On my work website I’ve discussed the trials and woes of restoring a classic car (see below for link). Lo & behold I’m back in the game myself. I’d sworn off buying restorations because they tend to cost more than a completed car. In addition, they carry anxiety and unknown issues. However, as I am a card carrying car addict, I couldn’t resist the opportunity to buy the car I’ve wanted for more than a decade.

The 1967 Austin Healey 3000 BJ8 I purchased was abandoned mid restoration. I got a deal I couldn’t pass up (at least that’s what I think so far). Because it was in the limbo period it didn’t run, however the mechanic I took with me to give it a look-see knows the car. He’s worked on it for a decade. He knows its mechanical history and it is solid.

The main reason the restoration stopped was that after the sandblasting of the paint, it was discovered the aluminum shroud (the body in between the front fenders) had about 20 lb of bondo. My mechanic, who knows a little about bondo himself, said the guy who originally sculpted that much bondo was “Michelangelo”. My mechanic and others, including the driver, had no idea there was that much on the shroud. 

My first order of business was locking down a shroud from a guy named Yule in Toronto at the . Now I have to figure out how to transport this huge part down to NC.

Meantime, today I received good news from the mechanic, Don Ross. The car runs! He drained the bad gas and charged up the battery. Tweaked a few things. The Healey will require tuning of the carbs, of which Ross is a master. If you need British cars worked on by a guy who worked on them in Scotland & Africa, call him at 919-934-1915. He’s real good. By example, years back I rode on a rallye with the president of the German Austin Healey club. Heinz was driving my friends early Mark III that Donald maintained for the driver. Heinz kept repeating “this is the best driving Healey ever”.

Well, at least I own a Healey that runs. Now I need to come up with the game plan so I get it looking right without going over budget. I advise getting contracts to do the body and paint work.

Kirk Sanders, 

Classic Car Attorney

Google “classic car restoration attorney” for more on my work website or click: