Zero to 60 in 7 Seconds! (Aug, 1954)

Zero to 60 in 7 Seconds!

WHEN Donner Denkler of Southampton, N. Y., purchased a Nash-Healey a while back he was impressed with the lines of the car and with its fine handling characteristics. But something was missing; in the acceleration and top speed departments his “bomb” just wasn’t fast enough in its class for racing. He decided to add a shot of jump juice but the question that remained was how to go about it. After due consideration he concluded that instead of souping up the old power plant he would add an entirely new one—a Cadillac V-8.

So Denkler took his car and a brand-new Caddy mill to Jim McGee, an old hand in the racing-and-sports-car field, then stepped out of the picture while Jim went to work. The original engine was taken from the car and after a little switching of manifolds, generator, clutch and battery the big Caddy engine fit into the Healey’s engine compartment like a charm. When acceleration tests were first run on the completed Cad-Healey it conked out; turning the carburetor around to eliminate gas splashing fixed this and Denkler ended up with a real tiger that could accelerate to 60 mph in 7 seconds and hit 140 mph. •

5 comments
  1. dergutie says: July 21, 200912:36 pm

    This was the original Nash Healy before it was extensively restyled and built by Pinin Farina. It was hugely expensive, costing more than a Jag. Even then they lost money on each one, but it drew customers into the showroom where more sensible models where available. They’ve now become valuable classics due to their rarity and hand built Italian body work. If you’re old enough to recall, “Clark Kent” drove one on “Superman” the TV series of the 50′s. So did William Holden’s character in “Sabrina.”

  2. Don says: July 22, 20092:12 pm

    Zero to 60 in 7 seconds. (car)

    60 to zero in .001 seconds. (tree)

  3. -DOUG- says: July 22, 20096:38 pm

    In another 7 years, a British car company called AC would come out with a 4 cylinder car called the Ace. At that same time, former Le Mans winner Caroll Shelby would have heart trouble that would force his retirement as a driver. and he ordered an Ace that would be built with room for a V8 engine. He would start out using the 4.3 liter Ford VB, but switched to the 289 and then the 427. And he called the car the COBRA.

    The 50′s was not an era when a small car was what dreams were made of. Nor the 60′s, etc.

  4. Toronto says: July 24, 200911:06 pm

    And Sunbeam Alpines got V8s and became Tigers. Those Ford and Caddy V8s really got around!

    Degutie: Do you mean the George Reeve version of Superman? I haven’t seen that since the ’60s – is it available again?

  5. Firebrand38 says: July 24, 200911:22 pm
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