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This wonderful driving, long distance touring Austin Healey is a matching numbers car, supplied new for the LHD North American market in Colorado Red, built on the 19-22nd June 1959. The car, confirmed by the British Motor Industry Heritage Trust certificate was built by the Austin Motor Company in the UK and supplied new out of Philadelphia, USA with wire wheels, overdrive, heater, adjustable steering column and laminated windscreen. The Healey spent 31 years in the USA before being registered in the UK during 1993 (three years after its arrival). In 2004 the most recent owner bought the car and has kept it in Amsterdam, using it for long distance touring in Europe. Over the past fifteen years the Healey has successfully toured down to the South of France and back to the Netherlands, tackled the Harz mountain run in Germany, done the German Lower Saxony run, Hamburg classic run and has been to Goodwood Revival three times. The car has been thoroughly enjoyed and has proven to be a strong, robust classic that is capable of serious mileage.
On the car's arrival in the UK in 1990, it was subject of a major restoration. The bodyshell was stripped, sandblasted and then completely rebuilt with new panels to include new steel front and rear wings, new steel boot lid, outer sills, inner sills, intermediate sill panels, complete aluminium doors, front and rear outriggers, both left hand and right hand main floor pans, front floors, rear floors, both rear inner wings, door shut panels and hinge panels. Including new wing beading, wing piping and bolt kits, the total parts alone for the body was over £2,100. The next parts invoice totals over £800 to include new windscreen seal, windscreen glass, windscreen frame, all required body rubbers, new front and rear bumpers, new over-riders, boot hinges, boot handle, door handle assemblies, door catches, door panel finishing plates, fuel tank sender unit, new seat runners, new seat cushion foams, new wooden seat bases, new dashboard top, new headlamps, headlamp bowls, inner rim assemblies, main cotton wiring loom, overdrive cotton wiring loom, master and clutch slave cylinders, new wire wheels, rear hub oil seals, new wheel cylinders, gearbox mountings and tie bar rubbers. A new hood, sidescreens, tonneau and boot lining were also fitted and the interior fully re-trimmed.
The original engine unit was stripped down, re-bored, treated to new pistons, bearings, oil pump and crankshaft re-grind. The engine was built up with all new gaskets, timing chain and tensioner and a new clutch fitted The gearbox was stripped and rebuilt with a new first gear, the overdrive unit was rebuilt and the engine and gearbox re-fitted with new mountings. The Healey was treated to a new exhaust system, the carburettors were rebuilt, the differential was treated to new gaskets and diff pinion oil seal, new brake discs fitted, new king pins and trunnions fitted, shock absorbers and later new rear springs, bushes and shackles. In total, 47 invoices cover all restoration work carried out totalling a staggering £24,000 between 1990 and 1993. The labour at this time was charged out at £13.50 per hour as way of comparison against restoration costs today. On completion, the Healey was MOT tested in 1993 with a recorded mileage of 80556 and registered WYJ 270.In 2004 when sold to the most recent owner, the Healey had covered 9000 miles since the restoration.
A couple of years into ownership and after around 1000 miles of use, now 10000 miles and 13 years on since the original restoration had been completed, the owner decided to take the car to an Austin Healey specialists for a further program of work. The Austin Healey was treated to electronic ignition, a multi blade cooling fan and new top hose, new manifold to cylinder head studs, a new flexible oil pressure pipe, new exhaust manifold gaskets, new jet/diaphragm assemblies in the carburettors, new carb linkage bushes, new throttle return spring and fulcrum bush, new rebuilt exchange oil and water gauge, new uprated front shock absorbers with new fulcrum pins and bushes including rebound buffers, new front steering grease nipples and new anti roll bar poly bushes. The Healey was also treated to a hard top and by now showing some paintwork blemishes, the Healey was treated to some paintwork, including under the wheel arches. This work cost almost £11000 and the Healey was now ready for European long-distance touring.
Since the most recent program of work the Healey has proven to be ideal for long distance driving and has covered a further 6000 miles or so. The car has arrived with us in excellent mechanical order, it drives beautifully, and its rebuilt engine holds excellent oil pressure and offers impressive performance. The four-speed gearbox and overdrive perform perfectly and the car handles, steers and brakes very well. The car presents very well with a lovely, nicely aged deep paint finish on the fully restored bodyshell, it has smart brightwork, the Cream with red piping leather trim has a lovely patina over 25 years on since the re-trim and the engine bay and boot are in clean condition. The Healey is nicely finished off with an excellent hard top and the car is ready for next adventure, no doubt some more on the Continent touring as the car is still in its original LHD format.