[Healeys] My Forever BT7 Restoration

Dan Corning dcorning at comcast.net
Thu Jun 17 21:25:05 MDT 2010

Time flies!

I recently got re-motivated to work on my Bt7 restoration for the 100th
time.  I never really thought much about how long it's been taking me.  I
knew I'd get it done some day but there was always something else going on.
Well, I looked through some of my old photos I took after I had just
purchased the project.  There was one with my cute little daughter in middle
school standing next to the bare chassis.  The only problem with that is my
daughter is now a doctor!

I always thought I'd like to do the restoration myself, and I HAVE done
everything so far.  I've taken the car down to the bare chassis and rebuilt
it to where it is today.  I've done all the mechanical work and restored all
the individual assemblies.  However, it seems I've reached a point where I
realize, the major reason I'm not moving forward anymore is because I don't
really have the skill sets required for the rest of the metal and body work
and would most likely screw it up if I tried.

With that said, last week I was visiting the Lane Motor Museum here in
Nashville.  A wonderful place that features the largest collection of
European vehicles in the United States.  (See "lanemotormuseum.org")   I
began chatting with one of their crew who restores their cars.  He does some
of their metal fabrication work and said he would be glad to restore my body
and chassis to make it "paint ready".

We discussed the process, the fact that he would do the work from his
personal shop and the hourly rate he charges.  I was pretty excited about
the idea and thought the car COULD possibly be done before they cash my life
insurance check!

The problem is that while I'm now convinced I need to have a professional
complete the chassis and body work, I'm wondering if I should take the job
so someone that specializes in Healy restorations.  I'm sure the guy I was
speaking with is very talented.  I also know he does metal restoration work
on European cars for a museum!  However, it became fairly clear to me he
does not have intimate knowledge of Healeys.

Here's my request:  I took a bunch of detailed photos of my car today and
posted them on the internet.  I thought I would ask anyone that may be
interested to take a look at what I have.  The photos show the good, the bad
and the ugly regarding my restoration work.  It would be very easy for me to
post more if anyone wanted to see any specific component with more detail.
I would like to hear comments regarding my best options to bring the car
back to "paint ready" or even painted condition.  However, I don't really
want to turn the project over to a shop and have it returned as a complete

You can see my photos at:   photobucket.com/DansHealeyPhotos  

(I didn't know if URL links were allowed so you'll have to add the www.

Dan Corning

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