(if a car is not pictured here, it has been sold)

Our ’67 BJ8 is New Zealand Bound-Rally prep begins!

This car is now sold and it is about to get very dirty.

In the Spring of 2020, the car will arrive in Auckland, New Zealand for three weeks of on and off road rallying.

If you build a rally tribute car, you have to expect people will actually rally the car, and thus our most stunning modified 1967 Austin Healey 3000 is about to take its new owner on the drive of a lifetime that may include similar terrain to what you see below.

Our primary concern is to make sure the beautiful cast aluminum oil pan does not take a rock strike on the event. If you have been around big Healeys much, you know it is common to see old dents repaired on this vulnerable sump leading edge. This is probably a brand new sump installed during the restoration. Our goal is to keep it that way, and so we have set out to build a skid plate that should do the job.

Below you can see the cardboard template. Next we will cut and weld an aluminum plate to take any impact the underside might receive. Notice the sump hangs just below the lines of the frame rails. Thus, our center skid plate will include a welded oil pan tray to match the underside profile. We’ll raise the car a bit, which will also help improve ground clearance.

Drain holes and oil pan and transmission drain plug access holes are also integral to this plate design, which we will fabricate and report about in the coming weeks. We’ll also make mounting brackets and use quick release dzus fasteners to hold the plate in place.

The new owner of this Healey ran in the Peking to Paris rally a few years back, and you might enjoy the article about that event, linked below.

When showing this car at local events, people were quite curious about the double spare tire boot lid. I put on the stock lid for sleeker lines, but we’ll switch back to the dual spare lid, since she’ll car carry two spare wheels in the event, just as the original designers of that lid intended.

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