Barn Finds Brought Back to Life

Late fall 2015: Rob’s newly acquired and very well-preserved Nash-Healey is extracted from its 44-year lockup in El Paso, Texas. Though covered in years of dust, it is a barn find of the best kind from a dry storage that precluded corrosion and moisture-related deterioration. The interior was all original and tidy though the leather was a bit “crisp”. Viva la Barn Find!!

Berkey Nash-Healey SintheP 2015.jpg

We’re not sure how…Rob found it in El Paso, but he did! He then spent months advising and assessing and finally acquiring at a very fair number. Nash-Healey number NHA1512 was untouched save for some unfinished engine repair accompanied by an angry letter found inside the glove box addressed to Nash Motors detailing the parts a certain El Paso doctor had been unable to procure to keep his much enjoyed Nash-Healey on the road. These cars had thoroughbred roots. Donald Healey’s genius for making great cars out of a variety of proven proprietary components mixed carefully create more than the sum of the parts. Look no further than the whole Austin-Healey series to see this on a grand scale. The Nash-Healey came first and did this “tradition in the making” proud. The reliable and well-engineered Nash chassis platform was a good base. Carrozzeria Pininfarina in Turin, Italy designed, built then trimmed and assembled these sophisticated early ‘50s Euro-American hybrids to perfection. The Sunday in the Park Concours barn find class is always an exciting one and we’re glad Rob opted to clean this car up and put it in the show; photo above.


Above: Here’s how this Pininfarina body looks at this writing. This is a group project with Rob and friend Chris taking care of the mechanical restoration and some assembly. The ARI crafts people have restored and finished the body and chassis, retrimmed the interior, fit the glass. It’s in Chris’ garage and due to return for final details once Rob and Chris have it up and running. We look forward to seeing a nearly finished car this summer of 2017. Of interest: this is a 1954-55 build and turns out to be the last or one of the last built….Stay tuned!!

Barn find; Restoration in process:


Hugo started with the car in the photo upper left. He had been working on his Morgan SS for years when things changed and it could not get finished. We bought it, completed the job, sorted it out and found it a new home.

It was in “the barn” but it was really not a “find”


...because Bill knew it was there for years...and years. He finally decided to put this family heirloom to good use plying the roadways of coastal Connecticut and sent us the photo below with a few questions about what we might do to get this great, original ‘37 Ford Woodie back in shape. On arrival we dug in to find a roof framework in need of restoration (photo above right) and all the expected long-stored service issues, but the bones were sound. With preservation and use as the goal, we went to work to recommission this good old Ford


Roof soon off and being recreated as the lower body wood got only a strip, tidy and re-varnish per above & upper right. Key oil seals, basic drivetrain service, brakes, suspension, WW tires, a new Cobra grain roof covering, some wiring and lots of smaller tweaks completed the process followed by miles and miles of testing, which did indeed point out a few flaws. All corrected now & Bill’s out and about in his reliable & enjoyable ‘37 Ford.