1962 Austin Healey BT7 Mk II Restoration

Part Five

NEUMEYER UPHOLSTERY, was selected for the interior job, with their experience in foreign car restorations. The old interior panels and original seats were used as patterns. The car was trailered to their shop in July 1998. Red leather for the seating surfaces, as original, and red vinyl for the seat backs, door panels and dashboard. We worked together on the interior, several evenings a week and some Saturday mornings. It was a 30 + mile trip each way to the shop. It is obvious to see how experience and the "tricks-of-the-trade" result in a professional job. A purchased carpet set was used, however, the seams around the transmission tunnel had to be redone to get a correct fit. The upholstery was finally completed in September 1998.

Back home again, it was finally time to add all the remaining trim, spend more frustrating hours installing the grille, surround, and eyebrow so the gaps were minimized. The new wood-rim steering wheel from Westport Vintage looks great, as do the Dayton 15x6 72 spoke chrome/stainless steel wire wheels from British Wire Wheel, with Yokohama "185 x 15" A321 tires. Now it was finally looking like a car, and a magnificant one at that! I added a small radio/tape player, (negative ground), to the positive ground car, by insulating the radio mounted under the heater box, disconnecting the antenna ground sheath in the cable, and adding a fuse. The speakers are hidden above the foot wells. The Wisconsin collector plates were added, and I finally got to drive it in October 1998. What a thrill! Even the overdrive worked the first time without making any adjustments. Now, with warm weather not too far away, I will be putting some exciting Healey miles on it this summer, and even attending some car shows.
At this point, I must give credit to my understanding wife, as she has supported my decisions and put up with the many hours I have spent in the garage. Without her encouragement, and help budgeting the expenses, I am afraid the car would still be in pieces, or sold for parts. My summer projects are restoring the hardtop, (which will be a challenging project of its own), and putting on the bumpers, (though I think it looks better without them). All-in-all, I am proud of my accomplishment, and know how much hard work goes into a detailed restoration. Now it is time to enjoy this fabulous car.


November, 2000

The bumpers are on! See the photos below. I am progressing with restoration of the Factory Hardtop, which I hope to have ready in the summer of 2001.

John Seaman
Wisconsin Chapter
Austin Healey Club of America

'62 Austin Healey restoration, Part One
'62 Austin Healey restoration, Part Two
'62 Austin Healey restoration, Part Three
'62 Austin Healey restoration, Part Four

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