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May 2018

Andy Hamblin's Healey

The second oldest surviving Healey is now getting quicker

by zacmarshall » Mon May 14, 2018 9:25 pm

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This is Andy Hamblin's Jensen-Healey.
Andy bought HNX300K from John Hazzard of BRG Classics a couple of years ago. It is chassis number 12 and thought to be the second oldest surviving example.

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John had restored it over the previous couple of years using rust-free panels and a low mileage Mk1 engine from a donor car. He also fitted the Rootes overdrive unit to the original 4 speed box. It is now wearing its original Pacific Blue paintwork again, after being painted red at some point in its life.

A year ago Martin Shirley built Andy a 2.2 engine, Andy wanted a good usable road car which would be tractable around town with decent torque at low revs and a bit more power than the standard 2 litre engine. It has 107 cams, Dellorto 45’s, Bosch fully electronic distributor and an Excel airbox. In this state of tune was it was dyno’d at just over 170bhp. Andy had a five speed Ford Type 9 (Sierra) gearbox conversion at the same time with one of Martin’s custom Type 9 bellhousings.

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At the same time Andy re-built the fuel pump, tidied up a few other things up and fitted an electronic speedo and tacho.
Andy says that it now drives very well but has highlighted the need for better suspension and brakes. It feels a little soft and the brakes pull it up ok but don’t really fill him with confidence. He’ll be talking to Martin about Girling Type 16 brakes and stiffer springs/adjustable dampers in due course and he's already got a set of Delta front and rear anti-roll bars ready to go on. That will happen this year or next, but for now he's just enjoying it!

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by KevinB » Tue May 15, 2018 6:15 am

Interesting your early car has a wood effect dash as well. I'm told my August '72 Healey shouldn't have wood effect but it has.
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by Andy Hamblin » Tue May 15, 2018 2:36 pm

KevinB wrote:Interesting your early car has a wood effect dash as well. I'm told my August '72 Healey shouldn't have wood effect but it has.


Kevin, I erm, tarted it up a bit! The radio/heater panel had a very dull looking wood effect veneer but the glovebox and lights/hazard switch panels were black.

I bought a large sheet (plenty left!) of burl walnut Formica and made the three new panels. I think it smartens the interior up a bit and they are easily removable if originality is desired.
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by RAP72 » Tue May 15, 2018 3:21 pm

car looks the dogs dangly bits.
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by Martin R » Wed May 16, 2018 11:56 am

A lovely looking J-H and undoubtedly great car to drive!
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by EdwardB » Wed May 16, 2018 2:49 pm

Great job Andy.
Lovely looking car.
I think the addition of the wood does lift the interior and as you say it can revert to original if required.
How is it to drive?
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by Andy Hamblin » Thu May 17, 2018 9:52 pm

Britclassics wrote:Great job Andy.
Lovely looking car.
I think the addition of the wood does lift the interior and as you say it can revert to original if required.
How is it to drive?


Thanks for the kind words. It drives really well now. The engine is strong and much better in modern traffic plus the 5th gear makes things mroe relaxing at anything over 40 mph, unless a bit of power is needed. The Ford box has nicely spaced ratios and a positive, slick shift with the Quaife quickshift lever fitted.

I'm pleased with the engine conversion but I've always found the car a bit soft. Comfortable but soft. I prefer a stiffer setup on a car like this so looking forward to seeing what difference the stiffer springs, better dampers and anti-roll bars make.
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by Helen » Sat May 19, 2018 10:40 am

Hi Andy,
Your car looks great. Have you thought about Concours? I hope to see it for real sometime.
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by Andy Hamblin » Mon May 21, 2018 7:24 am

Helen wrote:Have you thought about Concours?


I've seen some of the Healeys out there and heard about yours! I don't think mine would stand up against those. It looks good from a couple of paces but there are some details that would let it down under concours scrutiny. Also, wouldn't the modifications count against it?
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by Trevithick » Mon Jun 18, 2018 7:20 am

Superb colour and a fine looking car. We should get our 2 together and take some pics at some point. Good luck with it.
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