40º03'22.96" N 74º03'52.86" W
It's a 1948 Austin Healey Shooting Brake.
Only 17 were ever maunfactured. They were built on the Westland-Elliott chassis and the wooden sections were made by Dibbins of Southampton.
Yep-- that's the correct answer--although in 1948 the cooperative link between racer and custom builder Donald Healey and the much larger Austin Motors had yet to be forged. That came in the early 50s After Len Lord, the head of Austin saw Healey's one-off roadster, based of Austin saloon parts at a motor show. They shook hands and that car became the basis for the "Austin-Healey 100". Getting back to the shooting brake, it misleadingly looks very much like an Alvis to my eye and probably that's exactly what Austin was hoping for--a low priced car that made prospective buyers (and their neighbors) think of one with a bit higher status.
I bow to your greater wisdom George. That car is described as a Healey on one website and (apparently incorrectly) as an Austin Healey on another. There also appears to be some confusion as to whether two of them survive or if this is the only one.The 17 Healey Woodies were apparently commissioned by a garage owner in what seems to have been some scheme to avoid purchase tax and thereby sell them more cheaply to his customers.See http://www.classicrestorations.org.uk/showvehicle.php?id=42&image=1
Tillerman: As you may well recall, up until the mid-1960s the UK had a ruinous car purchase tax which added roughly 50% of a new car's purchase price to the final bill. Small manufactures, for example Lotus, responded by offering their customers a "kit" of parts which, as if by miracle, contained just the right ones in exactly the correct amounts to construct a complete car. By selling "parts" rather than a "car" this loop hole avoided the purchase tax. As time went on the "kits" of parts were offered with large components like the engine and gearbox, suspension, etc. pre-assembled so that the purchaser and his mates could actually assemble a running new car over the course of a weekend. This practice became so common that finally the taxman gave up and the purchase tax system was discarded in favor of a value added tax which resulted in lower taxes on new cars.
I was aware of the shift from purchase tax to VAT. One of my first jobs in IT in the early 1970s was implementing changes to cope with VAT in my employer's invoicing system. But I don't recall the "kit car to avoid purchase tax" loophole. I certainly wasn't buying new cars back in the 1960s and I don't think my father was either.
Most of the large manufactures didn't offer cars in kit form to beat the tax. That dodge was the realm of the small, specialty firms. Firms like Austin, MG, Sunbeam, Triumph, etc. simply couldn't do that in an economical way. Instead those larger companies had to turn to the export markets in order to survive. That's why classic Brit sports cars are (or at least were) so prevalent over here and so rare in the home country--80% were exported to North America with most of the remaining cars going to Australia and other commonwealth countries. A UK motoring enthusiast had to be very well off to spend 150% of the purchase price in order to swan about in a new MG. Now days there's a roaring trade in re-importing 50's and 60s sports cars back to Britain. Two of my ex-cars have sailed back.
Wow. More info than I could ever have imagined.My readers (both of them) are quite intelligent and well-read. I'm surrounded by some remarkably smart individuals.
you said "woody".
Yeah, yeah, I said woody! Heh heh heh. I am the great Cornholio!!!!
Bsydog says a lot of things but we still love him anyway.
Sorry about the typo--at least I didn't type "bagdog" this time...