The Healey Elliott was also supremely ugly. We readily accept that that is a matter of opinion! It was undoubtedly a fine machine but, as they say, only it`s mother could love it`s shape! That `mother` was designer Ben Bowden, to whom we apologise for our opinion!
A `works` Elliott was entered (with an Italian crew) in the 1948 and 1949 Mille Miglia road-races. The Elliott won the `Production Touring Class` on both occasions. It was light, with the Healey chassis and aluminium alloy body, and powerful with Riley`s 2.4 litre twin-cam motor. Mechanically it was identical to the Westland. The two-door body seated four comfortably but luxury was sacrificed in favour of weight-saving.
Donald Healey`s light-weight, box-section steel chassis had an ash-timber frame built on to it supporting the aluminium alloy, two-door body. Front suspension was by way of coil-springs and alloy trailing arms. Rear suspension was a live axle with coil-springs, trailing arms and a Panhard rod. Lever-arm shock absorbers were fitted all round as were hydraulic drum brakes (either Girling or Lockheed). The steering gear of the Healey Elliott was of the `worm & roller` variety. All running-gear components were of Riley origin.
As previously stated, the sheet alloy body was mounted on an ash-timber frame. It was a two-door, four seat saloon, designed by Ben Bowden at Healey cars. In appearance it looked very much like the Westland with a roof.
The Riley 2443cc inline four cylinder with twin-overhead-camshafts and 8 valves, was installed. The motor had a compression ratio of 6.5:1 and twin SU carburettors.
The Riley 2.4 litre motor produced 104 bhp and 130 ft/lbs of torque. The Elliott had a top-speed of 102 mph and a 0-60 time of 12.3 seconds. Notwithstanding it`s unusual looks the Elliott was and still is, much loved and sought-after classic car.
Click here to read more about the Westland Roadster
Healey Elliott Saloon 1946-1950
|Body Type||2 door 4 seater saloon|
|Drive Type||Rear wheel drive|
|Cargo Volume||Large enough for two larger suitcases|
|Engine||2.4 Riley DOHC 8V|
|Displacement||2443 cc||149.1 cui|
|Power||78 Kw||104 bhp||4500 RPM|
|Torque||176 Nm||130 ft. lb||3500 RPM|
|Top Speed||164 km/h||102 mph|
|Acceleration||0-100 km/h - 0-60 mph||12.3 s|
|Fuel consumption||l/100 km||Imperial mpg|
|Gearbox||4 speed manual|
|Weight||1148 kg||2531 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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