A Register of Healey and Austin-Healeys in Australia

 

State of the Nation  September 2014

 

by Patrick Quinn (p_cquinn@tpg.com.au)

(As appeared in the July-September 2014 issue of the Australian Austin-Healey)

 

This all started over twenty-five years ago when suddenly I thought it would be a good idea to retain all the information about Healeys and Austin-Healeys that appeared in the combined Yearbooks.

 

I thought it was a good idea at the time and of course armed with a new Apple Macintosh kindly supplied by my employer it really was going to be easy. Remember the original Apple Macs? Quite tall, small blue/black screen and sort of portable. Not many people had home computers at the time, but it was simple enough to load into the car for the trip home so that I could tap away.

 

The first Yearbook was published in 1977-1978 and it took me ages to transcribe the information. I got up to about 1982 when it all went ‘PHTT!’ when the screen went blank. It died and took all my tip tapping with it. Yes back then Apple machines did do the unthinkable.

 

A few years later it was another role with another employer and this time it was a Windows machine with performance that matched how much I fed the white mice running around in the big box on the floor. I started again and this time I was smart as I had discovered floppies which meant that I could carry around the list and play with it when I bought my own box of mice.

 

The box has long disappeared and replaced with a series of sleek laptops that have mouses three or four inches away. The list has grown larger and larger until there are now details of 1,571 Healeys and Austin-Healeys arranged in state and surname order, but with a click of the rodent it can be sorted in many interesting ways such as model, chassis number, engine number, body number or even postcode. If I ever got a sudden rush of blood to the head and had an urgent need to waste paper I could print it out, but would need just on half a ream of paper – that’s 250 sheets in case you felt the urge to look it up.

 

Table

 

To condense it all down to something that can be seen in a glance and absorbed entirely or completely ignored I have set out in an interesting table the number of cars in that list by model and state.

 

Now before you start thinking that this is a definitive list, please stop because it isn’t. What it is, is a collection of data gleaned from yearbooks, lists, advertisements or direct from owners. There are quite a few ‘Unknowns’ where I have seen a car with a specific number, either chassis or engine, but no name. If there are no numbers it doesn’t get on the list which brings me to my first plea. If you advertise a car, PLEASE include the chassis number or engine number. In fact the chassis number is the best as these tend not to change. Engine numbers do change and there are a number of cars in Australia that share the same engine number. The most unreliable number is that of registration, as unlike the UK where a car carries its original registration all its life, here they can change especially when going from state to state.

 

There are even a few cars that share the same chassis number and no that’s not an error in doubling up. That comes about when someone buys a car without a chassis number, but it has a numbered engine. A Heritage Certificate is obtained based on the engine number which also provides a chassis number. This number is applied to the chassis, but unbeknownst to the owner, the chassis had long ago been separated from its original engine and still exists somewhere else in Australia. All sorts of problems arise!

 

It may seem like a lot of cars and 1,571 certainly is a lot, but as I said it’s not definitive. I would estimate that there are at least another 400 to 500 cars in Australia the details of which have never been published or their owners are not members of one of the five Australian clubs. However I would say that at least one or two are added each week so it’s growing slowly.

 

Registrar

 

Also most of the information on the list does not extend prior the introduction of the Yearbooks. All is not lost as each Australian club does have a registrar, who if you are looking for information may be able to assist you. Take Iain McPherson, the registrar of the Victorian AHOC who is a font of detailed information about not only cars in Victoria, but Australia wide. You can contact Iain on iain_mcpherson@bigpond.com

 

As an adjunct to the list I do hold the original Austin warranty cards that were drawn up for what appears to be the six-cylinder cars imported new into Australia. Thankyou to NSW owner Garrie Bain, who rescued these from the tip in the dying days of Jaguar/Rover Australia. Once again I don’t claim that they contain a definitive list of all six-cylinder cars sold new in Australia, but they are the closest thing there is to it. If you have an Australian delivered car I am more than happy to scan the card for your car and send it to you.

 

Just so that you know what the card looks like, this one belongs to HBJ8/82462 that was finished in white with red trim. Its engine number was 29KRUH/6943 and was sold to A.B. Vivian of Somerton Park, South Australia. The only other information held on this card is ‘OPD/129 23/9/65’ which is the import number and date. It doesn’t appear to have required any repairs under warranty. However despite being an authentic Austin card the chassis number doesn’t look correct as the last BJ8 built was chassis number HBJ8/43026G and that car is in the UK. Confusing? Yes you could say that.

 

Other cards contain all sorts of information such as the name of the dealer, what repairs were undertaken and even what ship it arrived on.

 

By the way Heritage Certificates are wonderful things and contain all sorts of interesting information. So please if you would like to scan and send me a copy it would be greatly appreciated.

 

 

 

Australia

ACT

NSW

NT

QLD

SA

TAS

VIC

WA

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Warwick Healeys

22

 

9

 

4

 

 

7

2

Warwick Built Austin-Healeys

13

 

3

 

3

1

 

6

 

100 BN1

488

5

118

 

68

53

12

182

50

100 BN2

102

 

29

 

12

10

1

45

5

100M

14

 

2

 

2

 

 

8

2

100/6 BN4

249

2

64

1

24

23

4

113

18

100/6 BN6

41

 

12

 

4

 

1

21

3

3000 Mk1 BT7

122

1

37

 

9

4

4

57

10

3000 Mk1 BN7

35

 

7

 

3

5

1

19

 

3000 Mk2 BT7

55

 

19

 

4

5

 

24

3

3000 Mk2 BN7

12

 

5

 

1

 

 

6

 

3000 Mk2 BJ7

109

 

29

 

9

10

 

51

10

3000 Mk3 BJ8

309

4

94

1

33

26

5

121

25

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

TOTAL

1571

12

428

2

176

137

28

660

128



 


Patrick Quinn 


E-mail: p_cquinn@tpg.com.au
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