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Need Some Help Researching 1952 Le Mans Entrant


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#1 HealeyRick

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Posted 25 January 2022 - 16:42

I'm researching the #10 Nash-Healey entry in the '52 LeMans.  There is a disagreement amongst historians of its colour during the race, whether it was a light metallic green or "Healey Blue"  It has been restored in present day to be Healey Blue.  The period photos in black and white don't really solve the question.   I'm sure the race organizers had the colour listed in their records, but don't know the appropriate body to direct my inquiry.  Can anyone help my search?  

 

 

 



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#2 Doug Nye

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Posted 25 January 2022 - 18:01

I may be able to assist here.  I have sent you a message.

 

DCN



#3 70JesperOH

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Posted 25 January 2022 - 20:17

Looking in the 24 heures du Mans tome 1 1923-1959 by Moity, Teissedre and Bienvenu there are pictures of both #10 and #11 Nash-Healeys. #10 in b/w while the sister car, in colour, looks metallic blue.

 

Jesper



#4 Doug Nye

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Posted 26 January 2022 - 08:31

I understand that the ACO's pre-1953 Carnets de Pésage (scrutineering documents) were destroyed by a flood in their contemporary archive - which I think was a basement or cellar room - so that paperwork avenue (other than contemporary race reports mentioning car colours) is closed to us.

 

DCN



#5 RCH

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Posted 26 January 2022 - 10:12

Something very similar. French model manufacturer Starter (or was it Provence Moulage) made some models of the 1953 Austin-Healey entries. They made them in light metallic blue because the photos they had showed them as blue. However it soon transpired that the cars were actually light green, early colour photos being unreliable.



#6 HealeyRick

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Posted 26 January 2022 - 19:05

Something very similar. French model manufacturer Starter (or was it Provence Moulage) made some models of the 1953 Austin-Healey entries. They made them in light metallic blue because the photos they had showed them as blue. However it soon transpired that the cars were actually light green, early colour photos being unreliable.

Thank you, I had heard the same information.  One would think this would be a pretty simple item to verify, i.e. what color a car was in a race, but apparently not as easy as it seems. I try to be accurate and able to defend my research as correct.   



#7 wolf sun

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Posted 27 January 2022 - 07:20

Of course you will have seen and read all of this, but here the car is listed as being green:

 

http://lemans-histor...10&equipa_seq=0



#8 cooper997

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Posted 27 January 2022 - 09:16

Not much help with colours, but might be of interest.

 

From the race programme

 

1952-Le-Man-01-TNF.jpg

 

1952-Le-Man-02-TNF.jpg

 

 

Stephen



#9 RCH

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Posted 27 January 2022 - 09:59

Thank you, I had heard the same information.  One would think this would be a pretty simple item to verify, i.e. what color a car was in a race, but apparently not as easy as it seems. I try to be accurate and able to defend my research as correct.   

A photo in Quentin Spurring's Le Mans book shows the Austin Healeys as green. I believe the models appeared the book. 



#10 rudi

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Posted 27 January 2022 - 10:54

There is a color image of the car on a Motorlegend forum.

https://forums.motor...-d-époque/page4



#11 HealeyRick

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Posted 27 January 2022 - 18:39

Of course you will have seen and read all of this, but here the car is listed as being green:

 

http://lemans-histor...10&equipa_seq=0

I want to thank everyone for their help with this.  wolf sun's link seems to be the most helpful.  Light metallic green it is.  



#12 D-Type

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Posted 27 January 2022 - 20:26

Did you look at the colour photo that Rudi found?  It looks blue to me - or has that picture been colorised ( a modern complication)?


Edited by D-Type, 28 January 2022 - 00:14.


#13 Ray Bell

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Posted 27 January 2022 - 22:37

It also has a white stripe down the side...

 

For easy distant identification by the pit crew? Or because the body was blue and white to suit the USA racing colours?

 

The colour photo on that forum is of No 11, so it might be a different thing altogether.



#14 70JesperOH

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Posted 28 January 2022 - 07:40

There is a color image of the car on a Motorlegend forum.

https://forums.motor...-d-époque/page4

 

Don't have the LM book I referred to earlier at hand, but I think the color picture of #11 in the link is the same as used in the book.

 

In other cases I've seen a light blue Mercedes 300SE Spa 24h car being modelled as silver and a Targa Florio 250 GTO that likely was black with a white roof has become brown with white roof. In both cases these are early 1960's color pictures, that has possibly, likely faded over time.

 

Jesper


Edited by 70JesperOH, 28 January 2022 - 15:20.


#15 Tim Murray

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Posted 28 January 2022 - 08:56

This reminds me of the poster here, many years ago, who argued long and hard that all BRMs were actually brown, not dark lust. green, because he’d seen a single photo in a book where the colour had come out as brown. He took some convincing.  ;)

#16 wolf sun

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Posted 28 January 2022 - 10:48

Did you look at the colour photo that Rudi found?  It looks blue to me - or has that picture been colorised ( a modern complication)?

 

It does look blue - it is #11 though, so we still can‘t be sure about #10, can we?



#17 wolf sun

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Posted 28 January 2022 - 10:51

Also, I‘m colour-blind, why am I even posting here?  :lol:



#18 RCH

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Posted 28 January 2022 - 10:58

Going a bit off topic... As a retailer of model cars, specialising in sports racing I was frequently asked what was the correct shade for Ferrari, Aston Martin etc. etc. As a prolific builder of Ferrari kits once said to me, it was whatever can of paint happened to be open at the time. A story of Bentley green is interesting. I had a long chat with an interesting fellow who happened to own the complete set of 1927 team cars, to be fair 2 of them were replicas. We were attracted by the lighter than usual colour of the car he was racing at Donington. This was Parsons Napier Green which apparently the works Bentleys were painted. He reckoned over the years the flimsy fabric and aluminium bodies were repainted many, many times each time getting progressively darker until racing Bentleys came to be recognised as dark BRG. French model maker Starter produced models of the Le Mans winners in a lighter olive green (too bright) which they insisted the man who painted the cars originally said was correct. Then later one of the mass produced model makers brought out their models in a "traditional" dark BRG. I pointed out to them that this was incorrect. "We know" they replied "but Bentley Motors insisted on this colour". :confused:



#19 Vitesse2

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Posted 28 January 2022 - 11:00

This reminds me of the poster here, many years ago, who argued long and hard that all BRMs were actually brown, not dark lust. green, because he’d seen a single photo in a book where the colour had come out as brown. He took some convincing.  ;)

Blues and greens were always a problem for early colour film. Here's B Bira in the ex-Straight Maserati at Brooklands in 1938. As any fule kno, he favoured a particular shade of blue for his cars and also wore light blue overalls and a matching wind cap ...

 

a12096_bira.jpg

 

Nothing much like 'Bira blue' on that picture. Black and white come out okay, the red is so-so, everything else is just a sort of greenish-brown or brownish-green ...  ;)



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#20 D-Type

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Posted 28 January 2022 - 12:30

This can be compounded by colours changing with time.
What would be useful would be a B&W photo of nos. 10 and 11 together that might show them to be different colours,  as different shades of grey.

It sort of makes sense for the British-entered car to be green and the US-entered car to be blue and white, although the official colours were white body and blue underframe.



#21 Jager

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Posted 28 January 2022 - 15:28

Here's a B&W picture of the two cars together. It suggests they were slightly different colours, but its probably not enough to categorically say one was blue and one was green:

 

1952_11-10.jpg

 

Here's another angle you might be able to follow. After Le Mans, it appears the #10 car was shown at a Motor Show. If you can work out where this was (Earls Court, Oct - Nov 1952?), you might be able to locate other photos or articles (note how the car looks much darker here):

 

LaJuXi0.jpg

 

Finally, for what its worth, Spark modeled the #10 car in a pale metallic green. They are quite meticulous in their research, but that doesn't mean they haven't made mistakes.

 

jH7ezVp.png

 

fXbb9po.png


Edited by Jager, 28 January 2022 - 15:30.


#22 10kDA

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Posted 28 January 2022 - 15:42

Having been in a similar circumstance regarding a unique airplane whch apparently never had its color recorded in period, I understand the frustration. The #10 Nash Healey still exists, painted Healey (or similar) Blue. You may want to contact Redline Restorations and ask what their reasoning was in choosing that color.



#23 70JesperOH

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Posted 28 January 2022 - 15:43

Since Nash was American and Healey British, could it be that they decided on a common colorscheme - but with different colors?

 

Jesper


Edited by 70JesperOH, 28 January 2022 - 16:13.


#24 Sterzo

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Posted 28 January 2022 - 15:51

This reminds me of the poster here, many years ago, who argued long and hard that all BRMs were actually brown, not dark lust. green, because he’d seen a single photo in a book where the colour had come out as brown. He took some convincing.  ;)

And Super Shells made a slot car body in dark blue for the same reason; from memory, "Motor Racing's" cover usually showed them as blue. Somebody obviously told Super Shells, and they changed the 1962 car to light metallic green...



#25 suttonvscc

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Posted 28 January 2022 - 16:18

Blues and greens were always a problem for early colour film.
Here's B Bira in the ex-Straight Maserati at Brooklands in 1938. 

Nothing much like 'Bira blue' on that picture.

Black and white come out okay, the red is so-so, everything else is just a sort of greenish-brown or brownish-green ...  ;)

 

Unfortunately the point you are trying to make is based, in this case, upon a misapprehension…..

 

The photograph which you posted is from the International Trophy meeting at Brooklands in May 1938.

At this point Bira’s Maserati was not painted ‘Bira’ blue.

it was painted in a colour which could be referred to as mid-blue, which is quite accurately shown in your photo.
It had been in this livery since it first appeared in early 1937.

The car was only painted later in the lighter ‘Bira’ blue.
So in this case the ‘pre-war’ colour is largely accurate.



#26 Tim Murray

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Posted 28 January 2022 - 19:50

This is at variance with what DSJ wrote in Maserati 3011. He said that when Chula bought 3011 from Harry Rose in September 1936:

The Siamese princes had already got their own colours, a rich blue that they referred to as “Bira blue” so the first thing that happened was that 3011 was repainted in its new owner’s colours.

DSJ went on to say that after the car was very badly damaged in Bira’s crash at Cork in May 1937 it was rebuilt ‘resplendent in a new coat of “Bira blue”.’ When Siam was officially recognised as a racing nation in 1939:

... Siam was issued with international racing colours, and Chula decided to use their regular “Bira blue” for the body, and yellow for the chassis and wheels, yellow being the colour of the Siamese Royal Family.

This would seem to indicate that 3011 was always painted ‘Bira blue’ during Chula’s ownership, with or without the yellow chassis and wheels.

#27 Jager

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Posted 29 January 2022 - 05:48

I was hoping that Motorsport Magazine's period report of the race might have given some clues. Unfortunately, while they note the colour of just about every other car, there is no indication of the colour of the Nash Healey's:

 

https://www.motorspo...-heures-du-mans

 

Have you seen the article from December 2013 in the Nash Healey club newsletter? There's some interesting information, but again nothing on the colours.

 

http://www.acmefluid...NHnewsdec13.pdf

 

There is also this period advertising from the same Nash Healey club:

 

http://www.acmefluid...Nash Healey.pdf

 

Finally, have you thought about the Le Mans programme of 1952:

 

32af591e1255dd66af11143aec100cf0.jpg

 

The only other thing I can suggest is period newspapers of the day:

 

67408257b88c28d92e6690a981acfc7d.jpg

 

 

 

 

 

 

 



#28 raceannouncer2003

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Posted 29 January 2022 - 06:57

Does this link help...or not ???

 

https://www.hemmings...-mans-prototype

 

Vince H.



#29 HealeyRick

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Posted 29 January 2022 - 20:37

Lots of grist for the mill here and let me give you some more information on my thoughts so far:

 

The #10 car was built in a matter of weeks from a crashed Nash-Healey coupe.  Here's a portion of an email I received from the late Healey's chief engineer, Roger Menadue, about that process:

 

“With less than 2 weeks to go I said that I could make another car body and all. Donald and Geoffrey both said, “Impossible, nobody could build a LeMans race car complete with body in less than two weeks.” I said, “Maybe not, but I can.” They said, “Don’t be ridiculous.” I said, “You two will not have any say in the building, either. I can’t have people arguing. I will never get it done.” They knew that they couldn’t argue with me and had to give in. They were furious especially Donald and more so when I had it ready on time. But worse was to follow.”
“In the Race, my car beat every other car in the race including one of the three works Mercedes. I beat the Ferraris, the Jaguars, Astton Martins, Cunninghams, Talbots. You name them, I beat them.”

 

I first saw the car in 1986 after it had been restored by Hyannis Restorations on Cape Cod, Massachusetts and at that time it was Healey Blue.  Donald Healey was there at the time and was quite happy to see the car again.  I wasn't aware of him saying, "Oh God, they got the color all wrong"  but he was also very circumspect about criticizing the restorations of our cars he saw back then.  It was later restored by Redline Restorations in Connecticut, also in Healey Blue.

 

I like to rely on period sources in my research and the most likely ones I've seen so far are the racingsportscar archive shows both the 10 and 11 being "light metallic green"   

 

The black and whie photo of 10 and 11 would be the best source if it only was in color.  As to other "period" photos of the cars in color, we just don't know whether they have changed color over time.  I can stare at some of them and convince myself at one time it's green and another it's blue.

 

The Spark model is a wild card, it appears neither light metallic blue nor light metallic green.

 

Another issue is this was a race car that did 24 hours as LeMans.  It was eventually shipped to the US to be displayed at Nash dealers.  Did they respray it after the race?  The second photo shown by Jager looks like a darker color.  Was this picture taken in the US or at a European show before it was shipped to the US?  There's some palm trees in the background but I can't make out the lettering on the placard,  Here's a  picture of the car on display at a Nash dealer in Massachusetts, of little help.  

 

iK9tR9.jpg

 

I'll add to the thread if I find anything new