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1960 Austin Healey 3000 BT7

Frame off restoration: First Look

The first part of any restoration is performing the first look at the project. In this article we'll be doing the first look at our 1960 Austin Healey BT7. This roject came to me as a basket case, and we'll very quickly assess the exact condition of the car.

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Here you see the project in all it's "glory." As you can see from the picture, it's really not in "that bad" a shape

Looking at the front passenger side you can see that there's some body damage, particularly on the lower half of the shroud. Additionally, the lower signal light is missing.

The damage isn't as bad on the driver side. The lower signal light is missing on this side as well.

The hood strap is gone, though the mounts are still in place. You'll note that the colour of the hood doesn't match the body. We'll talk more about that later.

The grille and badging is in place. They're very dirty and there's a distinct chance that they will require rechroming.

The front rotor is pretty rusty. That will all require cleanup. The tires on the car are new. I had to put them (and tubes) on the car so that I could tow it home and move it around in the shop.

The front driver side is in good shape. This car was originally a duotone car. So the paint scheme was Healey Blue with Ivory White coves.

Hrm, there seems to be a "bit" missing here. Luckily, in the mess of parts sitting inside the body you can see missing door.

The body work on the back side is in pretty decent shape. No major dents can be seen.

The rear drums are in decent shape. They are nowhere near as rusty as the front disks. These wire wheels, however, have seen much better days. Looks like they'll need to be shipped out for restoration and trueing

The passenger side looks pretty straight. There's only one serious dent on the door which should pop out easily.

The rear is in similar shape as the front. There's a big dent where the missing badging should go as well as a fairly serious crimp in the lower body below the boot lid.

In this detail shot you can see that the rear bumper mount hole is retty torn up. I have a sneaky suspicion that removing the paint will reveal much more damage. We're also missing the tail light on this side. At least the reflector is intact.

The driver side of the rear is in similar shape, though not as bad as the passenger side. Again, the tail light is missing but the reflector is intact. You'll also note that the boot lid handle is in rough shape. The chrome is shot and the metal is pitted. This will definitely need rechroming.

Here you can see the body damage of the boot lid from the inside. There's also a little rust here. It apears to be mainly flashing type rust. Nothing serious.

Something's definitely not right when we look inside the boot. You'll see a fuel fill cap inside, and a fuel fill tube coming down from the body at the back of the boot. So, we definitely know that this car has the wrong gas tank.

On this side view you can see that some of the armacord interior is still in place. It's too far gone to retain, but it's a good to note how it's mounted so that it can be replicated correctly during the rebuild phase.

Here you can better see the crimp towads the bottom of the boot. Normally this sorts of crimps are easy to straighten out excet for the fact of the lip in this instance. This will be a bit of a pain to fix.

Remember the black hood? Well, it turns out that it was a sourced relacement part. You can read the grease crayon underneath stating that it was pulled from a 1957 Austin Healey. It fits right, and looks right though, so it won't be an issue during restoration.

This is a bit of a suprise. The engine compartment is completely intact. Quite frequently there are bits missing under the hood. So this makes me happy. While there's a lot of body wok that will need to be done, at least sorting the engine bay will be relatively straightforward. No wacky missing bits that need to be found.

Event the radiator assembly is fully complete and correct. This bodes well. I just hope the interior of the radiator looks as good as the exterior.

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Contents copyright 2008, 2009 - Jody F. Kerr

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