journey began.

In 1965 I bought a 1293cc Mini-Cooper `S` and campaigned it for a season. Having quickly made some good friends in the racing fraternity, several interesting opportunities came my way. I joined a sports-car team and raced in the Le Mans 24 hours in 1968 and 1969 in a Lola T70. Mechanical failure defeated both efforts. During that period I owned and raced a `D type` Jaguar and an AC Cobra. In those days cars like that were available and not too expensive, now they reside in museums and private collections. I had a chain of interesting cars through my youth including Jaguars, Minis, Mustangs and Lotus-Cortinas.

As a young driver I had my share of accidents too. Often the car would only be worth scrap-metal value by the time I got it home! I worked for an Aston-Martin/Jaguar dealership for a while, which enhanced my experience and gave me the opportunity to sample some very exotic machines, Ferrari, Facel-Vega, Iso and Maserati to recall a few of them.

At the end of 1969 I moved to South Africa to work on my uncle`s farm but the S.A. government had other ideas and drafted me into the army. After five years had passed I was thanked and released from the service. While I was there I bought a beige Cadillac Eldorado, previously the property of Marilyn Monroe. While I was away on a patrol my girlfriend had it re-sprayed pink! I was unimpressed by both the joke and the bill for the work!

When I returned to UK in 1974 I left it behind. On my return I found that the once-mighty British motor industry was in decline and was headed for oblivion. Motor racing was now very expensive so I turned to commercial transport. Driving large trucks gave me freedom and a chance to see some of the world. I don`t remember ever making a career choice but for the next thirty years a truck was my home. For about ten years in that period I owned two trucks of my own.

I also owned a famous MGB-GT, known as `Lucky`. If you`d like to read `The Story of Lucky` there is an article in Inopian`s archive. I finally retired, due to ill-health, in 2008. Since I had varied knowledge and many experiences on our subject I decided to share the stories of the cars I enjoyed (and hated) with the new generation.

Enjoy Inopian… it is constructed and written for you.

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