[Healeys] Original leather interior, what was leather, what was vinyl

BJ8 Healeys sbyers at ec.rr.com
Fri Nov 22 14:30:32 MST 2013

Hi, Earl -

A couple years ago I got an e-mail from Kaye Kovacs of Fourintune.  They had
received a car without upholstery for restoration that originally had been
equipped with leather and were asking what the original BJ8 leather interior
configuration was.  I had not looked into that issue before, so I did a
survey of all BJ8 owners in the registry with cars that still had the
original factory leather interior.  As stated earlier, North American cars
with leather were rare so most reponses came from Europe (I got one from the
USA).  Kaye specifically asked whether the rear side panels had the squares,
and the answer I provided from the survey was:  "Yes."  May I point out that
this is another example of why a complete and accurate registry is a useful
tool for the Healey and BJ8 communities?

Based on the survey responses, and photos that some sent, I replied as I did
to Jeff's question about the various items of upholstery in the cockpit.
Under separate cover, I will send you the photo of an original
leather-equipped car's back seat area.  As you can see, the rear side panels
(vinyl) have the typical square-embossed pattern.  If you want to see more
photos, let me know.  It's true that the leather pleats are wider than the
vinyl pleats.

Steve Byers
BJ8 Registry
Havelock, NC  USA


I recall many years ago seeing a BJ8 with the factory leather seat option. 
I seem to remember the seat 'flutes' being much wider than the normal ambla
trimmed Bj8's - this was done on the rear seat pan inserts, as well as the
front facing part of the seat back.  Can anyone comment on what the very few
factory leather equipped BJ8's looked like?

Another point - something that I recently learned:  the leather equipped
BJ8's had plain vinyl on the rear quarters, rather than the square patterned
material on the rear portion, which I assume was that way to match the
smaller square pattern on the seat inserts / seat back on the ambla trimmed
cars.  The gent that trimmed my recently restored BJ8 - in leather (using
the narrow 'normal' inserts), used plain vinyl on the quarters.  He is a UK
trained trimmer, and is certain that it was more correct without the pattern
on the quarters.

Again, can anyone comment?

Earl Kagna
Victoria, B.C.
BJ8, BT7 tri-carb

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