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.

Step 1: Make Space

Not too much explanation here.
All I can say is there's no such thing as too much space.
Storage will be important. Save used boxes, bags, sandwich bags, etc.
Since I did not have much space, I mapped everything out with a floorplan before hand.
Pic 1:
I ended up going with Option "B" as there was more space to work in the front end of the car.
The positioning of the stainless table was nice as the work surface can be accessed from 3 sides.
It became a convenient laundry station.
Pic 2:
Reorganize everything. Knowing where everything is important.
Pic 3&4:
Space reorganized, Wall & Table storage revamped and fully loaded.
<p>Nice work! Congrats!</p>
Wooooooow. <br>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). <br>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. <br>Thanks so much for documenting your restoration.
G-R-E-A-T J-O-B!!! <br>I Sincerely Hope that you and your father go to HEAVEN with cars and everything!! <br>I restore cars too, now Iam in the process of restoring a 1964 Cadillac Coupe DeVille, and a 1964 Chevrolet apache Stepside pick up. <br>Keep the Classics out of the land fill people!!
Excellent work!
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!!
Thanks for all the comments guys! <br>The build meant a lot to me. <br>My parents worked so hard when I was growing up. <br>It was time for them to enjoy life. =) <br>
Wow!! BEST EVER !!! <br>Thanks for the extended i'ble! <br> <br>I'm following you!
Brilliant. Thanks for sharing.
You picked a challenging build for your first restore, a old foreign model. <br>British at that. And a six month deadline too. <br>2/3 of the way through all that body work and polishing I said to myself, &quot;I hope the mechanical work was done already!&quot; <br>Glad you found a new friend to help get it going. <br>Kudos for tackling the carbs yourself. <br>The concept is simple but the devices are intricate and complicated. <br>It looks and sounds great.
Even high heat paint will flake off the exhaust. <br>I tried it once. Exhaust is just too hot. <br>Heat paint works on engine blocks because the temp is regulated by coolant. <br>Ceramic paint might work but has to be baked on in an oven before it will take the exhaust heat.
This is the most comprehensive, most detailed Instructable I've seen. A masterful piece of work. There's a book in there. <br> <br>Warmest Regards, <br> Bill Drissel <br> Grand Prairie, TX <br>
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!
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! <br> <br>Thanks for sharing, this is very inspirational - especially that it was for a present and yet you took so much painstaking care.
This was not only a learning experience, but a labor of love. Congratulations. Peace
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 <br>keep up the good work
Awesome restoration. Maybe it'll light the fire under me to complete my Honda engine swap.
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 . <br>
oops I obviously meant MG
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!!! <br> <br>Great work!!
Can I adopt you?
That was fantastic! The level detail was inspiring. I have never been so enthralled by a steering wheel wrap... Hats off to you
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. <br> <br>Enjoy the car and I would love to have seen the smile on your father's face when you gave him the car. <br> <br>
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. <br>Jerry
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 &quot;capo di lavoro&quot; as they say here in Italy!!
Nice looking car. I'm currently working on a restoration myself.
1967, wow! .. That's the year the Beatles released Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band.
There was nothing &quot;mini&quot; 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. <br>
Well, as opposed to the &quot;full&quot; restorations that my uncle does, where he takes the whole thing apart and redoes EVERYTHING, this is mini ;) <br> <br>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...
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.
Would you like to come to the UK and be my son/ :-) <br> <br>Fantastic work Fantastic car (although I prefer the frog eye sprite.)
Excellent job. The car looks great!
I dont even know where to start. <br /> <br />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. <br /> <br />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? <br /> <br />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! <br /> <br />
What a gorgeous car. You did an amazing job with this!
Amazing! A beautiful restoration.
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.
Wow. This is truly a great project. I bet he was very surprised to receive this.
Very well done and documented! Very reminiscent of my last VW resto, right down to that same part breaking on my pressure washer!
Sweet ride, my wife had a bugeye in highschool, as fun as my bigblock 72 chevelle was that lil sprite was a blast to drive on the twisting back roads. Thanks for sharing this long term project

About This Instructable




Bio: If it breaks, fix it. If it works, take it apart. If it can be bought, make it. If it doesn't exist, create it.
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