Category Archives: 1962 Austin-Healey Sprite
This 1962 Austin-Healey Sprite is a perfect little jewel of a car. Refreshed in the 80’s, the new owner wanted to take it up a level or two in appearance. This car has gone on to win or place in several shows and I am very proud of the fact that in one show it pointed 9.5 out of 10 for paint.
He was very kind to say so, and while the paint may have had something to do with it, the fact is he did a lot of work on that car and it deserved to win.
After all the sanding, priming, sanding, painting, sanding, and finally polishing, it is finally time to put the 1962 Austin-Healey back together. These shots were taken over the course of about a week.
One nice thing about these old cars … they are anvil simple so there’s not much to go wrong when putting them together.
In the the second picture I’m spraying the clear … used to bring up the shine and protect the color layer underneath.
The nice thing about a small car is that it doesn’t take long to spray one. Which is a good thing because it’s not fun laying on the ground so you can get low enough to spray the bottom edge. And yes, I really am on my knees so I can get low enough to spray the top.
In this case, the owner was trying to prevent the pans from rusting out if the carpet happens to get wet. Certainly a possiblity in a car with no top, or as the British would say, no hood.
After much research by both myself and the owner, I was finally able to find the correct PPG paint code for the Healey. It’s hard sometimes when you need to go back to the original color to figure out exactly what that original color is. Especially when the car is nearly 50 years old … and English.
These are the doors, hood and trunk … or as the English say, the doors, bonnet and boot … receiving their coat of color. They look slightly flat now, but clear will be added later and that will really make them pop.
This series of pictures show how the car is sanded to reveal any imperfections in the paint and to give the primer something to bite into. The light yellow or tan you see on the car is body filler used to fill imperfections in the body to make a perfectly smooth and flat base for the color layers to follow.
You will also notice that the owner asked for the wing (fender) mirrors to be removed. We welded in a bit of metal to fill the hole, smoothed it over with body filler, and after paint, you will never know they were there.
Progress has been somewhat slow on the car because business has really been booming of late. In the second picture, the black bumper on the floor is from Terry’s, the owner of the Healey, daily driver. His daughter was rear-ended in their minivan, so obviously he wanted that fixed first.
You might note that their Odyssey minvan is almost as wide as the Healey is long.
When I was inspecting the car I noticed a flaw in the paint I hadn’t seen before. I wanted to take a look at that while the owner was still standing there in case I uncovered something that was going to add significantly to the cost. It turned out to be nothing, but you should have seen the owners face when I attacked his car with a power sander.
At least I warned him first.