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.
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.
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 Type||2 seater Drophead coupe|
|Drive Type||Rear wheel drive|
|Cargo Volume||Enough room for passenger luggage|
|Engine||3.0 OHV 12V Alvis|
|Displacement||2993 cc||182.6 cui|
|Power||79 Kw||106 bhp||4200 RPM|
|Torque||190 Nm||140 ft. lb||2000 RPM|
|Top Speed||161 km/h||100 mph|
|Acceleration||0-100 km/h - 0-60 mph||13.5 s|
|Fuel consumption||l/100 km||Imperial mpg|
|Gearbox||4 speed manual|
|Weight||1270 kg||2800 lb|
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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.
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