Monday 22nd July 2019,

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.


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
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
Top Speed161 km/h100 mph
Acceleration0-100 km/h - 0-60 mph13.5 s
Fuel consumptionl/100 kmImperial mpg
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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