As a BMW 2002 & Z4 owner, driver, and BMW fanatic in general, I was exposed to Austin Healeys at the Alpine 500 vintage California rally this year. Being that purchasing books is cheaper than taking the plunge into purchasing cars, I grabbed two books on Austin Healeys. Two books on restoration, by accident. I really needed a guide on these fine cars.
Fortunately for me, this book is an EXCELLENT historical reference. This is not a how to restore an Austin Healey, this is a what you need, by VIN, to take yours back to original.
The author painstakingly dug through Austin Healey records to catalogue the changes within the series and between the years. Truly a monumental task. If only BMW had kept such detailed records between individual cars.
In the BMW world there is Mobile Tradition. MT will send you the build date, original color, and dealership that originally sold your car if you send them a VIN. With this guide, you get so much more. You get what suspension goes with your VIN, what brakes, when the brakes became disc in the front, at what VIN this was changed, at what VIN this manufacturer took over making the starter, etc..
Truly, this book is a wealth of knowledge for a person new to Austin Healeys and for someone looking to restore one to an original configuration. As a novice, the wealth of information can be overloading. However, the color pictures (some of Concours winners!) do make the nitty gritty details all that more enjoyable.
I'm off to find myself an Austin Healey!