Run by Graeme Hurst
Owned since 1979
Total mileage (1) 66,561
Miles since May 2015
Latest costs £410
BELTING AROUND SOUTH AFRICA
Residing out in the colonies has its benefits when it comes to enjoying classics (weather and great roads!), but the distance, cost of freight and our punitive import duty can make buying parts a trial. That is why, on my annual trip to the Goodwood Revival, I inevitably arrive in the UK armed with a shopping list.
Last year it was the Healey’s turn, and first priority was a set of periodstyle seatbelts. Middlesex-based Quickfit SBS installed bespoke inertia-reel units in my XK150 10 years ago and so was the obvious choice, but this time the car was 6000 miles away. Not a problem: the firm has done belts for most classics and has the measurements on file, so sets can be made up and dispatched by post. Only I couldn’t decide on the colour, so stopped by to peruse samples before ordering. It was just as well because there are lots of options, including aircraft-style buckles as well as clip-and- eye anchoring points. The latter allow flexibility in locating the belts – handy for cars that have been modified or those assembled abroad (like ours) and which possibly harbour construction anomalies.
I didn’t get a chance to fit them until Christmas, by when I had forgotten the verbal instructions from Quickfit’s foreman Pawel Podchorodecki. Luckily, the belts (which came neatly packaged with all the fasteners, spacers and anchor plates) included fitting advice, so it was just down to the choice of drill bit and deciding where to aim it Seatbelts weren’t mandatory when Healeys were rolling out of Abing don, but if specified they wer usually Britax items in light grey, so that’s what I went for. Their shiny appearance does jar somewhat with the patinated interior, though.
Also looking overly new were the second big ticket items on the list: set of sidescreens from AH Spares. When my late father bought the car, the originals were intact but the Perspex was too opaque for them to be used. Fast-forward 37 years, and they were even worse, hence the purchase. Unfortunately, installation wasn’t as easy as the seatbelts.
I don’t know if the measurements on CKD cars are different, but the locating hole on the tie-bar was ¼in out when offered up to the door. Some serious heat and a press would have been the only way to adjust the shape, but I had the bright idea to unearth the bars from the old sidescreens. Besides fitting perfectly, they had the bonus of making the new units less shiny!
THANKS TO AH Spares: 01926 817181; www.ahspares.co.uk / Quickfit Seat Belt Services: 020 8206 0101; www.quickfitsbs.com
New sidescreens replace cloudy originals. New seatbelts replicate those often fitted by the factory in period, and were straightfoward to install.