Donald Healey: A Company Expansion, and Move

The Healey showroom in the early 1980s.
Warwickshire County Record Office reference PH1272/686

Part of the reason the company ended its boat building venture was that the company moved from the Cape to a former cinema at Coton End in Warwick and the premises there, including a new showroom, were opened on 3 July 1963 – the day of Donald Healey’s 65th birthday. The opening ceremony was performed by Alec Issigonis, designer of the Mini, and also in attendance was the Mayor of Warwick, along with Healey’s friends in the motor industry. The company also moved its London showroom from Holland Park to a more central position in Grosvenor Street.

The end of the ‘Big’ Healey

The ‘Big’ Austin-Healey car came to an end because of stricter safety regulations (mainly concerning the doors, and environmental pollution). To meet these requirements a Rolls-Healey (or Healey 4000) was built which had greater ground clearance to fit a catalyst box in the exhaust system (it was a wider version of a 3000) but only three were built (including one at the new family home at Trebah in Cornwall). This was because in 1967 Donald Healey was summoned to the office of British Leyland Chairman and Managing Director Donald Stokes at the Standard Works in Coventry to be told that he was focussing on other marques.

The previous article looked at Healey Marine, whilst the next focuses on Jensen-Healey and beyond.

The ‘Warwick Healey Motor Company’ material was purchased by Warwickshire County Record Office from the Healey family in June 2016 and includes items from different branches of the family. Subsequent donations were made by the family and others, including former Donald Healey Motor Company employees, individuals, and Healey enthusiasts.

More from Warwick
More from Cars