Editor’s note: We’re always happy to publish Michael Lamm but we’re particularly happy that his auto-biography includes a Nash-Healey, which wouldn’t have happened if Donald Healey hadn’t noticed George Mason, head of Nash, taking some 3D photographs aboard the Queen Elizabeth.
So I had this 1953 Plymouth convertible, the subject of my previous chapter, and I’d put an ad in Hemmings to sell it. This was in the summer of 1979. One of the first people to respond was a Mopar enthusiast in Sebastopol, and he had a 1952 Nash-Healey roadster he was likewise trying to sell. He was asking $5,500 for the Nash-Healey, and I was asking $3,500 for the Plymouth, so he suggested we come to some sort of trade arrangement.
I drove up to Sebastopol in the Plymouth, a distance of about 140 miles, and he checked out my car while I checked out his. He liked the Plymouth, I liked the Nash-Healey, and we agreed to a swap. I’d give him the Plymouth plus $2,000. At that point, I had exactly $1,119.71 in the Plymouth, so I was basically getting the Nash-Healey for $3119.71 (approximately $10,000 in 2010 dollars). We agreed to do the actual car exchange a couple of weekends later, in the town of Fairfield, about halfway between Stockton and Sebastopol. We’d both bring our cars and pink slips, I’d hand him a cashier’s check for the $2,000, and we’d make the swap at a McDonald’s on the east end of town.
Having driven the Nash-Healey in and around Sebastopol, I knew it had problems.