Monday, September 17, 2007

Custom Austin-Healey Google Search Engine

I was getting frustrated using Google to look up Austin-Healey specific information. The search "austin-healey brakes" in Google returns about 885,000 links which is unmanageable. At least 99% of the links are not relevant to our online community. The good news is that Google now supports custom search engines where the search is restricted in a well-defined set of pages, urls and links. I've set up a custom search engine for Austin-Healey, that will only return you relevant results. Currently the number of results is probably too low as I need to populate the database with approved pages and sites. I am setting up a website where webmasters or Austin-Healey community members can report pages/sites, but in the mean time you can try out the Beta version of the search engine below.

Austin-Healey custom search engine. (Beta)
Fast relevant search results from the Austin-Healey Web.

Google Custom Search
Enjoy, I'll keep a link on the bottom of this blog.

Thursday, September 13, 2007

Restoring a Classic Car: Farming out or DIY?

Pretty much before even buying the Austin-Healey project car I decided to do as much work as possible myself and to subcontract difficult parts of the restoration job or jobs that would be nearly impossible to do myself or even illegal, like painting in a home garage. Also by spreading out the job, I could spread the cost over a couple of years and manage the cost and progress. I didn't need to write a big blank cheque to a restoration shop as I had other and more important financial priorities. I also decided that -since this is not my daily job- I would not impose myself a strict deadline but to move as fast as possible as budget allows to avoid stalling of the project. 4 years later after 2 relocations and buying a home in California, which largely shifted priorities and budget, the project nearly came to a grinding halt. The hardest part bodywork is done, the next big expense is paint. I am doing smaller restoration tasks right now and I am checking out various paint shops and looking into possible processes, like doing the prep work myself and have a pro paint the car, then doing final fitment of the panels myself. I still believe in the overall process, I enjoy working with the pro's and learn from them at the same time. At times when I am super-busy with job and family I prep the next step by reading and learning from marque and restoration books, the web, marque email list and car forums. Important to keep that flame burning...

Sunday, February 05, 2006

Work in progress

Work in progress on a 1956 Austin-Healey BN2 in Ellery Engel's shop. The passenger side door is taken off one more time as well as the fender to work on the front shroud, where a couple of high spots need to be flattened. (blue tape on aluminum shroud in picture)

The bonnet is fitted here and welding and panel fitting is near final. The panels, bonnet, grille, doors and shrouds fit great, they were original to the car but some needed lots of work.

To get correct gaps the car is preloaded with 600lbs of lead to simulate the weight of the engine/transmission flexing the frame.

NEW! Austin-Healey custom search engine. (Beta)
Fast relevant search results from the Austin-Healey Web.
Google Custom Search

Add Austin-Healey custom search engine to your google home page: Add to Google
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