The Restoration of the First Production Austin Healey
Update October 2001
Mike Lewis has found this project to be a real challenge
that took more time than expected once he got into the fitting of panels
on this car. To no one’s surprise there are many parts of the inner
and outer panel fit-up that are not symmetrical from one side of the car
to the other. It took an enormous amount of work, and was a major
challenge to turn the new reproduction wings into faithful replacements
of the originals. The right rear corner of the car had lateral misalignment
that was either caused by wear on the chassis, or was there from day one.
All wings had to be re-shaped to be more rounded as with the original.
It was fortunate that AHX 14 was available for comparison and pattern making.
The pictures show the parking and headlight areas, the doors, rear wings,
and other areas that Mike has restored. He has done a magnificent
job and the fit-up is now perfect. Mike prefers to get things as
close as possible in parent metal, and minimize further filling requirements.
The image above shows work progressing on the alloy front
wings. Note on the left image (right wing) that the profile of the wing
toward the bottom has been modified to match that of the original wing
shown on page two. While the right image shows the left wing before the
profile has been modified. Also note in both images, the misalignment of
the raised area for the side lights with the corresponding area on the
Note that the door frames are steel like later cars,
unlike 100S alloy doors with alloy frames
The alloy skin reinstalled on the door frame, the process
of aligning the door gaps being carried out to an exacting standard. The
original door skins were removed, repaired in their lower sections and
Work in progress on the rear end of the car, note that
the rear right wing has now been reworked to match the rear shroud, for
those familiar with Healey wings, also note the wider contour.
The backing on the new armacord is shown above being
carefully trimmed back to the same thickness as the original. A long and
Note the misalignment between the windscreen post and
wing, another area requiring rework to make later parts fit this early
One of the many interesting differences on this car is
that the swage line is a convex radius rather than the usual concave.
After completion of the wing modifications, the gravel
tray fitted, and trial installation of headlamps and parking lamps. To
correctly align the latter, a new raised base had to be fabricated on the
The panel work completed by Mike Lewis, On Sept 20th
2001, the car was trailered to Quality Restoration Services, to continue
the body and frame restoration.