1949 Healey Silverstone is available now at auction from Historics at Brooklands
- Engine Size 1.0l
- Registration MFF 574
- Service History
- Gearbox Unlisted
- Fuel Type Unlisted
- Correct and confirmed, factory-stamped D21 chassis
- Well restored using period parts
- Fascinating period competition history
Originally designed as both a road and racing car, little compromise was made for comfort and practicality. With a light body and a peppy 2 litre Riley engine, it performed well; even the headlights were brought inside behind the grille to make it more aerodynamic. It had a very limited run; just 105 produced making correct examples extremely desirable.
There were two bodies available, the D-Type (narrow & cramped) and the E-Type (wider and more comfortable), both versions were successful on the track and, looking back over each models history, you will occasionally find extensive period competition history. Even Donald Healey himself raced one, winning the 1949 Alpine Rally. A Healey Silverstone also won Belgium's Lige-Rome-Lige Rally, the Isle of Man Manx Cup, various races at Goodwood and other national events.
Due to the limited production run, cars with important period competition history are desirable and so when a previously undiscovered chassis turns up, correct identification is key.
There are a handful of Healey experts in the world, their reputation is important (as indeed is the reputation of the auction house representing them) and so when a chassis is offered to them, they must be 100% sure within themselves that it is what it purports to be before signing their name to it.
Approximately eight years ago, our vendor received a telephone call regarding a Healey Silverstone chassis that the callers late father had hanging on his workshop wall for the last 50 years. On inspection, this chassis had the number D21 stamped in the frame, on both sides.
The vendor already knew of a chassis D21 however, currently living in Germany and so a belt & braces approach began before any restoration works could follow. The first port of call was a renowned consultant forensic scientist by the name of Michael Trott (B.Sc.Tech) who began the painstaking process of lifting the paint off the chassis exposing the real chassis number. When a stamp is used to create an imprint of a number or letter in metal, even if you cannot see the digit anymore the steel remains bruised and, with certain chemicals, this bruising can be brought to light. Eventually it became clear, without doubt, that the UK chassis was D21. A document was created, signed and sent off to the DVLA for registration application. The DVLA have now accepted this analysis and have awarded the period registration number, MFF 574. Unfortunately, the rights to the original registration number, KYL 690, have been lost.
Importantly, also, the Healey Owners Club have also reviewed this data, the committee have voted and unanimously agreed that the identity of this car is correct. A Riley powerplant has been fitted of the type originally found in a Silverstone of this year and, even though it originally came with a D-Type body, an E-Type one has now been retrospectively fitted. This will allow for more space for its occupants. Important when you consider the events this sportscar is eligible for.
Interested parties should note that there is another chassis purporting to carry the same identity as this one although the markings clearly have different numbers underneath and so the true identity of this secondary car is unconfirmed at this point.
The competition history of D21, up-to 1966, is good news;
12/8/50 B.A.R.C. Members Meeting, 2nd overall
09/51 Tourist Trophy Dundrod, 14th overall, 5th in class
10/51 October Meeting, Snetterton, no further details
12/04/52 Castle Coombe, 3rd overall
1952 Burnham rally of North Staffordshire Motor Club, outright winner
1952 Empire Trophy, no further details
1953 Empire Trophy, Isle of Man, no further details
1953 Whitsun Davidstow circuit, no further details
1954 Trengwainton Hill Climb, no further details
1954 Whitsun Davidstow circuit, no further details
27/9/60 Goodwood, Speed Test Day, 3rd place
After 1966, there is an excellent probability that this is still the car used at the following events;
10/10/76 Austin Healey Sprint Meeting, RAF Upwood, 3rd place
27/9/80 Goodwood, Speed Test Day, no further details
10/96 Eifel Klassik, Nrburgring, no further details
2000 Wiesbaden Rallye, 67th place
10/01 Eifel Klassik, Nrburgring, no further details
10/02 Eifel Klassik, Nrburgring, no further details
2/10/05 Nrburgring, ADAC Classic, no further details
16-17/6/07 Oldtimerfestival Nrburgring, no further details
23/10/07 Nrburgring, ADAC Classic, no further details
09/07 Bergrennen Presberg, no further details
2008 Vintage Nrburgring, no further details
2008 Eifelrennen Nrburgring, no further details
08/09 Vintage Nrburgring, no further details
A glance down the list offers any prospective purchaser the ability to use this in any number of events especially as it has just been awarded Historic FIVA status thus allowing it to take part in such blue riband events as the historic Mille Miglia, the Vernasca Silver Flag, Le Rallye du circuit des Remparts Angoulme and the Oldtimer Grand Prix at the Green Hell itself, the Klassik Nrburgring.
Putting the history and credibility to one side this leaves the integrity of the car itself. The restoration is of a standard usually the preserve of work undertaken by an owner/restorer. The paint, for example, is not thick and lustrous but authentic to a 1950s sportscar cut, as it is, with 20% matting agent to replicate the cellulose equivalent finish Donald Healey specified to his 66% purchase tax-beating, 999 motorcar. The seats are correct although re-trimmed, the engine and gearbox stripped and rebuilt. The front and rear suspension has not been undercoated and painted black as some are but left clean and showing their component parts. It is authentic and as original as possible. With prices fluctuating from 150,000 for a poor example up to 250,000 for a trailer queen, this sensibly restored example has been correctly identified as a sound proposal. Freshly serviced, freshly MoTd and with five new tyres, it is the real thing but dont take my word for it, ask the DVLA, the Healey Owners Club and the Healey Club of GB.