Steve Kirby, the President of the Austin Healey Association of Southern California acquired Chassis No.1045 as a restoration project in 2018. The following is an excerpt from an article Steve wrote for the AHASC newsletter.
My particular car was "in restoration" when the restorer suddenly passed away. The owner got cold feet and decided to sell the car rather than try to find someone to pick up the pieces (literally). Much very nice body work had been done and the fender flares that were added in the 50s for racing put back to original. At some point, someone had the car apart and the frame, inner body panels and many parts and pieces were powder-coated and put back together. At first glance, a reasonable start on a body off restoration, at least all the greasy work had been done.
When my partner and I went to pick up the car, we were told "all the parts in the back corner go with the car or might be parts from one of many other restorations done previously". Nothing was labeled, bagged or tagged. We ended up with about ten industrial sized plastic bins full of "stuff". Many hours of sorting later, we had discarded at least half the parts as obviously not for our car. We had a sizeable stack of "for sure Doretti" parts, including many new items (wiring harness, brakes, bearings), and many, many brackets, braces, bolts and bits that we have no idea where to fit. And we still have a sizable stack of "maybe Doretti" parts. Subsequent investigation revealed that much, if not all, of the prior mechanical work was substandard if it was done at all. A lot of shiny powder coating had been sprayed right over the top of greasy suspension parts, etc. Some critical components like front hubs (made of unobtainium) and rear differential are missing. So, this project is going to be a lot more work, and potentially more expense, than originally planned. In for a penny.............Return to the Index of Cars and Owners on the Swallow Doretti Page.