Geoffrey Healey

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Geoffrey Carroll Healey (1922–1994), British car designer, was born in Perranporth, Cornwall, the son of Donald Healey and his wife Ivy Maud, on 14 December 1922.

Early life[edit]

Initially a pupil at Truro School, he transferred to Emscote Lawn School, Warwick in 1934, when his father joined the Triumph Motor Company in Coventry as their Experimental Manager. Geoffrey moved to Warwick School in April 1937 and took his School Certificate there in 1939.

At the start of the Second World War, Geoffrey his mother and brothers moved back to Cornwall, whereupon Geoffrey studied metallurgy at the Camborne School of Mines. Soon afterwards he became an apprentice at Cornercroft in Coventry and studied engineering at Coventry Technical College. He joined the new REME corps of the Army in late 1943, serving in Syria, the Lebanon and Egypt, reaching the rank of Captain.

The Donald Healey Motor Company Ltd[edit]

Demobilised in 1947, he joined Armstrong Siddeley Motors as a development engineer. He stayed there for two years, before joining his father Donald in Warwick, also as Development Engineer. In 1949 the most sporting of all the Healeys, the Silverstone, was announced. It had a shorter chassis and stiffer springing and was capable of 107 mph. The cars had numerous competition successes including class wins in the 1947 and 1948 Alpine rallies and the 1949 Mille Miglia. It remains a highly sought after car to this day and many of the other Healeys have been converted into Silverstone replicas.

In 1952, a joint venture with the British Motor Corporation created the Austin-Healey marque and later on the Austin-Healey Sprite. The Healey Frogeye Sprite was conceived by Donald and Geoffrey prior to Donald's death and taken through to production by Geoffrey and Keith Brading of the Frogeye Car Co. Donald Healey became a director of Jensen Motors in the late 1960s and a result of this was the Lotus engined Jensen-Healey which appeared in 1972. The Donald Healey Motor Company was finally sold to the Hamblin Group, although Healey Automobile Consultants and the engineering parts of the company remained in the hands of Geoffrey and Donald Healey.

Postscript[edit]

Two years after his death on 29 April 1994, his life story was published as "The Healey Story". This has been reviewed as "a Cornish father and son partnership and their 30-year involvement in the motor industry. The cars they made are still highly sought-after in Europe, the US and Australia, where many of the specials Geoffrey Healey prepared can now be found."

Geoffrey's widow, Margot A-M Healey (née Murcell), still lives in Warwick, and she happily regales her friends and neighbours with stories connected to the Healey history. She is the next-door-neighbour of Henry Ford Technical Fellow Tim Davis.

References[edit]

'The Healey Story: A Dynamic Father and Son Partnership and Their World-beating Cars'. Geoffrey Healey ISBN 0-85429-949-1. G.T.Foulis & Co (1996) (Haynes Group)