I found this car behind a gas station in 1972. It was towed there as an “abandoned car”, so after agreeing on the sum of fifty dollars I towed the car home......THE WHOLE CAR.........for 50 bucks!!!!!
It was rusted so badly that I could put a basketball through the passenger side floor board and a football through the drivers side footwell. The sills, rocker panels and front outriggers were completely rusted away and every fender was flapping in the breeze .
Luckily the frame rails were in better condition except for the bowling ball sized dent in the front cross member. The dash board had been “spray painted” red with an aerosol can and I could only wonder what condition the engine was in.
Obviously the car was very rough but it still had those unmistakeable lines and for 50 bucks I owed it to the car, and myself, to fix it up. Thus began the crusade....
The day I brought it home I cleaned and adjusted the points and plugs and set the carbs and it started right up so I drove it like that for a year until I landed a ring, then I rebuilt the engine for the first time in 1975.
The second rebuild came in 2000 and incorporated many beautiful racing parts from Denis Welch. Although I’ve driven this car for 30 years I can honestly say I acquired a new love and respect for the marque after installing the new engine. It’s like the car has a new soul and LIFE IS FUN again!
You probably noticed in the photos that my car is somewhat “non-trditional” because I’ve chopped the windshield 4”, shaved the door handles, raked the seats about 15 degress, added louvres and side vents and an oil cooler. I also prefer the feel of a smaller and thicker steering wheel so I added one of them too. The addition of front and rear sway bars with Heim Joints and solid links, plus traction bars and rear springs with extra leaves have improved the handling immensely.
The purist may frown on the cosmetic changes but I always loved the look of the 100’s with their smooth styling and folding windshield. Even the little kids seem to notice the car when I’m driving down the street, maybe because it’s their height. But I’ve come to realize that I am now on a mission;
I have to keep the car running because it’s the only thing I own that makes me feel young!
Hail, Hail Austin-Healey!
1. 1972 - The Blue car in front of garage was the day I brought it home.
2. 1973 - I fabricated the floor boards from 20 ga. galvanized sheet metal and pop riveted everything together .
I feel sorry for anybody having to restore this old girl, I'll bet there's 2 million pop rivets in there!
3. 1982 - An early shot from an angle you rarely see before I cut in the side vents. This is one of my favorite pics.
4. 2012 - A more recent profile shot.
5. 2014 - Dash board and interior.
All the best,
I have some other beautiful shots that I'd like you to see.