1954 Nash Healey LeMans Coupe page 8

Interior sand blasted to confirm the state of the inner body

Still some welding and minor repairs to be made, which will happen once the shell is ready to go into the rollover jig

Sandblasting around the headlight openings and ready to go off for primer.

The outer body has now been primed by "The Healey Factory" in Melbourne. They will also complete the outer body painting when the time comes.

Now there is primer on the shell it is much easier to appreciate the high standard of workmanship by Jerry in metal finishing the body

I decided to fit a Nash accessory clock rather than the ash tray usually installed. I found this old clock on Ebay, not working. I wet sanded the perspex lens and re polished. As can be seen below, after modification the adjustment knob and regulator screw are now dummies.

Now modified and working fine.

Trial fitting of the engine and trans. The engine fitted in 1960 didn't come with the car and was probably a 283. I'm using a 327 as they are pretty easy to come by, and should supply plenty of power in standard form.

Trial fitting of the steering box for the right hand drive conversion. The Nash steering box housing is reversible and is the same type as an XK120 and MKV11 Jaguar. The chassis was manufactured by Healey with the right hand drive mounting points. New right hand drive worm and nut assemblies are available for the jaguar thankfully. The old Chev engine mounts have been removed also and the chassis rail cleaned off ready for new mounts.

The steering column now in place in the right hand drive position, with mounting modified to suit. It will be welded in place when all dimensions are confirmed. As I intend using the car as a daily driver, I have decided to go with a GM Turbo 700 4 speed auto rather than the Nash gearbox and overdrive, which also didn't come with the car. The engine and trans are now aligned and suspended in position ready for mounting. It required removal of the original rear engine cross member, which will be modified and re installed at the front of the engine, and a new removable cross member installed for the rear gearbox mount. Weight distribution has also been checked with some 20 litre drums filled with water placed in the boot, in the radiator position and interior to simulate the finished weight. Using a hydraulic ram to lift each wheel around the car it took 40000KPA to lift the rear wheels and 45000 to lift the front,  so given the the Chev engine is lighter than the Nash 6 and further back in the car I'm happy with weight distribution.
Notes on the restoration.
It took me a while to decide what to do with this car and bring about a reasonable result. Early on I looked into returning it to original, but found that finding all of the parts that were missing would be very difficult, and it didn't sit well with me undoing all of the work done by Roy Stetina. After being in contact with the Stetina family and learning the history of the car it seemed the best thing to do as much as practical was to retain the cars provenance as the 1960 Stetina Corvette Healey. To meet current registration standards the car and modifications will be inspected by a consultant engineer to verify safety and compliance with rules for cars of this type. Braking system will be upgraded along with other modifications to meet those standards. Hopefully the end result will be a comfortable, safe and easy to drive car in all types of modern road conditions.

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