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Austin Healey Restoration Guide

Updated on July 18, 2011

Introduction to Austin Healey Restoration

Austin-Healey was a British sports car maker that made many cars that were known for their high quality and ability to race. These sports cars are highly collectible and considered classics. There are many car buffs who enjoy the work that goes into Austin Healey Restoration projects. This high power partnership was originally established through a joint venture arrangement which was put together and agreed upon in 1952 between Leonard Lord of the Austin division of the British Motor Corporation (BMC) and Donald Healey, a renowned automotive engineer and designer. This combination proved to be a match made in heaven, as the huge number of Austin-Healey racing car fans show, as well as the high demand that is there for any Austin Healey restoration project.  There's little doubt that these cars are going to remain popular for some time, and that will keep the demand for Austin-Healey restoration services high.

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Austin Healey Sprite Restoration

The Austin Healey Sprites were extremely popular in the 1960's and have a great reputation among Austin Healey fans. Many of these vehicles are restored to their original state, and there are those who also like adding a few extras to this particular model to get that little extra kick from a restoration job. These are classic cars and while there were several made throughout the decade, one of the most popular models is the 1969 Sprite, which often came in white with red racing stripes. These cars are sleek, smooth, and can really hit the road hard. There are five different Sprite models, almost all of which were released in the 1960s, although the last model was still being made in 1970 and 1971. Classic car restoration at its best can be seen through well restored Austin Healey Sprites.

Austin Healey Sprites:

  • 1958 - 1960 AN5 Mark I 'Bugeye - US' 'Frogeye - UK'
  • 1961 - 1964 AN6 - AN7 Mark II
  • 1964 - 1966 AN8 Mark III (roll-up windows)
  • 1966 - 1969 AN9 Mark IV
  • 1969 - 1971 AN10 Mark V (UK Only)

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Austin Healey 3000 Restoration

There were three model types of the Austin Healey automobiles, and the one that really came on its own was the Austin Healey 3000, which were the prominent models of the 1950s. There were four different models that fall under the Healey 3000 drawing board, and these cars provide a good challenge for classic car restoration fans.  These aren't quite as common as the Sprite, but there is plenty of demand for Austin Healey 3000 work for those of you who are capable enough of doing such challenging automobile restoration work.

3000 Models:

  • 1959 - 1961 BN7 Mark I (2 seat), BT7 Mark I (2+2 seats)
  • 1961 - 1962 BN7 Mark II (2 seat), BT7 Mark II (2+2 seats), BJ7 Mark II (2 seat)
  • 1962 - 1964 BJ7 Mark II (roll-up windows)
  • 1964 - 1967 BJ8 Mark III

Austin Healey Photos

Click thumbnail to view full-size
Used courtesy of Chris 73 at Wikimedia Commons.
Used courtesy of Chris 73 at Wikimedia Commons.
Used courtesy of Chris 73 at Wikimedia Commons.

Austin Healey Restoration Video

Types of Austin Healey Automobiles

There are three major types of Austin-Healey Automobiles.  While there are 16 different models of AH classic cars (17 if you count one model which had an "upgrade" but wasn't considered a completely new model or design), they all fall under one of three groups, and these groups are the most common names given to a general automobile to let people know what kind of restoration needs to be done.  The three major design schools are:

  1. Austin-Healey 100 (1953-1959)
  2. Austin-Healey 3000 (1959-1967)
  3. Austin-Healey Sprite (1958-1971)

Finding Austin Healey Restorers

The best way to find a high quality Austin Healey Restorer is to look locally for classic car restoration specialists. If there aren't any in the phone book or you can't get a good word of mouth recommendation, then look online. There are many good restoration workers who can be found online and obviously the most ideal situation is to find someone locally, then semi-locally, and if there just aren't any options and you don't have the natural skills to do it yourself, then look at longer distance options.  Look for reviews from other customers, and don't forget that you can check to see if a business has any complaints filed with the Better Business Bureau (BBB).  If in doubt, look for someone else.

History of Austin Healey 100s

If you're looking to go way back in the history of classic racing automobiles, then you need to go to the 100 models to get to the source in this case.  Austin Healey 100's may not be in as high demand now as the 3000 or Sprite models, but there is still a strong market for restoration of these vehicles as well, and as anyone who understands classic car markets know, popularity can cause a lot to wax and wane over time.  By the time you read this, it might already be that the Austin-Healey 100 restoration is the most requested work of the three!

Comments on Austin Healey Restoration

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    • Hello, hello, profile image

      Hello, hello, 7 years ago from London, UK

      I have no idea abut cars apart from were to get in and sit down but I enjoyed reading your restoration guide. To me it was and eye opener and interesting. I love old cars.

    • FGual profile image

      FGual 7 years ago from USA

      Great detailed report about one of the best British cars ever. There were so many when I was growing up, and now they so rare. The little bugeye Sprite screams DRIVING FUN. In it's last years the Sprite was the same as the MG Midget, and they had the big ugly Federal bumpers which spoiled their great looks. Those were the days.

    • sligobay profile image

      sligobay 7 years ago from east of the equator

      Great Hub JerryG. I don't know much about cars but love them old and went to a few classic car shows this summer.

      The layout for this Hub is so neat and clean that I think that I can learn a thing or two from your hubs. Thank you for your fine work. Cheers.