Big Healey

ValveChatter Update August 2018

I want to update ValveChatter readers regarding several “life changes” that have occurred which  will have an influence on this site and on future posts.  My wife and I have relocated from Virginia to Florida. As most retirees do, we “downsized.” In our case it didn’t just mean fewer square feet in the living quarters, […]

The Bloody Beast – 1960 Austin-Healey 3000 MKI BT7

First Drive

Welcome to my website covering the history, restoration and “personalizations” to my 1960 Austin Healey 3000 Mk I affectionately known as “The Bloody Beast.” Feel free to email me with questions, suggestions  and/or comments. I am in the process of transferring the contents of my old website to this new format so it will be a […]

Ten-Year Renewal Blog – last update 7/4/2019

  It has been approximately ten years since I wrapped up (if you ever really complete a restoration of a Healey) the restoration of the Bloody Beast. He has weathered the ten years quite well – better than me, that is for sure! I have taken good care of the Beast and completed periodic maintenance […]

Ten Year Renewal Check List

Bloody Beast Ten Year Renewal Plan   This is an initial draft of a check list for my ten year renewal project. I would love to have feedback from others on the completeness of the list. Obviously, some of these items will have been tended to rather recently during routine maintenance and they will now […]

Bloody Beast Videos

This is a collection of short videos of the Bloody Beast in action. This is fun video shot and edited by my brother, Chuck in early August, 2016. This is his daughter (my niece) Caitlin taking her first ride in a Healey. Needless to say, she enjoyed the trip!

Wheels & Tires

The Original Tires and Wheels The wheels were Dunlop 15” 48 spoke center-lock wire wheels painted silver-grey secured with a two-eared chromed bronze knock-off. The car was fitted with Dunlop Roadspeed RS4 tubed black-wall bias ply tires. Tire and Wheel Modifications I decided to use Dayton chrome/stainless wire wheels supplied by Hendrix Wire Wheel. The […]

Bloody Beast Maintenance

Maintenance October, 2014 –  Returning home from the Shenandoah Valley British Car Club show in Waynesboro, VA I noticed that the clutch pedal was slippery. Sure enough the seals in the master cylinder failed and I had some nasty brake fluid leaking from the cylinder. I removed both the brake and clutch masters figuring that […]

Throttle Cable Modification

Throttle Cable Modification Owning a Austin-Healey “Bugeye” Sprite always made me wonder about the somewhat arcane mechanical throttle linkage system in my BT7. The Bugeye has a very simple accelerator control system whereby the accelerator pedal and the carburetors are connected via a cable. This provides a direct and immediately responsive system assuming that the […]

Seam Sealer




Introduction I took my Universal Laminations hardtop apart in 1977 and, of course, intended to completely restore it to original standard at the time. This did not happen and it sat disassembled until I began to undertake the complete restoration of my car in 2001. We all know that it is best to take things […]

The Bloody Beast “To-Do” List

Rear Disc Brakes Silicone Valve Cover Seals Caliper Modification I have never been pleased with the fit of the rear brake rotors with the handbrake calipers. Steve Gerow ran into the same problem – the diameter of the rotor is about 1/4″ to great to fit the calipers properly. I like how he “fixed” […]

Spare Tire Cover

Spare Tire Cover To dress-up the appearance of the boot and to provide a clean surface when carrying clothes or luggage, I had a carpet cover made for my spare tire using carpet to match the interior of The Bloody Beast.Under the cover I still have the leather harness/belt to tie down the tire.

Rear Tow/Tie Down Hooks

Rear Tow/Tie Down Hooks I noticed on the Tom’s Import Toy Sales web site that he sells a nice replica of the factory tow hooks. They are made of high grade stainless steel and fasten to the car using the rear leaf spring bolt. I ordered a pair and was quite pleased with the […]


Gas Strut Installation My friend Steve Thomton has an on-line gas strut business. So, it was only natural that he should come up with the bracketing and appropriate strut to install a strut in the boot of a Healey. As always, Steve’s work is of the highest quality. The components in Steve’s kit are remarkably […]

Weekly Restoration Blog

Restoration Blog

  Restoration Blog Once I reached the point where I was beginning to reassemble my BT7 I decided to keep a weekly journal of the progress I made during the preceding seven days. Clicking on the link below will direct you to the Restoration Blog and a listing of assembly components accompanied by a citation […]

The Bloody Beast – Bodywork & Paint

Bodywork and Paint These are bodywork and paint images contained in a Flickr collection (two sets or albums of images). The link below takes you to the Collection. Martin Jansen of Jule Enterprises put in a new frame and installed the tub and initial fitting of the wings and doors, and then epoxy primed. Jeremy […]

The Beast’s First Drive

The Beast's First Drive

The Beast’s First Drive December 1, 2007 was the date of the first drive with The Bloody Beast. This first test drive was merely onto the tennis court and back to the garage, but it was an exciting achievement. Actually exhilarating would be a good word to describe the experience. After years of work, the […]

Side Curtains

Solid Lexan Panel Image 1

Side Curtain Modifications March, 2009 I currently have brand new sidecurtains. They fit reasonably well, have new clear plexiglass that slides easily and the new aluminum frames are blemish free. In other words they look about as good as side curtains can look. However, with a 7,000 – 8,000 mile cross country trip ahead of […]

Dyno Testing at VIPER lab, VIR

VIPER Performance Lab I read about the Virginia Institute for Performance Engineering and Research (VIPER) at Virginia International Raceway (VIR) in the January 2009 issue of Classic Motorsports. VIPER is a joint venture involving Virgina Tech, Old Dominion University, VIR and the Institute for Advanced Learning and Research. Being only about three hours away, I […]

Rear Luggage/Parcel Shelf

Luggage/Parcel Shelf Image 5

Luggage/Parcel Shelf This is a pdf file of the assembly plans for the luggage/parcel shelf, followed by several images of the assembly process: BT7 Parcel Shelf         zz

Luggage Rack Lexan Boot Lid Shield

Luggage Rack Shield in Place

Boot Lid Shield I have a Cape International luggage rack on “The Bloody Beast” and I am very pleased with its looks and functionality. One of the features I like best is how closely the rack “hugs” the contours of the boot lid; however, the curvature of the boot lid makes it quite possible for items carried […]

Cruise Control

Audiovox Cruise Control Image 1

Installing the Audiovox CCS-100 Cruise Control in a 1960 BT7 April, 2008  I decided to install a cruise control system in my car near the end of a complete restoration. The engine was in place, but the front shroud, wings and doors were yet to be installed. It seemed like the perfect time to add […]

Cup Holder

Cup Holder Empty Image 7

Cup Holder You just can’t drive a car in the States that doesn’t have a cup holder. Somehow it would be un-American! I borrowed the idea from Roger Conte who installed one in his BJ8. You can’t hide it quite as well in a BT7, but with a few mounting modifications I added the same […]


The Original Front Suspension The front suspension used coil springs, a 5/8” anti-sway bar, rubber bushings and Armstrong lever shocks.  Front Suspension Modifications Tube Shocks I had the front shocks rebuilt by World Wide Auto Parts, but decided to install Bilstein Tube shocks supplied in Udo Putzke’s Fahrspass Tube Shock Kit. I ave been very pleased […]