The car is an early Austin Healey BN1 #793, it's one of a small hand full of BN1's that were originally painted "Coronet Cream" - a colour the factory introduced in 1953 in honour of the new Queen's Coronation. It was the colour of her dress
during her Coronation ceremony. www.cbsnews.com/pictures/queen-elizabeth-iis-coronation-regalia-on-display/
It was originally offered with either a persimmon red or, a dark blue interior colour - of which we chose the latter.
The owner of this car wanted the high standards of a concours restoration and so gave the task of restoring the car to Michael Salter (formerly of Precision Sportscar Specialists). Mike is an old friend of my late Father (Richard Chrysler) and knows all the details of the Healey 100's very well. In fact, he is the new concours guidelines editor for the Healey 100's in the national Healey club.
He won Gold for his own early 100 #174 just a few years ago - a car that I did the interior on in Ontario, just before moving my new business to Victoria:
So, several months ago I got the call from Michael wondering if I'd be interested in doing all the interior trim for this Coronet cream car, and if I'd be willing to fly to his beautiful cottage home in Ontario to do the installation. All I can say is, it's cars like this that got me interested in auto upholstery in the first place, and it's jobs like this that keep me super keen!
So back in the spring I set to work producing all the interior trim components for this early 100 at my home shop in Victoria. I made everything up as kits ready to install, and then shipped it all out to Mike's place in Ontario. Then I flew out with all my tools the following week and Mike set me up in his beautiful lake front cottage where I got to work trimming and installing all of the interior components on the car.
I started with seats - I made my own new plywood seat bases and my own new seat foams, as well as the leather covers with grey piping I made as original...
It was enjoyable and rewarding to work on a Healey 100 again that has clearly been done right. I enjoyed talking shop and discussing details with Michael while I worked on this project. A pic of the engine bay shows his meticulous attention to detail and originality:
With the seats finished, I started on the floor coverings. I first put in some black tar paper on the main floor pans and then installed all the jute under felt, Karvel carpets, and Armacord.. You'll notice on these earliest cars, the under-seat Armacord did not have cutouts for the seat tracks, as these earlier cars had adjustable steering wheels, the seats were bolted directly to the floor without any seat tracks..
Then came the rear bulkhead area with the rear wheel arches, Armacord coverings, spare wheel bag, and battery box lid...
Then I finished these areas with the addition of the armrest and finished seats
Next I turned my attention to the boot and installed all the boot Armacord, complete with a full new set of accessory bags for the side curtains, jack and tools. Notice the early style of boot mat and boot seal...
Then came the doors, I trimmed these while they were still off the car and then together we hung them to the car after they were trimmed...
With the interior done, I turned my attention to the top and top frame. I cleaned and painted the frame and then installed it to the car with a new wood header rail Michael had made. I also went around and installed all the necessary Tenax snap/fastener hardware to the body of the car...
Finally I fit the new Robbins Everflex top...
And there you have it, another beautiful Healey 100 on it's way to achieving Gold!
I thoroughly enjoyed working on this car, capturing all the early details and visiting with Michael Salter and his family at their lovely home in Northern Ontario to install the interior.
I look forward to seeing this car finished and on the road in the coming months!
Until next time -
Classic auto enthusiast, upholsterer, coach trimmer, and fine scale modeler.