1955 Austin Healey 100 BN1

Arrival of classic tyres

Santa’s been and delivered our assortment of classic tyres ready to be fitted on our fantastic selection of classic vehicles. Santa of course being Graeme

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Rebuilding the dash

Having had our dials stripped, cleaned, repaired and rebuilt by our good friends at Speedy Cable in Swansea, Brian has been able to complete the

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Austin Healey’s New Parts

Our Austin Healey 100 has had a brand new temperature gauge and sender as well as having the radiator reconditioned to solve the blockage and leaking. We’re also fitting wing mirrors and need to adjust the handbrake.

Austin Healey Delivered for Christmas

Here at Bridge Classic Cars, our Vehicle Technicians worked tirelessly up to the end of 2019 to get this gorgeous 1955 Austin Healey 100 home.

1955 Austin Healey – Test Drive

Dave has been working hard on our 1955 Austin Healey ahead of the owner seeing the car this weekend. It’s getting very near completion now. We can’t wait to see this gorgeous Healey back on the road after our recent restoration works.

1955 Austin Healey Gearbox seals

The gearbox seals have been replaced of our 1955 Austin Healey. Now that it has been removed and fully rebuilt. The gearbox is now being re-married with the engine.

1955 Austin Healey restoration nearing completion

We are nearing completion on the restoration of our 1955 Austin Healey. Unfortunately, due to unforeseen circumstances the gearbox has once again been removed to be fully rebuilt. The gearbox was reported rebuilt sometime ago but the seals have possibly perished causing 3 or 4 leaks to appear, mainly around the overdrive.

Restoring the window frames and hood cover

The original Austin Healey side screens have been stripped, cleaned and repainted. We have had to carry out some remedial repairs to the cracked frames which involved welding new metal into the affected areas. The material and perspex which makes up the window have been cleaned down before rebuilding both sides ready for refit.

The hood cover has also been cleaned ready for install.

Arrival of classic tyres

Santa’s been and delivered our assortment of classic tyres ready to be fitted on our fantastic selection of classic vehicles.

Santa of course being Graeme from We Fit Any Tyres AnyWhere and the fantastic selection being: 1955 Austin Healey 100M, 1956 Ford Consul, 1959 Morris J, 1970 Mercedes 280SL Pagoda.

Austin Healey: Tyres and Wheels

The brand new MWS 72 spoke stainless steel wheels have now been fitted to the 165 R15 tyres. As always, a huge thank to the guys at WeFitAnyTyresAnywhere, you never let us down.

MWS Full Stainless Steel wire wheels are manufactured using state of the art technology. Special processes were developed after long years of Research and Development in making these wheels. Full stainless steel wheels are made of superior Austenitic grade stainless steel that has excellent protection against corrosion.

The Stainless Steel rims and shells are polished to a superior natural finish in special purpose machines. The hand polishing by highly skilled craftsmen compliments this.

The Stainless Steel spokes and nipples are electro polished to match the lustre and colour of the rims and shells.

The Wheels are specially treated as a final process to retain the lustre and colour.

100% inspection on finish on all the parts ensures only the best quality products are passed out.

Rebuilding the dash

Having had our dials stripped, cleaned, repaired and rebuilt by our good friends at Speedy Cable in Swansea, Brian has been able to complete the rebuild of our Austin Healey dash.

The dash itself was stripped and re-covered by us in house, the buttons have also been cleaned up here but we like to bring in the specialist skills of Speedy Cable for refurbishing dials as they always make such a beautiful job and have the tooling to make the job much easier.

1955 Austin Healey Re-assembly

Brian has been working his magic on the refit of our 1955 Austin Healey. The re-assembly is progressing really well with freshly restored parts as well as brand new parts all being fitted back up to the car. The horns are now back in position, the chrome work is gradually being secured and the metal edge finished panels are looking amazing.

1955 Austin Healey Re-assembly

We are busy piecing together our new and newly refurbished parts as we continue to re-assemble our 1955 Austin Healey.

The wing to bonnet trims are now in position, as is the front and back bumpers and badges. The fuel tank is also now secured.

Refurbishing the Healey steering wheel

As we continue to work our way through the numerous parts that require refurbishment, here is the original steering wheel and horn push for our 1955 Austin Healey; cleaned and stored away for assembly.

1955 Austin Healey Power Steering

Introducing EZ Power Steering

Enjoy driving your classic car, but do you (or your partner) find the steering to be too heavy?

Would you like to cure this without changing the steering characteristics of the car? We can now offer you a solution: an EZ Electric Power Steering system that is completely hidden underneath the dashboard.

The existing steering rack or box remains unchanged and thus retains the standard steering ratio and setup. The amount of assistance is fully adjustable and is sensitive to speed and load. When we install the EZ system, we use CNC laser cut bespoke brackets designed to fit the original mounting points of your car. As no holes are drilled, with no cutting or welding to the chassis or body, the car can always be converted back to its original steering column. Under the bonnet there are no changes, everything remains as original. The advantages of an electrical system opposed to a hydraulic system are numerous. The electric motor only uses power when steering assistance is necessary whilst a hydraulic pump is continously operating when the engine is running. A hydraulic setup generally uses around 4 bhp and therefore consumes extra fuel, even when driving straight ahead.

Because the electric power steering system is truly speed sensitive, it will steer light at low speeds and not become lighter at high speed. The amount of assistance can be selected by turning a potentiometer, so that the driver can select the desired feel (i.e. more assistance with wider tires and/or a smaller sports steering wheel’. With a classic hydraulic system there is usually little feel and no possibility to adjust this at all.

In the unlikely event that the electric power steering system has a defect, the car would steer exactly like it did prior to power steering conversion. If a car fitted with an hydraulic system would have a fault the car would steer extremely heavy.

The EZ Electric Power Steering works without making a sound. It can not leak and is completely maintenance-free. When will you turn around with an EZ Power Steering conversion?

We have fitted the EZ Power Steering system to a number of our restorations now, including our recent 1960 Jensen 541S project. Our 1955 Austin Healey is now equipped with the new system and will make many many years of driving much more pleasurable for one very proud owner.

1955 Austin Healey: ready for rebuild

With a fresh new look our 1955 Austin Healey is out of the paint shop and now back in our assembly room as we start to fit back up the bright work, badges, exterior and interior components etc.

The new wheels, supplied to us from MWS are now in our possession but will not be fitted until nearing completion.

1955 Austin Healey in paint

Darren has now put our 1955 Austin Healey through the paint shop to give her a new and fresh look. The shell and loose body panels are now looking stunning in vibrant red. We are now ready to progress with the next stage of the restoration which will be to refit.

1955 Austin Healey in primer

Our Austin Healey 100M is now in final stages of primer. The shell has been coated in a red primer before being flattened down once more and guide coated. At this stage, all of the panels will be removed ready for final paint to begin.

Austin Healey epoxy primed

Our 1955 Austin Healey has now been coated in epoxy primer. We will now look to refit all of the panels to ensure the lines and fit are as we want them to be ready to be prepared for paint.

Polishing our Austin Healey grille

It was a very time consuming and intricate task but Brian has now completed the polishing work on our original Austin Healey grille.

Our Austin Healey engine now fitted

Our 1955 Austin Healey 100M engine is now complete and refitted.

The body shell in now in for preparation ready for the respray to commence.

Polishing and Re-painting our Austin Healey Fuel Tank

Next up for Brian is to strip, clean and polish our 1977 Austin Healey radiator. The top looks to have been hand painted at some point in the past so we need to remove the paint before looking at options of polishing.

Restoring our 1955 Austin Healey carbs

Our 1955 Austin Healey carbs have now undergone a full restoring rebuild.

The manifold has been blasted and rumbled, they have been rebuilt using new and refurbished parts. They have been set up and balanced and now they are ready to be fitted back up.

Re-covering the Austin Healey dash

We are now working on refurbishing the dash of our 1955 Austin Healey. The existing covering has been removed and the surface has been cleaned up.

We have now re-covered the dash in brand new vinyl and high temperature auto adhesive.

Completing the Austin Healey BN1 Engine Rebuild

Ady has now completed the rebuild of our 1955 Austin Healey 100M engine.

We have replaced with a full set of gaskets throughout, refitted with new studs, plugs, leads. The water pump and oil pump have been replaced, new cover assembly, piston assembly, pulley, big end bearing set, main bearing set and thrust washer set. The engine has been detailed in silver, black and the original green finish you would expect to see from new on the Austin Healey 100M. All of the nuts and bolts throughout have also been replaced with new to give the full set up a new and fresh look.

Front conversion of Austin Healey

Today, Ady has carried out a front conversion, also known as a lip seal conversion.

The lip seal conversion takes out the existing felt seal.

Working on the Austin Healey Dash and Dials

The dashboard of our 1955 Austin Healey has now been stripped so that the dials can be sent away to Speedy Cables to be fully overhauled.

Speedy Cables is an independent small company located in South Wales employing around 20 people with a variety of professional, engineering and craft skills engaged in the customisation and repair of instrumentation and the manufacture of custom control cables and custom drive cables.

Speedometer repair and restoration is a highly specialised skill and their technicians have many years experience to provide this service to a quality standard of the highest level.

They are able to manufacture replacement parts for many older speedometers which are now out of production as they have access to the original drawings and tooling of the Smiths Ranges of Instruments and a fully equipped workshop.

Their skilled instrument mechanics have the capability to re-calibrate speedometers utilising specialised equipment.

Each Speedometer needs to be individually assessed by the technicians in advance and you will be advised on the best options for restoring it to full working order.

We have decided to look at refurbishing the switches and knobs ourselves in house. These are readily available brand new but we felt it would be a nice touch to clean down and repaint the existing components to keep as close to originality as possible.

 

Rebuilding the Austin Healey BN1 engine

With all of the parts now either restored or newly purchased Ady can get to work rebuilding the BN1 Austin Healey engine.

To start everything will be fitted up to ensure accuracy and fit before being secured into position. The nuts and bolts will all be renewed during this process to give a lovely, fresh looking engine to refit.

 

Austin Healey Sound Deadening

Our 1955 Austin Healey project is a very important and special restoration for our customer. With a lot of the restoration work having already been carried out by her late husband it is especially important to not undo a lot of the hard work that he had put into it. For instance, the inside of the shell has already been completed so a lot of the work has been done for us which is fantastic. Brian has therefore concentrated his efforts on methodically applying the sound deadening to the internal shell.

Using heat, Brian has been able to manipulated the sound deadening matting to cover all areas, moulds and challenges that the shell throws at him. The sound deadening does exactly what it says on the tin, it’s a material that can be applied to the hidden areas of your car to help reduce the  noise levels from outside in.

 

Rebuilding the rocker shaft

As part of the full engine rebuild within our engine shop, Ady has successfully completed the rebuild of our 1955 Austin Healey’s rocker shaft and fingers.

Now this is complete we can wrap up and store safely until such time as we are ready to refit.

Our Austin Healey 100 has arrived

Preparing for our next restoration, we’ve now arrived back to our workshops with the shell of our 1955 Austin Healey 100.

The engine will be next to arrive ready for rebuild.

For now, the body can be stripped fully and the body preparation can begin.

1955 Austin Healey 100 Restoration Project

Our 1955 Austin Healey 100 will be the latest addition to the Bridge Classic Cars family.

Due for collection later this month our Healey will be scheduled for a full restoration very soon.

The current owner has owned the car for many many years and a lot of the preparation has been carried out already. The engine, interior, hood, frame and lots of parts are all out of the car but stored with the car.

We are very much looking forward to getting this rare Healey back on the road in the not too distant future.

Source: Wikipedia

The Austin-Healey 100 is a sports car that was built by Austin-Healey from 1953 until 1956.

It was developed by Donald Healey to be produced in-house by his small Healey car company in Warwick and based on Austin A90 Atlantic mechanicals. Healey built a single Healey Hundred for the 1952 London Motor Show, and the design impressed Leonard Lord, managing director of Austin, who was looking for a replacement to the unsuccessful A90. Body styling was by Gerry Coker, the chassis was designed by Barry Bilbie with longitudinal members and cross bracing producing a comparatively stiff structure upon which to mount the body, innovatively welding the the front bulkhead to the frame for additional strength. In order to keep the overall vehicle height low the rear axle was underslung, the chassis frame passing under the rear axle assembly.

Lord struck a deal with Healey to build it in quantity, bodies made by Jensen Motors were given Austin mechanical components at Austin’s Longbridge factory. The car was renamed the Austin-Healey 100.

The “100” was named by Healey for the car’s ability to reach 100 mph (160 km/h); its successor, the better known Austin-Healey 3000, was named for the 3000 cc displacement of its engine.

Apart from the first twenty cars, production Austin-Healey 100s were finished at Austin’s Longbridge plant alongside the A90 and based on fully trimmed and painted body/chassis units produced by Jensen in West Bromwich—in an arrangement the two companies previously had explored with the Austin A40 Sports. 14,634 Austin-Healey 100s were produced.

The 100 was the first of three models later called the Big Healeys to distinguish them from the much smaller Austin-Healey Sprite. The Big Healeys are often referred to by their three-character model designators rather than by their models, as the model names do not reflect the mechanical differences and similarities well.

BN1

The first 100s (series “BN1”) were equipped with the same undersquare 87.3 mm (3.4 in) bore and 111.1 mm (4.4 in) stroke 90 bhp (67 kW) 2660 cc I4 engines and manual transmission as the standard production A90, but the transmission was modified to be a three-speed unit with overdrive on second and top.

Girling 11 in (279.4 mm) drum brakes were fitted all round. The suspension used modified Austin A90 components in order to be as cost effective as possible, steering was by Austin’s worm and peg system. Front suspension was independent, double wishbone using coil springs and at the rear a rigid axle with semi elliptic leaf springs.

A BN1 tested by The Motor magazine in 1953 had a top speed of 106 mph (171 km/h) and could accelerate from 0–60 mph (97 km/h) in 11.2 seconds. A fuel consumption of 22.5 miles per imperial gallon (12.6 L/100 km; 18.7 mpg‑US) was recorded. The test car cost £1063 including taxes.

A total of 10030 BN1s were built from May 1953 until replaced by the BN2 model in August 1955. A 1954 BN1 (chassis #446766*4) is on permanent display in the Bonneville Salt Flats exhibit at the Simeone Foundation Automotive Museum in Philadelphia, PA, USA.