Having spent a number of difficult years engineering Triumph’s around the companies struggling finances Donald Healey joined Humber and spent his spare time working on a sports car which Triumph had declined to back.
He then found backers of his own to the tune of £50,000 and set up shop in Warwick after securing a supply of Riley engines and transmissions.
The chassis of his sports car, which would be shared with a saloons and other body styles featured, expensive, front independent suspension of the type made popular by the pre war Auto Union Grand Prix cars with a Riley rear axle that combined gave a wheelbase of 102 inches.
The four seat roadster bodies like the one seen here at Silverstone Classic, were manufactured by Westland bodies in Hereford, the four seat Elliot saloon body was manufactured by a shop front manufacturer in Reading.
Donald Healey specified various modifications to the Riley 2443cc / 149 cui four cylinder twin cam engine, of similar design to those which ERA had also modified for their 1930’s Voiturette Grand Prix cars, to bring the power up to 104hp.
With a top speed of 100 mph and rest to 60 mph time of 12.8 seconds the Westland was one of the fastest cars of it’s time suffering, like contemporary Bristol’s, only from their relative expense.
64 Westlands were produced between 1946 and 1950 and it is believed only 13 survive, today’s featured car was built in 1949.
Thanks for joining me on this “Riley Inside” edition of “Gettin’ a li’l psycho on tyres” I hope you will join me again tomorrow for Mercedes Monday. Don’t forget to come back now !