My name is Geoff Chrysler, some of you might already know me, or at least may have known my late Father Richard Chrysler.
He and my Mom Lyn founded the Southern Ontario chapter of the AHCA in the late 70's
Dad got his first Healey in the mid 70's and from then on his biggest passion became the meticulous restorations, research and thorough enjoyment of all sorts of big Healeys.
In the late 80's he, and Roger Moment, and Gary Anderson founded the National Concours committee and standards.
He would become internationally recognized for his beautiful Concours level restorations of Austin Healeys.
Growing up, I was a huge fan of my Father. Being a young boy surrounded by beautiful sports cars (not to mention a huge model railway in our basement!) I couldn't help but have a huge admiration for him and especially the fascinating hobbies he was so passionate about.
Inevitably I developed my own passions for the same things. Over the years together & apart we built a massive historically accurate model railway in our basement, and together & apart we accurately restored many Austin Healeys; at least one if not several of every standard production Big Healey marque.
I say together and apart because in my early 20's I moved from our home in Ontario out to Vancouver BC. I fell in love with the west coast lifestyle and eventually found myself a job at an upholstery company called Heritage Trim.
Heritage was an upholstery factory producing interior kits for classic Jag's, MG's and of course Healeys too. While I had never done upholstery or trimming before that point, the craft seemed to encompass all of my best skills. Within a few yrs at Heritage I had worked my way up to being lead trimmer & production manager. My responsibilities included making panel kits, and trimming seats and other interior components all day/every day. Over the 10years that I worked there I saw hundreds of original Healey seats and components come through the door. I was always documenting, pushing for more accuracy, better patterns and quality - which surprisingly felt like an uphill battle sometimes.
Of course Dad was a regular customer and I made sure to take care of all his jobs myself. Every year or so I'd fly home for a visit and very often would be put to work installing upholstery on whatever cars he was working on at the time.
By early 2012 Dad and I were discussing going into business together when out of nowhere disaster struck. Dad was diagnosed with stage 4 cancer and sadly he passed away in July of that year. His sudden passing filled me with a feeling of great responsibility to apply all the good knowledge he'd taught me and follow through with my dreams.
I decided to launch my own business which I called Rightway Heritage Trimming - since his business had been Rightway Restorations, the name seemed fitting.
I eventually moved out to beautiful Victoria BC where I have been building a reputable name for my business through the greater classic car restoration community that's so prominent here on Vancouver island. Not surprisingly we have some of the best restorers in the world operating here and customers come from all over to have their cars restored here. I still specialize in Healeys and other British and European sports cars, and have been consistently producing the interiors for various award winning restorations every year since I started.
With the Healeys it has become my passion to produce the best and most accurate interior trim available. After so many years of research and experience I still get excited every time a Healey job comes along. I'm proud to be able to offer factory correct colours and materials, to be making seat foams that are soft and comfortable like the originals, and to be producing trim components by hand that are Concours correct, and feature the correct snaps, zippers and hardware. It's a culmination of details done right that other companies just don't offer.
Last year I even took the plunge and bought my own Austin Healey project: an early BN1 Healey 100 (built Dec '53) - in fact the the body number is 1221 which coincidentally is also my Birthday! It came as a fairly complete car but needs complete restoration of everything. I'll be restoring her back to original spec in every detail, returning her to her original colours of Healey blue with dark blue trim & grey piping on the seats.
Needless to say I'm thoroughly enjoying every step of the journey, I often write about my endeavors of restoration and upholstery work through my blog called "a detail enthusiast"
This is my story and when it comes to Healeys I like to think it's also a continuation of my Dads story - he's very much alive in my approach to Healey trim and restoration and I'm proud to be finding success in my inherited passion for it.