The Duncan Healey
Duncan Industries first used Healey chassis in the summer of 1947 and fitted the modified bodies of a Hillman Minx (see photo), a Ford Anglia and a Ford Prefect to them. Then, in October 1947, a grey-green Healey Duncan was wheeled out of Park Hall, ready to take its place on the Healey stand of the Paris Motor Show where it became the worlds fastest production sports car with a speed of 104 mph.
The Paris Show car was a near disaster. The firms one and only sprayer had left in a hurry and David Rogerson (Works Manager) and Freddie Mears, who had joined the team from Rover, rubbed down the bodywork time after time as the cellulose refused to take. A major problem was that the cars polychromatic finish (a forerunner of todays metallic paint) was produced by mixing aluminiun dust with cellulose in 5 gallon drums and agitating the mixture with blades fixed to an electric drill. Unfortunately, the dust refused to remain in suspension and settled before it could be applied to the bodywork. Eventually Mr.Wally Hannant, of Hannants Garage, Bacton Road, North Walsham, was called in to complete the spray job with only hours to spare.
But worse was to come! The car had been splendidly upholstered by a Mr. Percy Cook, of Cook & Hastings, Watlings Yard, off Cow Hill, Norwich. Mr. Rogerson reported that when we sat in the car the upholstery split from end to end. It was hurriedly repaired and the car was sent to Paris with metal bars across the doors to prevent enthusiastic viewers entering and repeating the embarrassment.
There are no precise production figures but the Association of Healey Owners believed that some 39 saloons and 3 coupes were built on a Healey chassis.
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