- Chassis # HBJ8L40280
- Engine # 29KRUH14953
- Fresh Restoration by BRC of Philadelphia
- A Numbers-Matching Example
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 the 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, user friendly and best variants are the MKIII or BJ8 as they are commonly referred to. These last production examples offered roll up windows, were weather tight (as much as a classic British car an be) and easy to use top, heater, front disc brakes, and a finely crafted wood dash as well as other little accouterments that make a car so user friendly. 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 car on offer here, chassis number HBJ8L40280, having traveled only 611 miles since its nut-and-bolt restoration, executed by the Healey specialists at BRC of Philadelphia. This completely restored Big Healey has been revitalized and is now a concours quality example. The specialists at BRC have restored over 500 Austin-Healeys throughout their career and are synonymous with quality craftsmanship. Each car is taken down to the bare chassis with every piece either replaced or restored according to factory correct specifications with a few hidden drivers modifications added for improved engine cooling, handling, and power. Though the early history of this car is unknown, it is virtually brand new in every sense.
A walk around the car will show that cosmetically, it is near flawless with what is most likely better than new gaps and panel fitment. The Tartan Red paint shows seamless quality down the body of the car, possessing a deep shine and a consistent finish throughout. Although it is not this example’s original color nor was it offered for any BJ8 Healeys, it is an official Austin Healey color that enthusiasts could get in-period on other models such as the Sprite. Any and all chrome pieces are new or refinished to show quality with any and all accompanying rubber components being new. Any glass, if substandard, was replaced with superb originals or completely new pieces. The chrome Dayton wire wheels are new and wrapped with period correct looking Michelin XAS radial tires. The black cloth top and accompanying boot are again, in excellent condition, with the fit and finish spot-on having been upgraded to a higher quality canvas for improved durability.
Upon entering the interior, the jams are very tidy and pose no inconsistencies. The tan interior has received a upgraded leather package that is in impeccable condition. Each of the door panels present well with the only blemish being an indentation on the lower portion of the panels from the door seal. This is extremely common among these cars and essentially unavoidable. The carpets are tight and correct, protected by new rubber floor mats. The trim on the interior, every knob, switch, pull, and bezel have been tended to and in perfect order with nothing out of place, and everything working. Under the dash shows properly routed wiring per original standards, tidy, neat, and exactly as it should be.
Open up the bonnet and one notices a very clean and well-sorted engine bay. The engine is nicely detailed, highly correct in its finish and internally was built to reliably perform with added horsepower. All of BRC’s engines are blue-printed, balanced and completely rebuilt using modern internals when possible. The engine appears to be highly correct while also able to perform. There is nothing substandard, skipped, or out-of-place in the engine bay, at all. One interesting point to be made is that there are absolutely no leaks at all whatsoever from the underside of the car, a rarity even in totally restored English sports cars. Additionally, the chassis rails are straight and true and free of any dents. Should the new caretaker desire, it could easily be switched and is a minor item that is perhaps out of place per the rest of the car. The trunk area, again, is clean and correct. The spare shows a matching and correct style tire held down by a nice piece of leather.
The mechanical operation of this Healey is pleasantly surprising as every lever, switch, handle, button, has a consistency in quality and feel among one another, operating flawlessly. A flick of the key with fire the engine instantly and once warm, smoothly idles without sputtering or stumbling at all. During use, the 2.9L straight-six is responsive, offering all the performance you could expect from a Healey and then some. The upgraded 5-speed manual transmission shifts without issue and provides for higher top speeds cruising capabilities. The disc brakes perform flawlessly, with any fade or pulling completely absent. The more compact Moto Lita steering wheel makes for a very engaging experience when cornering with the steering being communicative and precise. The gauges all indicate steady operating temperature and pressures, proving all systems are mechanically sound.
In summation, this fully restored “Big Healey” is absolutely turn-key and ready for any show, rally, or tour. BRC’s extensive knowledge and dedication to proper craftsmanship is evident throughout this example. With hundreds of restorations completed by BRC, this example was finished to concours quality with the incorporation of hidden driving upgrades to result in a cohesive blend of performance and correctness. This example is one that even the keenest Austin-Healey enthusiast would find quite challenging to justifiably critique. The example on offer has been thoroughly tended to in every aspect and has been prepared for its next caretaker to enjoy. Included in the sale are the owner’s manual, jack, spare, hammer, Heritage Certificate (Incoming), and tonneau cover.