Rescue mission for an Austin-Healey that appeared to be out for the count
When the Austin-Healey 100-6 BN4 was involved in a crash, its owner was deeply distressed. The damage was considerable — but it didn’t signal the end of the road. A bodyshop based in Düsseldorf took on the legendary roadster, rebuilt it and gave it a new shine.
Bodywork dented, headlights shattered, paintwork ruined — after suffering a rear-end collision, the Austin-Healey looked like a boxer who had just suffered a heavy knockout. Dirk Beumer, Managing Director of Norbert Beumer GmbH & Co. KG, a bodyshop based in Düsseldorf, agreed with this assessment. “This would normally be a complete write-off”, admits the automotive technician. “But an Austin-Healey is still valuable even in such a state, not only from a sentimental point of view but also in terms of monetary value”. The owner agreed with this, providing EUR 50,000 to rebuild the vintage car.
A long list of damage
Beumer and his employees took stock of the damaged components. The list was long: The front headlights had been knocked out, the left-hand wing was warped and cracked, the head fairing was severely deformed, the bumper was twisted and the side member was bent. There looked to be a lot of work ahead.
The next step was to find spare parts. “There are specialist companies that still stock original parts for English vintage cars”, explains Beumer. He was able to find some of the parts, but not all of them: “We were unable to get hold of a Healey aluminium head fairing. We had this part reproduced by a blacksmith shop in England”. While this was being done, Beumer reconditioned the drive technology. The Healey was fitted with a new gearbox and disc brakes instead of drum brakes. The aim was to make improvements that were sensible but did not change the car’s appearance. Beumer remarks: “From the outside, the car still looks like an original”.
Completely repainted with Standox
Beumer employed tried-and-tested technology during the painting process too: He wanted to stay as close to the original colour as possible, but at the same time use an advanced painting system from Standox. The paint was removed from the vehicle body parts, which were then sanded down and protected against corrosion using Standox Etching Adhesion Primer. Beumer’s employees used the Standox VOC System Filler to level out any uneven areas on the undercoat before fine-sanding the surface.
The Austin-Healey finally got its elegance back in the spray booth, with a two-tone paint finish in a classic “British Racing Green”-style with the flanks painted in a lighter hue to accentuate them. “We used Standoblue for this”, explains Beumer. “Standoblue offers first-class quality and impressive colour depth and vividness”. After multiple layers of clearcoat, numerous sanding processes and a high-gloss polish, employees were able to reassemble the vehicle body — and there it was, the 60-year-old vehicle looked as if it was fresh off the production line. The restoration was worth it: The Austin-Healey has been given a second chance at life and is now back in the loving hands of its owner.