Gerry Coker, the wonderful talent that produced the design for the Healey Hundred sadly passed away on the 13 th November 2020 surrounded by his family.
He was apprenticed at the Rootes Group starting there in 1939 and worked on experimental designs for military vehicles. He joined the Donald Healey Motor Company in 1950 where he started looking after the Nash Healey bodies that initially came from Panelcraft before changing supplier to Pininfarina. Early on during his time with Healey they were looking at replacing the “Warwick”
Healey design powered by Riley as the engine manufacture was coming to an end.
THE HEALEY HUNDRED IS BORN
Gerry was asked to design a totally new car based around the Austin A90 components. This resulted in the Healey Hundred which was so well received at the 1952 Earls Court Motor Show Leonard Lord bought in to the project so that Austin could mass produce it in numbers which would not have been possible at
the Warwick factory.
While with Healey Gerry also styled the 1954 record breaking Streamliner and
developed the preliminary design for the Mk1 Sprite, unfortunately some of his unique touches to this little car were deleted due to budget restrictions.
In 1957 he moved to America, firstly working for Chrysler and then Ford, retiring in 1987 as SeniorProduct Design Engineer.
Gerry had a wonderfully three dimensional mind as shown by the super fold down windscreen on the Hundred and the dual action tailgate he designed for the American Ford Stationwagons, beautifully straightforward functional works of art.
Gerry continued his links with the Healey Hundred visiting many club events worldwide and giving talks. In 2004 he established the Gerry Coker Award for Excellence to celebrate a Healey Hundred owner who has shown extra dedication to the model, since 2013 the Healey Museum in Holland has administered the award and more information can be found on their website.
LEGACY LIVES ON
We should all thank Gerry for his timeless design of our favourite cars.
Click below for a fascinating interview with Gerry describing how he created the original Healey Hundred design.