|View single post by jnduncan|
|Posted: 05-23-2008 02:33 am||
I just bought 16766 from a neighbor as a birthday present for my wife. I'll follow up with the engine number, etc., but in the meantime, could someone tell me the date of manufacture? (Other data would be helpful, too.) Here in North Carolina, any car 35 years old or older is exempt from the state inspection.
Yeah, well, I should've looked a little harder. VIN 1110-16766 was manufactured 1974-05-31. Poetic, huh? It's within days of her birthday! ;-) I'll have to report the engine number later; I wrote down the wrong information and it was getting dark.
It's bright red now, obviously repainted. I have no idea what the original color was, but I believe it was a darker red. The interior is black, and I'm pretty sure the seats have either been re-upholstered or replaced. The controls are on the left-hand side.
The engine (like the car) runs okay, but it definitely needs some work. The body is in pretty good shape except for the typical rust in the frame on the sides, a slot-shaped hole in the left-hand side of the left-hand floor plan, one rust spot from the inside on the right-rear top surface of the trunk lid, and the hood is bent up slightly over the prop stick, causing a slight misalignment between the hood and the latch and where the hood meets the the left side of the windscreen and the top rear of the left fender. The trunk reeks of gasoline. The horn switch malfunctioned and a separate horn button was installed under the bottom edge of the dashboard below the turn signal so the vehicle could pass a North Carolina safety inspection. The lights, fan, and wipers work. The hazard flashers, windshield washer, clock, and speedometer don't work. The center rear-view mirror flops like an upside-down bobble-head doll.
The engine runs rough as a cob at the moment, but has its moments of finesse. The transmission, a four-speed, is wonderful and the clutch works great. There's a tiny bit of play in the steering, but once beyond that, steering is responsive. The suspension needs work. The tires look and feel great -- I think they're fairly new. The top has seen better days and I've already ordered a replacement, the StayFast model from Prestige -- the comments here were valuable. The wheels look good.
The previous owner is a former co-worker from when I used to work at Cisco. Not only did I not know he'd moved to the US, I had no idea he'd moved into my neighborhood! When he was buying his house, the previous owner amended the bill of sale to include the furnishings. The last item on a multi-page listing of beds, tables, dressers, and chairs was "1974 Jensen Healey Mark II". :-) After two or three years of minimal use, he and his wife decided the car needed to be with an owner who knows something about cars and would be interested in getting it into better shape. The last time the car passed an inspection was in 2002.
I was pleased to discover the odometer reads 38,225 miles and I got the impression from the seller that the speedometer had only recently failed. After surprising my wife with the car on Saturday, I started looking around the trunk and, under the carpet, I discovered a state inspection report from 1998 at 38,225 miles. Looking a little further, I found a repair bill from the early 1990s describing a vast overhaul to the tune of about US$5800.00. The odometer was recorded at 38,225. So I have no idea how many miles are really on the car. :-( The repair work was in Durham NC. I believe the car was purchased new in this region, but I don't know where.
I'm really excited, and so is my wife. When I met her, she was driving a used 1979 MG and I was working in a service station. It was a marriage made in Purgatory. ;-) When she climbed in the passenger seat and I took her for a ride around the neighborhood, she laughed for three blocks straight. I paid roughly $2000 to buy it and transfer the title -- if spend as much to improve it into something reasonably nice, it'll still be an incredible bargain and worth every penny.
Sorry for the long message, but I hope it was worth it. Wow. ;-)
Jim Duncan in Raleigh, North Carolina.
PS: John, thank you for your kind comments.