On the 21st of April 1948 Healey registered two factory prepared competition cars on the UK roads one today’s featured Westland GWD 43 and the other a closed Elliot saloon GWD 42.
GWD 42 crewed by Nick Haines and Rudolfo Haller became the first non Italian car to start a post war Mille Miglia a few weeks later and were soon followed by Donald and son Geoffrey Healey in GWD 43 and a second work prepared Elliot GUE 722 driven by Giovanni Lurani and Guglielmo Sandri,
Nick and Rudolfo retired from the event, but Giovani and Guglielmo finished 13th overall and 1st in the Touring class while Donald and Geoffrey finished 9th overall and 2nd, to the wininning Ferrai 166, in the over 2 litre / 122 cui sports class.
Donald and Nick then paired up in GWD 43 for the Alpine Cup later that year where they finished first in class.
In 1949 Geoffrey Healey was joined by Tommy Wisdom in GWD 43 for the 1949 Mille Miglia and the pair shaved just over 3 hours off the car’s time from the previous year to finish tenth over all with a class win.
Today the restored GWD 43 is seen, in these photographs taken at last years Classic Car Show at the NEC Birmingham, with a replica body fitted for competition in the modern day Mille Miglia reenactment events while the original body for GWD 43 is being restored and fitted to the original Healey chassis which was thought to have been destroyed but turned up at auction in Oxford a couple of years ago.
Thanks for joining me on this “Due Mille Miglia” edition of “Gettin’ a li’l psycho on tyres” I hope you will join me again tomorrow when I will be looking back at the first car to ever win the Indy 500. Don’t forget to come back now !