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Mini Restoration: '67 Austin Healey Sprite MKiV

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Picture of Mini Restoration: '67 Austin Healey Sprite MKiV
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This mini resto was a surprise birthday gift for my father's 60th.
I expected this first attempt at an automotive restoration to exhaust my skill set and help develop more.
Looking back I definitely bit off more than I could chew, especially with a 6 month timeline and f/t job.
I scoured the interwebs for the right car, and ended up deciding on the Healey.

The car was chosen on the following criteria:
Affordable: It's not the car that breaks you most of the time, it's everything that comes afterwards:
Restoration costs, insurance, parts, maintenance, etc... so research research research before you click buy.
Size & Space: Whatever car you're restoring, pretend you're buying 2. That's the amount of space you'll need
The small townhouse I was living in only had 1 garage... it was a struggle just storing parts let alone working.
Timeline:  If you're living with room mates or a significant other... budget your time accordingly. 
Inspect and assess: Shop around for the same car, so when you find the one, you'll know exactly what areas to look for.
Cult following: Every classic car has a following of some sort, tap into these outlets. (ie: forums, communities, etc)
The interweb: From procuring vintage parts to figuring out how carburation works... www. is your friend.
At the end of the day, be realistic.

If I missed anything, you'll find it along the read, it's full of epic failures, struggles, & success.
All which are an integral part of learning.
I hope you enjoy this "ible" as much as I did the resto.
 
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maxpwr5 months ago

WOOOOOWW.

Wooooooow.
The car you started with was in really awesome shape to begin with. My '69 is nowhere near the level you started with. Thankfully, the body is in good shape, but there's a lot that has been removed and redone (with questionable work quality).
Mine will probably never be 'restored' like what you've done here, but much of the details you posted here will be of GREAT help.
Thanks so much for documenting your restoration.
mrlunna132 years ago
G-R-E-A-T J-O-B!!!
I Sincerely Hope that you and your father go to HEAVEN with cars and everything!!
I restore cars too, now Iam in the process of restoring a 1964 Cadillac Coupe DeVille, and a 1964 Chevrolet apache Stepside pick up.
Keep the Classics out of the land fill people!!
loopingz2 years ago
Excellent work!
blueaxe2 years ago
I have been to this movie before, and I must say, for dedication and effort alone, you'd get the Oscar. Really, really nice job!!
hells-oui (author) 2 years ago
Thanks for all the comments guys!
The build meant a lot to me.
My parents worked so hard when I was growing up.
It was time for them to enjoy life. =)
londobali2 years ago
Wow!! BEST EVER !!!
Thanks for the extended i'ble!

I'm following you!
jonathad2 years ago
Brilliant. Thanks for sharing.
sconner12 years ago
You picked a challenging build for your first restore, a old foreign model.
British at that. And a six month deadline too.
2/3 of the way through all that body work and polishing I said to myself, "I hope the mechanical work was done already!"
Glad you found a new friend to help get it going.
Kudos for tackling the carbs yourself.
The concept is simple but the devices are intricate and complicated.
It looks and sounds great.
sconner12 years ago
Even high heat paint will flake off the exhaust.
I tried it once. Exhaust is just too hot.
Heat paint works on engine blocks because the temp is regulated by coolant.
Ceramic paint might work but has to be baked on in an oven before it will take the exhaust heat.
drissel2 years ago
This is the most comprehensive, most detailed Instructable I've seen. A masterful piece of work. There's a book in there.

Warmest Regards,
Bill Drissel
Grand Prairie, TX
adunster2 years ago
Its extremely difficult to follow which captions go with which images when you give us 38 images and THEN 38 captions. It would be much, much easier if you put each caption on a mouseover!
protovu2 years ago
Bravo! You are an inspiration. Thank you for taking the time to document so clearly. I hope that the car gives years of fun.
One of the most detailed instructables i have seen, its a tough job restoring older cars, very difficult to break away from the job and keep recording what you are actually doing, but you managed it perfectly!

Thanks for sharing, this is very inspirational - especially that it was for a present and yet you took so much painstaking care.
zoomenok2 years ago
Amazing!
onemoroni12 years ago
This was not only a learning experience, but a labor of love. Congratulations. Peace
ukionz2 years ago
Congratulations on the successful restoration! Love the details put into. Make me think twice before start my old Jeep restoration. Enjoy reading your job, Thank you!
I always loved the Healey so much nicer then the MGB
keep up the good work
spinn2 years ago
Awesome restoration. Maybe it'll light the fire under me to complete my Honda engine swap.
tubegeek2 years ago
You give me hope: my daughter and I want to buy her a VW Beetle and get it in shape, but space, time etc. are a challenge. Seeing this 'ible makes me feel like we can do it! THANK YOU!
google Moss Motors , and Victoria British they have catalogs for all the part for MF and Sprite. Also original manuals .
oops I obviously meant MG
sylrig2 years ago
Really nice instructable! I'm not even into cars, but I was riveted every step of the way. What an impressive job--your dad must be so happy.
Very inspirational!!!

Great work!!
cjccjc2 years ago
Can I adopt you?
cyrulean2 years ago
That was fantastic! The level detail was inspiring. I have never been so enthralled by a steering wheel wrap... Hats off to you
tem4942 years ago
If this is your first restoration you have missed your calling. As said earlier your attention to detail and not being affraid to tackle anything is a real credit to you. I am also guessing that your father was a big influence on your work ethic.

Enjoy the car and I would love to have seen the smile on your father's face when you gave him the car.

gmsmg2 years ago
Dear Hell I my be wrong I think that car is 1967 MG I had a 1973 MG and it look just about the same.
Jerry
oompa2 years ago
Great job!! You crammed a lot of work in a very short time and I know the feeling. In 1999 I had less than 18 months until I moved overseas from Iowa and completely restored (not original paint scheme) a 1946 Chevy half ton from the ground up in 14 months - that gave me 4 months to drive it before I sold it. Your father is a lucky man! Again "capo di lavoro" as they say here in Italy!!
1946 Chevy P-U.JPG
Nice looking car. I'm currently working on a restoration myself.
On Stands.jpg
rammuk2 years ago
1967, wow! .. That's the year the Beatles released Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band.
biomcanx2 years ago
There was nothing "mini" about this resto. Excellent work! I could never imagine doing a restoration in such a small space. Your attention to detail was outstanding. Your Father must be very proud, not only to own such a fine piece of craftsmanship but to have a son who was willing to put so much love into a gift for him.
Well, as opposed to the "full" restorations that my uncle does, where he takes the whole thing apart and redoes EVERYTHING, this is mini ;)

Anyway, great job on restoring the Sprite, it looks amazing! Great work on detailing the process as well, hopefully I can get something at least half as good as this when I restore my Minor 1000...
koecke2 years ago
Favorited. I have a 68 MkIV in my garage that was restored 20 years ago and was a daily driver from 2003-2010. Needs all new hydraulics now... sigh. Great job.
rickharris2 years ago
Would you like to come to the UK and be my son/ :-)

Fantastic work Fantastic car (although I prefer the frog eye sprite.)
Harvard822 years ago
Excellent job. The car looks great!
angelabchua2 years ago
I dont even know where to start.

This is an AMAZING instructable! My boyfriend has been restoring classic cars for the last 18 years and has been doing it professionally for the last 12 years.

With that said, I have seen first hand the amount of work, tears, frustration, agony, cuts, scrapes, bruises, torn jeans, torn shirts, stained pants, soaking wet shoes, over-sprayed arms, bondo dust covered hair, and welding welts from cherries that it takes to finish a car. And to give yourself 6 months on top of a full time job?

Absolutely amazing. You should be really proud of the work you accomplished and you dad is so very lucky to have such a great son. I hope the two of you get to enjoy this cherry ride for a long time to come!

What a gorgeous car. You did an amazing job with this!
canida2 years ago
Amazing! A beautiful restoration.
noahw2 years ago
This is some excellent documentation of your restoration job. My Dad has a 1967 Red MGB that we've been working on...the seats looks very similar to yours except with white piping, I prefer the red that you've got there actually. In any case, there's a real shortage of well documented photo-based information about these old cars and it's great to see so many beautiful photos on this Instructable. Congratulations on the restoration job and on the Instructable - it's great work.
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