It's been a productive couple of weeks on my Healey #1221. I've been carefully documenting with 100's of photos as I take her apart piece by piece.
With each piece I remove, I bag and tag the part and it's fastener hardware and take detailed photos of the piece and how it fit with the rest of the car. These are just a few of the hundreds of pics I've been taking...
With the interior trim already removed, I focused on removing the outer body panels next.
Here are the original aluminum door casing panels with the early narrow style of door latch and thin piping to finish the outer edge of the B pillar panel. This small bead of thin piping was usually colour coded to match with the exterior body colour of the car - in this case it was originally a light blue/grey.
These original door casings have tiny ovals in the aluminum pattern, unlike the repro's that have tiny circles instead.
With the door trims removed I was then able to remove the doors themselves and the front fenders. The big Phillips door hinge screws were a bit of a nightmare trying to get out, I managed to save most of them after many hours of penetrating oil & reasoning with an impact driver, heat & curse words. Unfortunately I had to drill out the last few of the more stubborn ones.
Here you can see a door check strap assembly & spacer.
Surprisingly both of the seem to be almost perfect! - in that they are rot and dent free. They both have small cracks where the door cord actuates the latch assembly - but these cracks can be easily welded.
The left front fender was actually only being held on by a few screws and wire, however the rest of the screws that had been previously removed were found in a pile on the parcel shelf so nothing seems to be missing. Once removed, the left fender proved to be in just about perfect condition! - no holes, no dents or distortion - a beautiful front fender!
The inner chassis structure under the fender also looks far better than I had expected which was another pleasant surprise!
I took careful notes as to the routing of the wiring and clips along the inner front fender/shroud seams...
Next I turned my attention to removing the rear fenders. I removed all the inner screws affixing it to the shroud/chassis, and the screws along the outer edge of the 'B' post.
I took note of the little rectangular clamp plates that are held in place by a countersunk machine screw along the inner rear cockpit rim on both sides.
With the rear fenders off I was pleased to find them both very intact, with only the front lower dog leg areas needing repair on both fenders. Most original cars are typically rotten here as it's a trap for water and road grime.
The inner chassis under the rear fenders reveals the extent of rot on the rear outer sill sections and the bottom parts of the rear door posts. Other than these areas though, the rest of the chassis seems very intact and structurally sound.
The front shroud is removed! she's had a bit of damage where she fastens to the lower frame members along the bottom front edge. But thankfully no metal is actually rotten or missing, it just needs some careful mending by an aluminum expert!
With the front shroud off, I turned my attention to the rear shroud removal - again lots of rivets to drill out all around and a few little screws along the upper edge of the boot opening..
And the rear shroud is off! I spent a bit of time carefully tapping out the dents and creases found in the rear where she probably backed into something.
Going back and forth working on the frame and the rear shroud itself, with the undamaged boot lid as a guide, I actually got it back about 90% of the way for it to be perfect again. The lid wouldn't even close when I first got it, now it closes with even gaps, it just needs a bit more fettling around the bottom right corner which I'll get more into later down the road.
With the body panels now removed, I got into removing the dash, heater, and inner firewall components - note, the steering column/dash support was painted body colour, as were the steering column blanking plates on the firewall.
As it turns out, the larger tachometer and speedometer gauges are ones from a BN2. I'll find a good set from a BN1 and swap them back again someday.
With the inner firewall all clear, I moved onto removing the radiator. It had some non-original Allen screws used to hold it in place, so clearly it's been out before, but it does seem to be the original rad, dated Jan, 1953.
In the boot, I noted the wiring having a noticeable fleck in the loom pattern, as compared to the totally black loom seen all over the front of the car, and it had been wrapped in electrical tape where it went along the floor area beside the gas tank and through the bulkhead - is this original tape??
I finished the week by removing the carburetors, manifolds and exhaust. Noting the throttle linkage arrangement, exhaust supports etc. It was nice to find the carburetors still lubricated and not seized inside.
I believe this could be the original exhaust too - though I cant find any Burgess logo's on it - in any case it will need replacement! When I tipped it up a large pile of nut shells came out from years of squirrels hiding and forgetting their stash!
The original Lucas coil - would have been black with a golden label around the bottom. Also the original distributor...
Lots of parts and bags of hardware to go through and restore piece by piece. Should keep me busy over the next few years at least... Good organization, documentation and labeling are absolutely crucial at this stage!
Well she's going up up for sale! Anyone who has followed my blog over the past few years will know - this early MGB is the BEST one out there. She's a concours example, sporting all the original, hard to find early MGB parts and details.
Such early original parts and details like:
-all the original Lucas lighting including the early clear marker lights and headlamps
-her original early riveted grill
-the early style oil cooler with rounded corners
-original style brake and clutch master cylinders which are not available new
-the early 3 main bearing engine
-the early pull type door handles
-all the original early decals and tags like the early Tudor washer bottle lettering and early heater lettering which are not available
-all her original type of carpet which is not available
-all the original interior vinyl has been maintained throughout
-all the original rubber floor mats
-early style door capping rails
-original tonneau and boot covers in their original stowage bags
-original jack, knock-off hammer in the original bag
-original manuals and sales brochures included
The list goes on and on - I was careful to maintain as much original parts as possible because the original quality is so much better than the repro's available today.
She's as original and pristine as they come. Featuring body and paintwork by Coachwerks. She's won awards, she runs and handles beautifully. She even has a full new set of Blockley vintage style tires. She's going to make her next owner very happy!
Check out this video:
I need to get $40K Canadian for her, which is roughly $31K US, you can contact me directly if interested.
Until next time -
On Wednesday this week I got together with friends and fellow Healey owners Jason Stoch (of Jetstream Auto) and Trevor Parker. Together we borrowed Jason's truck and trailer and took the morning ferry over to the mainland and drove down to Blaine Washington to pick up my newest acquisition to the family - a 1954 Austin Healey 100, BN1 #1221.
She's now in my home shop and as you can see - she's a fairly solid and complete car!
This blog entry marks the beginning of many posts chronicling the documentation and restoration of this car. I'm mostly showing the overall condition and state of the car in these pics, so without further ado, let's begin with the engine compartment:
The front fenders are very solid and so too are the inner wheel arches and frame structure. Note the early multi sectioned inner wheel arches,.
Her original radiator complete with date and - batch numbers?
original distributor, starter, oil filter and even coil! - though the generator is from a later model. The foot wells on the firewall have both been hacked open and then re-sealed with a bunch of little screws - perhaps someone wanted to fit a larger engine and then changed their mind?
In the front behind the grill - lots of Healey blue paint everywhere! - she's missing some inner shrouding panels though that would normally block the view across here...
the lower front fenders still very intact with the curious "v"cutouts on the lower flanges near the pedal mounts on both sides - we've seen this on some other cars...
All the cockpit rails are intact, as is the original 2 piece dash with Healey blue showing through on the gauge cluster..
Both doors are very solid!
All the cockpit floors, frame and inner sills are intact and solid. The gearbox is complete, as is the heater....
In the rear cockpit, lots of her original dark blue trim...
The boot is also very solid - some minor holes in the floor, but overall very good!
The rear shroud has been hit in the rear center/right. The damage seems minimal and has been mostly pulled out already. You can see the right rear frame member is a bit distorted. The rear fenders don't seem to have been affected, but she has a replacement boot lid from car #4068 - still aluminum as it should be though.
And there you have it! lots of work and detailed progress reports to come -
Until next time, I'll leave you with some pics of my Dads last BN1 that was in the exact colours this one will be once it's all done...
Well I have big news! My beautiful 1964 MGB that I have worked so hard on restoring to concours spec... is going up for sale!
Over the next few weeks I'll be working with Richard Owen of Owen Automotive, to get the car properly documented and photographed to highlight just how correct, original and beautiful this car really is.
Obviously if you've been following my blog over the past few yrs, you already know. She's in tip top shape, and runs and drives like a dream. It's going to be hard to say goodbye to her.
If you would be interested in buying this beauty, you can contact me directly for more info.
The one and only reason I could ever have to sell this beauty, is that I have found my life long dream car, and I can only afford to keep one...
The dream car I've recently acquired is a 1954 Austin Healey 100-4 BN1.
Growing up, my late father (Richard Chrysler) became somewhat of an international authority on Healey's, especially the earlier 100-4's.
He was one of the founders of the National Concours comittee, and was the the 100/4 registrar for years - collecting information from the various cars still in existence around the globe and starting to really document various production changes in detail.
I grew up around these Healey's, and for me, it's always been in my blood to finally own and restore one for myself.
The car that I've found is an early (January)1954 car, It's fairly complete and looks to be in fair condition as far as "project car" goes. I think she'll be a good candidate for restoration.
It will be several years of passionate work - and blog posts - to get her all done to concours spec. I'm looking forward to every step and doing as much as I can myself.
Being a January '54 car, it should still have all the "early" BN1 features such as an aluminum bonnet and trunk lid, 2 piece dash, early BN1 interior trim, style 2 side screens, "Austin of England" badge on the trunk lid, etc, etc, etc....
- and wouldn't you know it, the cars body number 1221 happens to be my Birthday! haha
As you can see in some of the pics, she was originally painted Healey Blue with a dark blue interior. I'll certainly be restoring her back to that.
Lots of metal repair and parts will be needed, but over all the frame looks solid, the car is fairly complete, and as far as project cars go - this looks to be in much better shape than some of the cars I remember Dad restoring over the years!
Well, I'll leave it at that for now. Stay tuned for many future articles covering the detailed photo doucumentation, and disassembly of the car, as I get into her journey of meticulous restoration. I am very honoured and excited to bring this car back to life!
Until next time -
Classic auto enthusiast, upholsterer, coach trimmer, and fine scale modeler.