When this 1954 Austin-Healey 100/4 arrived at our shop, it was a complete mess and in need of a full restoration. The car has suffered from severe accident damage and rust in its previous life, and frankly wasn’t worth the cost of restoring. However, our client had a very personal attachment to the car; it had been purchased by his father many years ago with the intent to restore it to all its former glory. Unfortunately, that dream never quite came to pass, as the father passed away before completing the restoration.
On first inspection, we found the chassis to be bent and rusted beyond repair, so our client chose to send it to Jule Enterprises in Canada to have a completely new chassis made from scratch. The folks at Jule do marvelous work, and as a result, the new chassis is a huge improvement over the original and it’s much stronger. It’s patterned after the original chassis, but consists of much stronger materials. At the same time the new chassis was in the works, the car was updated with rack-and-pinion steering.
The body was the next task to tackle, and for this we turned to Acme Autobody right here in San Luis Obispo. Much like the chassis, the body itself was in very rough condition and would require significant modifications and repairs. Luckily, Rod and his crew at Acme were more thank up to the task and did a fantastic job—and the proof is in the photos. Healey bodies are always tricky as they’re made up of steel and aluminum, and they never quite fit over the chassis as well as one would like.
The project is really shaping up; we’ve fully rebuilt and replaced everything on the car to get it to the point you see it now. It’s fully wired, all steering and suspension is installed. Now that we’ve got it rolling, it now needs the upholstery and drivetrain installed to get it back on the road. For the next phase of the project, the car will be returning to its owner who will complete the restoration process. He’s very eager to get his hands on the Healey and make his father’s dream finally come to fruition.
This has been a great project that we’re sure to see more of once it’s back on the road. Check back as we’ll be posting photos of the finished product.
As always, questions and comments are welcome.
And now for the photos of the progress so far…
Click on any of the following thumbnails for full-size photos. You can navigate through the slides by clicking on the right and left-hand arrows on the photo or using the < and > keys on your keyboard.