Cobra Alternative: V8-Powered Big Healey Kit

Kit cars are generally a love-them-or-hate-them affair, usually dependent upon how well the kit itself was executed. The Sebring MX kit car is intended to be a faithful replica of an Austin Healey, and it does a decent job of copying the original. I can remember seeing advertisements for kits like these via full-page ads in car magazines from the late ’80s and early ’90s, but it’s been ages since I’ve even seen one of these at a car show. Like so many other kit cars, the seller notes he will not finish the project and just wants to cut his losses. The next owner will be inheriting an unfinished project, but one that comes with loads of good parts. Find the Sebring here on eBay with bidding up to $5,600 and no reserve.

Sebring made a variety of kits in the glory days of replicas of popular sports and luxury cars, with other kits doing their best to impersonate an MG-TD and Jaguar SS100. The latter was one of my favorites, as it was a decent copy of the gorgeous SS-100 with the added brawniness of an American V8 under the hood. The MX concept is much the same, featuring your choice of Chevy engines and corresponding transmissions, so while it may look like a big Healey, it certainly won’t sound like one. On that note, that is one of my favorite features of a genuine Healey – the exhaust note is delightfully raspy. Is this V8-powered kit car a suitable replacement?

Given how deep the seller is into the project, it seems he at least thought so. The 350 V8 comes with seemingly all brand new parts, and the seller includes a lengthy list in the eBay listing. Headers, alternator, water pump – everything is new, and the engine is essentially ready for its first startup. The seller notes that the engine, transmission, and rear-end are already installed in the car, which makes you scratch your head a bit as to why he’s selling it now. The photos do show that the body is essentially bare at the moment, so there’s plenty more work to do, but it seems like the heavy lifting is complete. The listing claims he has over $12,000 invested in the Sebring at the moment, and I’m mildly surprised the number isn’t higher.

The chassis has also been refreshed, with the seller noting the suspension is completely new, along with the braking system which was built using Wilwood components that features discs up front and drums outback. The listing goes on to describe various body panels that are included, and the seller goes so far as to say that if you don’t need the body, just take the parts and sell the body and chassis separately to recoup your investment. The moment you decide a project must go can be quite liberating, but even more so when you’ve had a vehicle that doesn’t move taking up valuable garage space. The next owner may even be able to get this project wrapped up by the first day of summer – would you take on a project like this?

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Comments

  1. Douglas Smith

    I have owned 6 big Healey’s. There is very little here that is “faithful” to the original. If you want a street rod, build a street rod. Decades ago someone should have designed a chassis that could be widened or narrowed; lengthened or shortened. and you could put any plastic body you want on it.
    Tastes change and I don’t think that the market for kit cars or conversion vans is very strong.

    2
  2. Chinga Trailer

    I never understood the use of trailer lights on these. They just look cheap and scream “KIT KAR!!”

  3. Sarah

    Shortly after I purchased my first Austin-Healey, a guy showed up in his V8 pre-windup window Healey asking if I wanted to sell. At least that was a real Healey. There were some faithful continuation Healeys made in the UK that give an idea of where the Healey could improve post 1967.
    This is far from being one of those.

  4. Claudio

    A decage or so ago , i did some electrical repairs on one of these
    The wiring had been butchered and i was asked to help
    I got to check it out and drive it until all was solved
    I like the frame construction and the fiberglass cause original ones are rusty, crusty, picky and so many other reasons to not like them …
    Anyway , i started searching and comparing and counting and my final decision was !
    I bought a porsche boxster and never looked back …great handling , convertible , no squeaks , electric top, real brakes , airbags, abs and a look that doesnt go out of style
    And actually , quite easy to maintan for a diy guy
    They look expensive but they are not …

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