Wednesday, May 13, 2009

1958 Westland Healey Aristocrat Thrust Prototype

As I've written in the past, the focus of this blog is affordable collectable cars and unique cars that can be driven on a daily basis. Every now and then there is an exception. This is one of them.

I've never heard of a 1958 Westland Healey Aristocrat Thrust. Fortunately, the seller of this car has included a PDF of the car's known history. Click here to see it.

I don't have a spare $125K lying around to buy this car. Even if I did, I wouldn't buy. I don't find it very good looking and it seems like it's a handful to drive. So why am I writing about it?

First of all, I'm writing about it because it still exists. The seller put a ton of time, money and research into getting this car into the condition you see it. I respect anybody who does that to any car. This must have been an especially tough chore given that it's a prototype. There was no other car to look at for answers and there was limited documentation. I give the seller all the credit in the world for taking on this project and completing it.

Secondly, this car reminded me of missed opportunities. This car was shown at a few car shows in Stowe, VT. Car shows I used to attend regularly. Over the past few years I've cut back on the amount of car shows I attend. Some of that was for good reasons; business, family, etc. Some of that was for lousy reasons; laziness, indifference, etc.

Now that this car is being offered on eBay, there's a very good chance it will leave New England. Who knows, it could wind up in the hands of a collector half way around the world. Had I gotten off my ass a few years ago and gone to one of the few shows he displayed this car at, I could have seen it in person.

I spotted this car late last night. Before I turned off my computer, I sent an e-mail to a friend. She was online at the time and - now knowing I was awake - she called me. "What are you doing still awake?" she asked. I told her about this car. I explained to her who Donald Healey was. I explained that I really didn't like the car very much, but I still would have liked to have seen it in person. "So, this car would be like seeing a less than brilliant Picasso painting, right? It's not his best, but it's still something worth seeing." (An artsy type, she's not into cars... She believes her Subaru is the pinnacle of automotive design.) Exactly. While not his best effort, anything Donald Healey put his name on is worth checking out.

So the point of this rambling post, besides pointing out this unique car, is to remind myself (and maybe you) to attend as many car shows as you can. You just never know what you'll see.

Click here to see the eBay listing for this 1958 Westland Healey Aristocrat Thrust Prototype.

Click here for a brief history of Donald Healey.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

The Westland has surfaced again and is being auctioned at the 34th Annual New England Auto Auction
Antique, Classic & Special Interest
Owls Head Transportation Museum
August 20, 2011. (Owls Head Maine).