Regular followers know that the white-over-blue 1967 Austin Healey BJ8 that shows up on social media is one of my favorite cars. I purchased the car from my customer and friend Tony Grau and his family as an uncompleted project.

We had previously assembled and painted the crusty body and made it straight and pretty, but the remainder of the car was unassembled. My goal was to have a largely original car with a few modifications to make it a bit more road friendly in today’s environment. I wanted a gold quality build with my own choices.

I also wanted a little stiffer chassis with minimal scuttle shake. The car already had an upgraded Kilmartin chassis, so I simply decided to use the Panasport style wheels with a slightly tuned rear suspension. The new springs can be a little hard and create a taller ride-height than I like, so we removed a leaf and I was very happy with the results.

I chose the addition of the blue coves (not actual Lobella blue) because I only saw black and red as alternatives. I simply went through my stash of paint chips until I found one I liked. It also matched the leather interior and cloth top colors I wanted to use. I think I got the colors right.

I wanted a reasonably stock drivetrain, so I built a stock BJ8 spec engine because they run well when set up properly, but I had never tried a five speed conversion. My trans and OD were in pretty rough condition and would have needed a ton of work so we rebuilt a used Toyota trans which looked really good, at a fraction of the cost. On top of it, I really like the gear ratios better.

So take a look at the video and keep following our progress. Look for me at the next car show, come over and say hi. Thanks!!


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