Well as we all know now, the times they are a changin'!
It's been a rather scary month as the world has been grappling with this new COVID pandemic reality.
Thankfully, for the time being I have been able to continue working while maintaining safe social distancing and intensified regular cleaning routines with everything I do.
It helps that I work alone, and it also helps that others like me are using this temporary shut down to get more work done on their Healeys!
In an effort to stay in, I for one have been exercising ALL of my favorite hobbies lately!
Just this morning I got my freshly painted 2 piece dash pieces back from Jetstream Auto & Custom!
Needless to say I drove straight to my quiet little shop to assemble the dash!
Jason made some minor repairs and then had his painter Shaun prime and paint the pieces in the Healey blue, with a nicely matched dark blue I chose for the main dash body, as original...
Meanwhile I had cleaned and restored all the gauges and switches.
I had Nisongers do the gauges, they replaced one of the faces, and tested & calibrated them all.
Jetstream even painted the backs of the dash pieces in red oxide primer as original, and allowed the blues to over-spray - as was found on the back of my dash... of course you'll never see the back when it's in the car, but at least I know it's been done correctly!
It was the best part of my day putting together all of these beautifully restored & shiny dash components!
- the rare early style of overdrive switch I found
- I was able to reuse my original plastic/rubber gauge surround trim
- the Healey blue paint is even my Dads custom formula he researched and used on all the numerous blue Healeys he restored over the decades. The metallic in it is much finer than most you see today - just like we found on my car!
Needless to say I'm very happy with it!
In other news, I also recently got my grill back from Victoria Plating!
They did a fantastic job restoring it and I absolutely love the correct 2 tone, with a smooth satin finish on the teeth and a shiny chrome surround:
Last weekend I did a bunch of work on the rear axle...
Here's some old pics of it when I originally took it apart last year:
The left hub showed evidence of some heavy trauma, there were cracks found in the drum, and the inner hub around the lug nuts...
I thoroughly cleaned and inspected the rest of the axle. I replaced the pinion and axle seals and gaskets, as well as the bearings, axle nuts, and a new inner hub...
With the axles and hubs reassembled, I then installed new brake lines, and the emergency brake rods...
Once I get my brake pads re-lined I can finish putting the brakes and drums together...
Last week I got a chance to make up the new spark plug wire leads.
I sourced the correct style of wire and end components from "The Brillman Company"
I even modified some rubber sleeves to create the short molded plug ends - I'm considering heating a number stamp to stamp the molded numbers in them like the originals had.
I also found x2 NOS 6 packs of the correct N-8 Champion spark plugs that Healeys originally had, I'm just waiting for them to arrive in the mail!
The drive-train is ready to go!
As you can see, I'm eagerly awaiting the return of the freshly painted inner chassis.
It probably won't be until the summer yet, but I'm ready for when it comes!
In the meantime, my upholstery business Rightway Heritage Trimming has been keeping busy with more orders for various Healey trim components.
In the past month especially, I've been mastering the detailed production of Healey 100 style 2 & 3 side curtains, seats, and boot accessories...
In the evenings, I've been staying home with my wonderful partner Cat and we've been indulging in our hobbies.
Cat likes to paint, I like to build models, and we both like to play music together and watch movies.
Lately I've been working on a couple of heavily modified Healey models:
In both cases, I turned the later 4 seater car models into earlier 2 seater models by filling in the bodywork and making several new parts from scratch.
I did the blue car up just like my own BN1,
and the white over blue car is a famous 100-S racer that Carrol Shelby competed at the Panamericana Mexico race in 1954.
Surprisingly I found a decal set for it online in 1/24 scale!
With all that's going on around us, I find a lot of comfort being able sink into these hobbies and know that I'm also doing the right thing by staying in and out of trouble.
I wish everyone out there the very best. I hope that we find a cure soon and can get back to a lifestyle that's at least less fearful and able to be close with each other again.
We're in this together! Stay in, stay safe, wash your hands, and take care of each other.
Until next time -
Classic auto enthusiast, upholsterer, coach trimmer, and fine scale modeler.