Hailed as one of Britain’s most infamous Sports Cars, the Austin Healey has long deserved the recognition it gets today as an upstanding collector car. These little sports cars incorporate all of the right elements to bring back a real understanding of what fun was like behind the wheel in 1960’s. If it weren’t for Austin Healey’s demise in 1968 there would certainly be a rather interesting contribution to today’s contemporary sports cars. Since this is not the case, today we are left with just under 43,000 units produced in total between 1959-1967. Perhaps the most sought after, desired, user friendly and best variants are the MKIII or BJ8 as they are commonly referred to. These last production examples offered roll up windows, weather tight and easy to use top, heater, front disc brakes and a finely crafted wood dash and other little accouterments that make a car so user friendly and enjoyable. As such, they remain at the top of the list for any serious British sports car collector or enthusiast looking to rekindle their youth.
The example on offer here, chassis number HBJ8L29131 has benefited from a total restoration by marque specialist, Knut Holzer. The car has been completed to exacting factory specifications despite a few modifications allowing for quicker acceleration, shifting, comfort and cooling thanks to upgraded electrically timed fans, fully built engine, and 5-speed transmission (original included). Finished in stunning and desirable colors of Healey Blue over dark blue interior, this Healey is a serious contender at any concours event, tour, or rally. Early history is not known however thanks to the British Heritage Trust Certificate we do know it was originally delivered to Miami, Florida in British Racing Green over Black with the following options: wire wheels, adjustable steering column, overdrive, roadspeed tires, heater, and laminated windscreen. With under 100 miles since completion, this early phase II has been dyno tuned and produces 196 horsepower.
Cosmetically, the car is in 1- condition with every panel free of dents, major scratches or flaws with excellent shut gaps. The paint is deep, shiny, and in the condition as one would expect from a fresh restoration as are all of the emblems. All rubber components including windshield moldings, door, trunk and bonnet seals are all supple and brand new. Additionally, every piece of chrome including bumpers, windshield chrome, handles, grill, and door moldings are all newly re-chromed and are free of flaws minus the soft top hinges which have slight pitting and are perhaps original. Pulling the soft-top up you will find a new, correct cloth top with clear rear window free of fading or scratches and a brand new boot cover for sunny, top-down days. All glass including headlamps, windshield, doors, and quarter windows are all excellent with no scratches or chips. All sitting on a fresh set of Dayton wire wheels. Overall, the car presents as a show-quality example that is certainly hard to fault. The underside is all correct stamped metal finished in shiny body color as are the wheel wells albeit needing a good detail. Opening the trunk will also reveal the restoration’s attention to detail with correct lining and show to be very tidy.
Stepping into the interior, one will find fresh seats, carpets, and door panels with re-finished, crack free dash wood and rebuilt gauges. Gripping the aftermarket moto-lita steering wheel provides for a much more enjoyable, nimble handling experience as opposed to the larger, original steering wheels. The rear seats are also brand new and have never been sat in. Under the dash is very tidy as one would expect from a car that has had every nut and bolt restored. The only item we could pick out is the lack of correct gold-black piping that lined the outer edges of the seats which these cars came with when original as opposed to the dark blue piping that matches the rest of the interior. This would be attributed to the upgraded leather interior which is an excellent addition though not factory correct. Another special addition to this car are the three period time pieces including one Smiths conventional clock, and two Tag Heuer stop watches. Very interesting and valuable vintage accessories for speed timing.
In opening the bonnet one will notice every component is correct and colored as the factory did when new. It presents as new and functions as such. Smooth power delivery with quick throttle response and an excellent, gruff exhaust note. Thanks to a fully built engine by Bitner Automotive with 50 years of experience, this Healey produces 196 horse power with dyno sheets to show for it. Shifting into 5th gear at highway speeds also allows the car those much need RPM’s for comfortable cruising as opposed to the short geared original 4-speed box. The original transmission is also included. All rubber hoses, lines etc. are new with no known leaks. The clutch is also new and operates as it should. The brakes are new and a bit stiff; one item that will need adjusting.
In summation, this fully restored “Big Healey” is absolutely turn-key and ready for any show, rally or tour. Knut Holzer has restored many Austin Healey’s throughout his ownership of BMC in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania and is reporting this as his 400th and last Austin Healey restoration. Fitted with interesting accoutrements and being restored by a marque specialist with hundreds of Healey restorations under his belt, this car is sure to please even the most astute buyer. Included in the sale are tools, jack, spare, hammer, Heritage Certificate, tonneau cover, and authentic timing accessories.
Available Documentation: (Click on the links below to view the file)