Tuesday 16th July 2019,

Healey Elliott Saloon 1946 – 1950

Launched at more or less the same time as the Westland Roadster, the Elliott was a remarkable saloon car. It was the first car we are aware of that was aerodynamically refined using an aircraft wind-tunnel. It`s performance and competition success over many years spoke volumes for the aerodynamicists art. The Elliott was hailed as the fastest closed saloon available at the time.

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.

The chassis;

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.

The Body;

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 Type2 door 4 seater saloon
Engine PlacementFront
Drive TypeRear wheel drive
Cargo VolumeLarge enough for two larger suitcases
Engine2.4 Riley DOHC 8V
Cylindersstraight 4
Displacement2443 cc149.1 cui
Power78 Kw104 bhp4500 RPM
Torque176 Nm130 ft. lb3500 RPM
Power/weight91 bhp/t
Top Speed164 km/h102 mph
Acceleration0-100 km/h - 0-60 mph12.3 s
Fuel consumptionl/100 kmImperial mpg
Gearbox4 speed manual
Weight1148 kg2531 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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