View single post by discogodfather
 Posted: 02-11-2020 04:19 am
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Joined: 09-17-2007
Location: San Francisco, California USA
Posts: 51
This is a build and customization thread of my JH, kind of an organization of the project and it's timeline. After nearly 12 years sitting, getting it back on the road.

PART 1: The Background

Around 2000 or so I had a friend in college who owned an 87 Lotus Turbo Esprit. He was technical but not a mechanic and I had the amateur mechanics / fabricator background and was in school for mechanical engineering at the time. I had done tons of work with Porsches of that period but the Esprit was my first foray into English material, and I immediately fell in love with the Lotus engine. After I successfully diagnosed a problem with the KE-Jetronic (from my Porsche experience) I got a green light to work on the car. It was a marvelous machine and at the time was affordable, at least by today's standards.

But it wasn't affordable from a college kid top ramen budget. I realized I couldn't afford anything heading into graduate school but I had a good job at the university working as a research assistant, and I managed to save a bit. Turbo Esprit was out of the question but maybe an old S1 or S2? I almost closed a deal for 9k for a non-running S2, but it got away from me. I started to read about Lotus and realized the engine started in the JH in the form of the 907.

In 2005 I purchased this highly customized 73 Healey from a local builder (in the Bay Area). He had been restoring cars and planes for years, and had real taste and I immediately fell in love with the car. I remember pulling up to the parking lot where I first saw it and next to it was a 66 Shelby GT-350 the same builder had just completed. I think the first time I opened the throttle I yelled "sold!" right away. For $6500 it was a damn good deal.

The car was chassis number #10777 from late 73' (just found this out from the board here) and it had a highly built 74' engine. Some of the list of extensive mods and custom fab:

Engine: 2.0 Liter custom cam, carillo rods, stainless exhaust valves (oversize), knife crank, high comp pistons, twin weber DCOE 45's, custom headers, head ported and polished, velocity stacks. 190hp at the crank, 2.5" custom free flow exhaust to the tips (no cat, minimal muffler)

Trans: Getrag 5 speed rebuilt

Body: Custom chrome moly roll bar, custom flared steel fenders (all metal), custom springs (lowered), Koni inserts, lots of custom stainless steel pieces including the bumpers, bigger sway bars, all poly urethane bushings, fiberglass hood (from Delta I think). Aluminum Turbine wheels (I believe made by Western wheels) at 13x7 front and 13x8 rear, 225 and 235 radial TA comp tires. Lecarra steering wheel.

The original idea of the build was to make a kind of "what if Colin Chapman did a custom edition of the JH". The builder had been in his 20's in that time period and loved the Gold Leaf Lotus Formula 1 stuff from 1986-1971 ( the Lotus 49 and 72, etc.) and did the car in that color red with some gold pinstripes at the sills and gold accents on the wheels.

Car as it appeared when I first saw it: