Creating a Midget Gem*
*Yes, we know this car is an Austin Healey Sprite, the car that only later became the MG Midget, but we like the title...
This big project for a little car is typical of the kind of job we do. The 1965 Austin Healey Sprite had been off the road for several years. The owner had an emotional attachment to the car and wanted to get it back on the road, but without over-spending on a car that would not necessarily have a high market value once completed.
We approached the job as we normally do - we prefer not to work from photos, instead we like to see the car in our workshop so that we can properly assess it. The time spent here means we can provide an accurate, fixed price for the job. It may involve a little hassle up front - although we do provide a collection service - but it benefits everyone in the long run.
Floors & Doors
The car was fairly solid but with dents and dings across the body, rotten floors and doors and rot to the front chassis. To help the owner keep the costs down we provide a list of parts for him to source. We began stripping the car and attending to the floors.
When the doors arrived we trial fitted them - new parts rarely fit well so there is quite a lot of fiddling to make these work.
Then the chassis rot was tackled on the ramp.
Dents & Dings
With the rot addressed, the next step was to prepare the body for paint. With classic cars this is a very time-consuming process because they have generally collected a lot of minor damage over the years and suffered various repairs. All of this affects the lines of the bodywork and the colour of the paint. Luckily the car was going to receive a full respray so there were no issues with blending to fit existing paint finishes.
The owner wanted the car painted in British Racing Green. This was a popular colour in the 1960s and there are many, many different shades of finish. We finalised on this colour for the car, which we think really works well. All paint preparation, application and finishing was done by our workshop.
The Finished Car
We partially refitted the car for the customer. He intended to have it retrimmed at a later date so the interior was left out; we didn't fit the windscreen either as this was due to be replaced too.
You can watch the whole process of transforming this car on the video below. All work was completed to an agreed quote of £4,500 including VAT. The customer sourced the parts. This price includes strip down, welding work, bodywork repairs, paint and materials and refit. To find out more call 01527 893733 or email Graham or Julian on firstname.lastname@example.org.