Unfinished Project: 1964 Austin Healey BJ-7

This 1964 Austin Healey appears to be a project that has stalled following some interesting modifications, and now it is looking for someone to either finish what has been started or to undertake a full restoration. You will find it listed for sale here on eBay. Located in Wylie, Texas,  it is listed with a clear title. The seller has set a BIN price of $16,800, but the option is available to submit an offer.

The previous owner of this Healey had owned it since 1974, and it had always been garage-kept. I assume that it was that person that started this project. They have stripped the body and given it a coat of primer, but haven’t undertaken any remedial bodywork. There are a number of dents and dings that will need to be addressed to whip the body into shape before a fresh coat of color can be applied.

The underside of this little Healey looks to be quite solid. What does catch my eye is the fact that the car no longer sports a live rear axle and leaf springs, but is now sitting on an independent Jaguar rear end. If this has been engineered correctly then the car should ride and handle significantly better. This is one aspect that I would definitely be investigating thoroughly to ensure that the workmanship is sound. There is also some tidying-up to be done with items such as pipes and wiring. I would also be investigating items such as brake proportioning valves, as the inboard Jag discs are going to provide significantly more stopping power than the original drums. Get this wrong and the effect will be similar to applying the emergency brake every time you press the middle pedal.

This shot had me a bit confused to start with. It appears that the person undertaking the modifications to the Healey have welded up the rear seat recesses to make the car into a true 2-seater. Regardless of this, the entire interior will require restoration, and the soft-top will also require replacement. The list for this is going to be long, and the prices certainly aren’t for the faint-hearted. I have undertaken a bit of a search for new replacement parts in the US, and I must say that they are interesting, to say the least.

The engine and transmission are incomplete on the Healey. The engine lacks all of its external components such as the twin SU carburetors, distributor and exhaust, while the transmission is missing the shifter assembly and overdrive unit. It is essentially a case of “what you see is what you get” on this car, so there are going to be a lot of small (and not so small) parts that will need to be sourced.

The next owner of this Austin Healey is going to be faced with some decisions. If they are considering it for a faithful restoration, then there are some not inconsiderable modifications that will need to be reversed. Leaving the car the way it is may still require a thorough inspection by a suitably qualified engineer unless the seller can provide documentary evidence verifying the soundness of the modifications. This is one where I honestly don’t know what I’d do.

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Comments

  1. Gaspumpchas

    Looks like a neat job on the Jag rear install. Primer hides many sins. wonder why the shop where it is isn’t finishing?? Lots of pricey hardware missing under the hood. Good luck to new owner, caveat emptor….

    Cheers

    GPC

    3
    • stillrunners

      A dealer that takes trade in’s and flips ? The Jeep guys….

      2
      • Jbones

        Dennis Collins as seen with Richard Rawlings in the now defunct series Fast ‘n loud.

        2
  2. SubGothius

    I’ll admit I don’t know much about Healeys, but I can only guess that the PO “welded up the rear seat recesses” to make room for the Jag IRS underneath?

    4
  3. Sarah

    The cutting out of the frame around the Jag rear-end would be a concern, and getting the car to have the right posture upon completion is another. There is a lot of work to do and missing parts to find and purchase. The price is just too high given the fact that in the end after all of money spent and effort still needed, the car won’t be original.

    4
    • Gaspumpchas

      Yea Sarah all great points, possibility of shoehorning a v8 in there, popular swap in the 60’s.wonder if the jag rear was for that possibility. Not for that asking price tho. Too much coin. You’d have to get it right for all the work plus what the primer is hiding.

      Cheers
      GPC

      2
  4. sir mike

    Why does it look like it sits way to high???

  5. Brian

    Looks like the back half of the car will break off on the first bump. Those cut frame sections better be braced before driving this one. Nothing wrong with the Healey live axle in these– they ride and handle better than you’d think.

    2
  6. Houndawg

    If Dennis Collins is selling it, it probably needs more work than it will be worth when done. Someone is going to be upside down with this one.

    3
  7. Had Two

    As I understand it…1964 Austin Healey 3000 Mk III Phase 1 built 1,390
    examples of the new 150 h.p. engine and the new wood dash, and amenities of the Austin Healey 3000…….then changed over to a different rear end, following complaints of the rear end being “too low”, and scraping across speed bumps.
    It is the reason why following Healey’s had the “butt end” sticking up in the air.
    It was to appeal to complaints. It was the Phase II that lasted until 1967.

    2
  8. Had Two

    Update clarification;
    NOT: It was the Phase II that lasted until 1967.

    It WAS the 3000 Mk III, Phase 2, that lasted, sadly, until end of production in 1967

    2
  9. Howard A Member

    Yeah, this doesn’t do much for me either. They kind of “bastardized” it, and could have stuck that money into making it original, and getting 6 figures. I’m sure they figured that out half way through the project. I always wonder what motivates some people to do things like this? Like when Homer Simpson sews tweed patches on a leather jacket.( It’s suppose to be leather patches on a tweed jacket) He ruined 2 perfectly good jackets,,,

    3
  10. Dolphin Dolphin Member

    The car sits too high even for a ’64, which sat higher than the pre-’63 cars. Maybe the grafted-in Jag rear end affected the rear ride height, but the front end is too high, and isn’t accounted for due to the missing engine pieces.

    Agree that it would be risky to take this project on, especially since you can’t test drive it to see how the suspension is working. I would spend more $ and get an original car that can be checked out by being test driven and will have more value than this car.

    2
  11. Pat

    It has a 61 or earlier grill…..

    1
  12. Ben T. Spanner

    A lot of effort and money for little or no gain. Why not start with a replica if you are set on a Jag rear suspension? I have owned 6 old AH’s and 6 old Jags, but had no desire to combine them.
    Decades ago when I drove a 1954 AH 100-4, I worked on a 100-6 that had a 3.4 Jag engine. I was a fright pig. It sat lower, vs higher.

    3
  13. healeydays

    This car has been altered/thrown together with non standard parts and would be best as what is called in the Healey circles as a Nastyboy. I too would be concerned about the frame, if stock holding up to torque of anything other than a standard drivetrain. These frames usually fail due to rotting out from inside out as water gets into the rails and has nowhere to go and just eats away from within. Nice project at the right price, but Dennis wants all the money…

    5
  14. Little Cars

    Whu? …couldn’t be bothered to throw on a standard 7″ headlight and ring on the passenger side so this thing doesn’t look like it is winking at you and your potentially deep pockets…..putz….PASS!

    2
  15. Maestro1 Member

    No. Absolutely not at that price. There are projects out there that are much easier to start with.

    2
  16. ron

    If anyone is interested….I have a 67 vw with a 572…1200 hp crate engine in it ,tricycle brakes, subaru raditator, cadillac seats, tires from my schwin and last but not least…….12….. CUP HOLDERS!……….seriously…..only a b………would bastardize a Healy to this extent………shame on you!…….would you take $11.59 over a 3 year contract?

    1
  17. Chinga-Trailer

    Jag rear end is a total waste – 99 out of a hundred drivers will never know the difference and that one out of a hundred who claims to feel the difference is lying. On a street driven car it’s a whole lotta work for very little if any discernible benefit.

    1
  18. Del

    Bizarre.

    Why do Mods like this when its not a runner ?

    Missing to much stuff.

    1
  19. Del

    Bizarre.

    Why do all these mods when car is not a runner ?

    No way, Jose

  20. Del

    Bizarre

    All this work on a non running car that is missing a ton of stuff still.

    No way, Jose

  21. Ross W. Lovell

    Greetings All,

    Is it me or are those 14″ wheels, not 15″?

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