Donald Healey and his Cornish Roots

This article is by Nick Maltby, editor of Car Scene International, who has kindly allowed us access to the full article on the CSI website. The following introductory paragraphs are followed by the link to the full article. The article followed his own visit to Cornwall and is an interesting read with several historical photos of Perranporth and Trebah.


Since becoming involved with the Warwickshire County Record Office’s Healey Motor Company Archive project, in 2016, I have become immersed in the fascinating story of how Cornishman, Donald Healey founded his eponymous car company in his adopted Warwickshire. In June 2021, I persuaded my wife that we should spend a few days in Cornwall, checking out all the sites, in that County, that I have read about during the past five years.

As you will read, we encountered a couple of disappointments but since arriving home and putting what I was able to see into context, I am absolutely delighted with what we did see and can record here.

Most Healey, Austin Healey and Jensen-Healey enthusiasts are very familiar with the story of how Donald Mitchell Healey, born in Perranporth, Cornwall, in 1898, became interested in cars, especially driving them, at a very early age. That interest was inspired and encouraged by his father, John Frederick, who was a member of Cornwall’s relatively small number of car owners in the early years of the twentieth century. His parents John Fredrick and Emma (nee Mitchell) allowed Donald to convert a storage shed next to their “Red House” general groceries store, Boscawen Road, Perranporth, into a garage/workshop. 

However, before I race ahead of myself, let me share with you the trip’s itinerary and consequences –