Over the last few months I've been researching what the later Austin Healey BJ8's actually came with in terms of boot accessories and the various stowage bags that were made for those accessories.
As many of these bags may have been very seldom used, many owners over the years would just toss them away with no trace. In fact most of these bags aren't even listed in the Councours guidelines yet!
Having owned and restored a very original early MGB in recent years that had all of its original equipment bags in the boot, I was sure that the Healeys of the same generation and built in the same factory must have had similar accessories available.
As it turns out, after studying a factory Body Service Parts List, I was right!
The Healey BJ7's & BJ8's all came standard with a fold down top and a stow away top/boot cover. When the top was up, the boot cover came with its own long vinyl stowage bag (part number AH9489) and here's what it looked like:
In my search of local original cars, I found these 2 examples of this bag:
both made in a very thin black vynide material - (the same type of material we've found used for early tool bags that came with the Healey 100's).
One that I found had a black material backing, the other was a light beige colour.
So, much like earlier Healey tool bags, the material backing colour varied somewhat..
The top flap had some black webbing tie straps sewn to finish it off (approx 12" each side)...
The next bag I'll show you is the standard factory tool bag that was supplied with the Healey 3000's - it's pretty much the same standard bag that was supplied with all Big Healeys since the introduction of the 100-6, but the bag length seems to have changed from 19" long to 22" long,..
Made of a thin black plastic material, the bag was heat welded together rather than sewn... Here's some good pics of an original:
Note how all the seams were heat welded, including the tie straps:
The next 2 bags I will show you were optional accessory bags that were included if you ordered a tonneau cover with your car...
The first bag is for the tonneau cover itself (AHB9900):
Made in the same thin black vynide material as the top boot bag, with a similar 26" long black webbing tie strap.
Interestingly, the Healey tonneau bag is almost identical to the one supplied with MGB's of the same generation, just bigger:
Finally the last bag I will show you would also be included if you ordered a tonneau cover, that is for the 2 piece curved tonneau bows that you'd assemble when putting on the tonneau cover...
This bag was made out of a heavier Armacord material to protect the painted steel bows and surrounding equipment from them:
Again, this bag is almost identical to the MGB tonneau bows bag, except this one is made of ribbed Armacord whereas the MGB bag was smooth Hardura.
Finally I will also include the jack strap that was used to secure the little bottle jack in the boot to the left side bumper iron as it entered the boot.
This strap was 1" black webbing with a unique black metal buckle and metal tip to prevent fraying:
There you have it, the complete kit of boot accessory bags for the later Healey convertibles.
Since I've been able to properly document and pattern these original bags, I'm now offering accurate reproductions of them available for Healey owners and restorers everywhere through my company Rightway Heritage Trimming.
Until next time -