Project Car Update: The Hundred Dollar Healey

By Michael Satterfield

Well it still does not look like much, but today we scored the hood we have been looking for (at a reasonable price) for 3 months. We also picked up the roll bar at the local Pick-A-Part. While the point of this project is to build a cool vintage racer for as little as possible, in a normal home garage, with normal tools, there are a few tips you can pick up, even if you are building a $100,000 classic.

We had picked up the fenders via Craigslist for $40 bucks a few months back, but the hood was proving to be elusive. We found a number of them on eBay for around 100 bucks, but the shipping would cost $100-200 as most of them were back east. On Craigslist the crack-pipe has been going around again as everyone locally wanted $200-$500 for a straight used hood (they would all point to Moss motors pricing as their guide). We had found complete cars for $300 bucks, but since we are building this in a standard garage (and not at the shop) with standard tools we did not have the space for a whole parts car, and the neighbors would not appreciate the junker sitting out in the street. If you have the space a parts car can be a great value.

Today we had headed down to Pick-A-Part in Ontario, California to find some power window switches for the Jaguar XJS V12 and as we were walking through we were shocked to see that the had not one but four MG midgets and one Sprite in the classics section. This is rare as most of the time they just have some old trucks, a few Mustangs that have been t-boned or cut in half, and a bunch of mid 70's junk. But someone had opened the flood gates from the back lot. Walking through the classics, there was a Saab Sonnet, Triumph Spitfire, MGB, Triumph GT6, and a ton of classic American Iron, sadly many were clean enough to be good project cars. If you have a classic you are building this is a great Pick-A-Part to check out. One of the Midgets not only had the hood, but a nice clean bolt in 4-point roll cage.

At the Pick-A-Part some parts are a steal and others are a little overpriced for used junk yard parts. A transmission for $135 is a little high seeing as you can pick them up for next to nothing on Craigslist, while the hood at $39.95 and the roll cage at $29.95 are smoking deals. We were just about to order this same roll cage for $160 plus shipping from a dealer in the High Desert. A new hood would set you back $999.95 for a reproduction from Moss motors, we'll take the OEM sheet metal for $39.95. We are going to add one more bar to the roll bar, and the hood needs a few dings taken out. But we will keep you posted on the progress.

So far the total into project Hundred Dollar Healey is as follows:

Car $100.00
DMV VIN Verification $60
DMV Fees $46
Fenders $40
Hood $40
Roll Bar $30
Aluminum Racing Seat $40
Paint $0

Total: $356.00