This car was originally bought by the current owner’s father. She inherited it and wants to get to drive the car she remembers riding in as a child. The current plan is to leave the outside alone and just get it to “drivable” condition. Attendees of the 2018 Austin Healey Conclave may recognize this car, it was the winner of the “diamond in the rough” award. At that point we had stripped and repainted the wheels. It’s now waiting it’s turn to get our focus.
We have now finished the brakes. It has been changed from drums to disc brakes in the front with all new or rebuild pieces. All of the lines, masters, and cylinders have been replaced. The carbs and fuel tank have been installed and the ignitions system rebuilt. The next step is to see if it will start…
We were able to get the car to “run” but it wasn’t happy about it. First thing was replacing the fuel pump. The we did a leak down test. This showed that the valves were leaking considerably. We pulled the head, reground the valves, and replaced the head. After this, the car started a idled perfectly! It was quite loud though, since it had no exhaust except the header. We put a new exhaust on it. Next was the electrics. We worked on the original harness and got the lights to function. Then we took it for a test drive!!! Everything worked great!!
We contacted the owner and let her know we drove the car and I was acceptable for her to drive a little, but warned her that the harness was is bad shape and quite brittle. If she wanted to use the car much, it should be replaced. She thought about it and called us back with instructions to replace the whole harness. The old harness is out, and the new one about half in right now. The owner is also considering sprucing up the interior.
A couple of months ago, this car was reunited with the owner. She informed us that the last time she knows of it running was her dad letting her sister drive it in 1968. She drove it home and heard yesterday from someone that said they have seen it around town several times. She is thinking about moving on to more of a restoration this coming winter, so we may have it back. It makes us happy to have a car out there being used like they’re meant to!