Australian Healey Statistics and BMC Warranty Cards
Patrick Quinn

I started all this a few years back. Like most club members over the years I have received the issues of the Austin-Healey clubs’ Yearbook and always gave just a cursory glance to the list of members included with each state’s contribution. It only seems like yesterday when we were putting together Yearbook number one back in 1977 but so far there has been a total of twenty-five.

About four year’s back after receiving the Yearbook it occurred to me that apart from the list of members and their cars of that year it might be a good idea to keep some form of list of cars within New South Wales. Starting was simple, as it was just a matter of obtaining the list of NSW club cars electronically and then going through each previous Yearbook and adding the detail. Then it snowballed from there as I thought why I should just restrict myself to New South Wales and why not the whole of Australia?

In every Yearbook from the very first, each club has published a list of members and cars. During some years there has been more detail than others, such as full addresses, chassis numbers, engine numbers and the like.

To the end of June 2004 it was just a matter of transcribing the details of each list in each Yearbook to an Excel spreadsheet. Cross checking as I went all the details of the owners and cars and changing or adding entries where appropriate. As much detail as possible was collected including when cars were added to lists, sold or otherwise. It virtually took on a life of its own as I found myself scouring Australian car magazines looking for cars for sale and if a chassis, engine or registration number was included in the advertisement then I would mark the detail in the register. It has always been gratifying adding a new car to the list.

In fact as long as a significant number was recorded it stayed on the register. By significant I soon found that the only numbers that really mattered were the chassis, engine and body numbers. Some cars stay on an individual club list for years while others come and go or perhaps were sold time and time again. Registration numbers would change many times over during a twenty-four year period and while sometime useful to match up a car that hadn’t appeared on a club list for some years such numbers couldn’t be relied upon.

From over twenty-five years of Yearbooks and other sources I have tallied up 1,288 Healeys and Austin-Healeys. However not for a moment do I suggest that the register is definitive as I know there are many more cars in Australia that have never been involved in any club plus I am certain that some members have cars that haven’t been included. There is also the chance where I may have included some cars twice, perhaps due to a chassis number being listed for a couple of years, then the car disappearing for some time and coming back on a list with just its engine number being shown. The names against the vehicle may also be out of date as it’s possible that when a car was sold in the past the new owner may not have joined any club and therefore their details would not have been published in any Yearbook.

In no way do I present this list as an official AHOC of NSW register either. In fact quite the opposite as it’s probably just the product of an addled brain more than anything else. However I would like to take it further by adding more details of individual cars. Some club members have forwarded copies of their Leyland Heritage Certificate to me and in such cases the information from build dates to key numbers has been added. Printed out the register extends for 142 A4 pages.

What’s the point in it all? In just a short time I have been able to provide current owners with information to track the history of their cars. However the best was when I received a call from a bloke trying to find out the whereabouts of a 100 that his recently deceased father-in-law had bought new in Sydney. He and his wife were sorting the gentleman’s effects and came across the original Driver’s Handbook and sales documents and they wanted it all to go to the current owner. Armed with the chassis number it was a simple process to identify the car as now being in Melbourne. I never think it to be appropriate to pass out owner’s details so I contacted the Victorian club and the car, Handbook and papers were reunited. The current owner of the car is the son of a long-term Austin-Healey owner and member of the Victorian club, so it was warm feelings all round.

For the statistically minded I have thrown together a few bits and pieces below but I thought it might be of interest if I were to itemise the headings of the spreadsheet that contains the details of the 1,288 entries:

Owner’s Name(s):  Self-explanatory but it’s surname first for sorting purposes. It’s interesting to see people who have stayed members for over a quarter of a century. It’s also pleasant to see the same surnames multiply over time, clearly the children of long-term members who have obtained cars for themselves. It is equally sad to see Christian names drop away (usually males) while their spouse’s name remains.
Address: Also self-explanatory but difficult for the historian as some clubs have not been included full address but just suburbs. I have thought about cross checking through the White Pages on line but there is a limit.
State:  As the information is state based this was the primary sort column. Mostly cars stayed within states but there has been some that have been owned in many different states. This has been prevalent with quite a few members from the southern states moving to Queensland and taking their cars with them.
Postcode:  Someone mentioned that it might be useful to be able to sort by postcodes.
Phone Number: Self-explanatory. Phone numbers are useful when a car is advertised for sale and chassis/engine numbers are not supplied.
Model: Another important sort so to find out the number of a particular model within a state or otherwise. However when some states indicate that a model was a 3000 BT7 or BN7, it’s hard to say if it’s really a MkI or MkII. Additionally there have been some years that the only detail provided was the model type with nothing else.
Chassis Number: Obvious? However there are plenty of gaps. One thing noticed is that many owners like to drop the letter L from their previously left-hand-drive cars. As far as we know there were only ever 24 Austin-Healey 3000s imported new into Australia so I can’t imagine why this is done.
Engine Number: Yes it is obvious but there is quite a lot of funny looking numbers out there that look nothing like the original BMC numbers. Plus there are a surprising number of cars that share the same engine number.
Registration Number: Useful but as said before it’s the least permanent number associated with any car.
Body Number: There are very few of these that have been included on the various annual lists.
Body Colour: Initially very little information has been provided as to body colour but this changed from 2003 when clubs started to provide the information.
Trim Colour: The same as with body colour.
Previous Owner: This is where it gets interesting. By going through the Yearbooks for each year it was possible to trace the cars sold during the previous year. The list includes the names and addresses of previous owners. As I said some cars have changed hands repeatedly while some have stayed with the same owners for the whole period.
Previous Reg Number:  While the registration number is next to useless as far as the collection of data is concerned it is still worthwhile to maintain details of all known past numbers.
Detail: This is the area that I would really like to build on. It includes such information that may be found on the Heritage Certificate, known history about restoration, original sales information and any other information about individual cars such as when it was imported into Australia.
Source: This indicates where the latest data has come from. Generally it is from Yearbooks 1 to 25 but there are some other sources such as applications from new members with cars that have had no previous entry. Interestingly there are 31 entries or cars that appeared in Yearbook No 1 from 1977 and have not appeared since.

Just for those of us who like statistics.

A break-up individual Healey and Austin-Healey models state by state. If you’re wondering what the ‘others’ could possibly be, it’s the MacHealey single seater racing car that started life as a BN1 and the other is a Healey Sports Boat. As far as I know there is one other Sports Boat in Victoria but no details are known.

ACT NSW Vic SA Qld WA Tas NT  Total
Warwick Healeys 0 6 0 0 3 1 0 0 10
Warwick Austin-Healeys 0 4 5 2 3 1 0 0 15
100 BN1 3 107 172 51 67 41 5 0 446
100 BN2 0 25 44 9 11 3 1 0 93
100M 0 1 6 0 2 2 0 0 11
100/6 BN4 2 33 86 17 24 14 3 0 179
100/6 BN6 0 7 11 0 3 3 1 0 25
3000 BT7 MkI 1 35 54 3 8 9 1 0 111
3000 BN7 MkI 0 6 15 5 4 1 0 0 31
3000 BT7 MkII 0 12 17 4 6 2 0 0 41
3000 BN7 MkII 0 5 4 0 1 0 0 0 10
3000 BJ7 MkII 0 24 41 10 9 4 0 0 88
3000 BJ8 2 74 82 22 26 18 1 1 226
Others  0 0 1 0 1 0 0 0 2

Total 8 339 538 123 168 99 12 1 1288

The above information is current as at 1 January 2005 and is interesting as it signifies an increase of 36 from when I last tallied the totals in June 2004. While modest increases have shown up for both NSW and Victoria it is the smaller clubs like SA, WA and Qld that have had the largest increases. These have been 7 for SA, 4 for WA and 20 for Queensland. The latter probably has quite a lot to do with members retiring to warmer climes.

BMC Warranty Cards

Still for the biggest news for six-cylinder Austin-Healey owners was the uncovering of the original BMC warranty cards. This came about when a member of the NSW club who used to work for Peugeot made contact with me. The latter history of Peugeot in Australia is closely connected to Jaguar, Rover and BMC. Prior to Peugeot Australia being a stand alone company there were connections with Jaguar Rover Australia that was previously known as Leyland Australia and before that the British Motor Corporation. I have probably missed out on a step or two but for the sake of this it really doesn’t matter.

It turned out that our club member had been with BMC, Leyland, Jaguar Rover Australia and Peugeot through all the changes over the years and had managed to rescue a number of items that may have been lost forever.

Of particular interest to us is that he rescued what I now call the Austin or BMC warranty cards from the late 1950s through to the end of the 1960s. Putting one and one together it appears that for every car sold BMC in those pre-computer days kept a separate filing card that included detail about the car plus what repairs were done to that car under warranty.

Of greater interest to us as Austin-Healey owners is that amongst the cards were details of 145 six-cylinder Austin-Healeys and just one 100 BN1. Please don’t ask how the BN1 came into it and there is no other information on the four-cylinder cars.

The detail on each card does vary but most include chassis and engine numbers plus the names of the Australian distributor, dealer and generally the first owner. On some cards there is information on the colour, key number, tyre and battery types and even what ship the car came out to Australia on. On the reverse of each card are details of what warranty repairs were undertaken or in many cases the reverse has been left blank. Details of the repairs are interesting and include quite a few broken windscreens, exhaust repairs as well as many engine and body repairs.

I first thought that each card would have been established after a warranty claim was received but as there are quite a few cards without any repair details included, it can be assumed that a card was filled out as soon as BMC received the notice of sale from the dealer/distributor. This means that the cards probably indicate all the six-cylinder Austin-Healeys imported new into Australia. I’m not prepared to say that it is a definitive list of all Australian delivered six-cylinder cars but it’s better then anything else that’s in existence. While the cards were maintained in Sydney it includes cars delivered all over Australia.

Perhaps a break down state by state and model by model from when the six-cylinder cars were delivered new might be of interest plus the numbers of cars that are not accounted for:-

ACT  NSW Vic SA Qld WA  Tas NT Total Unknown
47 47 12 5 7
1 119 44
1 1

2 1
BT7 MkI 1 1 1

3 1
1 2




3 2

BJ8 2 4 2 1
1 1
11 1

Total 3 58 56 13 5 8 1 1 145 47

You can see from the above there are 145 six-cylinder cars that have BMC warranty cards and comparing the known chassis numbers with the list of cars that have appeared in the Yearbooks over the years some 98 are accounted for. This means that 47 six-cylinder Austin-Healeys have vanished, perhaps destroyed or languishing in garages across Australia. Looking at percentages that is around a total of almost 68% of Australian delivered Austin-Healeys accounted for. Not a bad survival rate.

The total for the unknown or unaccounted cars form part of the overall numbers and are not in addition to the total. To bore you a little further with some more trivia it is interesting to note that from the 44 unaccounted BN4s a total of 21 were delivered new to New South Wales, 14 to Victoria, 5 to South Australia, 2 to Queensland, 1 to Western Australia and 1 to the Northern Territory. The unaccounted for BN6, BN7 MkI and BJ8 were all delivered new to New South Wales

I have listed below the chassis numbers of all the 145 six-cylinder cars plus the 1 BN1 and while I cannot of course provide current owners with the BMC Warranty Card pertaining to their car I am quite happy to send a photocopy or scan the card and email it. All you have to do is ask. Plus if you can, a replied paid envelope would be appreciated. The chassis numbers have been taken direct from the cards and do include a few with the letter L which signifies that the car started life as left hand drive. I don’t understand this but can guess that it was either an error at the factory or the car was converted very early in its life.


BN4/44249, BN4/44269, BN4/44352, BN4/44353, BN4/44361, BN4/44550, BN4/44552, BN4/44575, BN4/44581, BN4/44715, BN4/44716, BN4/45721, BN4/45949, BN4/45954, BN4/45956, BN4/46472, BN4/46475, BN4/46737, BN4/47478, BN4/47564, BN4/47584, BN4/47710, BN4/47882, BN4/47887, BN4/48972, BN4/50916, BN4/50917, BN4/51681, BN4/51723, BN4/51728, BN4/51730, BN4/56298, BN4/56300, BN4/56655, BN4/56697, BN4/58124, BN4/58375, BN4/59679, BN4/59694, BN4/60681, BN4/60980, BN4/O/28358, BN4/O/31157, BN4/O/42779, BN4/O/44408, BN4/O/44551, BN4/O/44707, BN4/O/44711, BN4/O/44824, BN4/O/44826, BN4/O/45050, BN4/O/45497, BN4/O/45819, BN4/O/45824, BN4/O/46121, BN4/O/46168, BN4/O/46346, BN4/O/46463, BN4/O/46468, BN4/O/46607, BN4/O/46611, BN4/O/46731, BN4/O/46972, BN4/O/47474, BN4/O/47491, BN4/O/47708, BN4/O/47721, BN4/O/47774, BN4/O/47885, BN4/O/48241, BN4/O/48966, BN4/O/49828, BN4/O/50913, BN4/O/50914, BN4/O/50915, BN4/O/51680, BN4/O/51709, BN4/O/51711, BN4/O/51724, BN4/O/51725, BN4/O/51726, BN4/O/51727, BN4/O/51729, BN4/O/54395, BN4/O/55451, BN4/O/55455, BN4/O/56009, BN4/O/56014, BN4/O/56416, BN4/O/56417, BN4/O/56645, BN4/O/56688, BN4/O/56693, BN4/O/56700, BN4/O/57028, BN4/O/57089, BN4/O/57090, BN4/O/57091, BN4/O/57284, BN4/O/57414, BN4/O/57450, BN4/O/57487, BN4/O/57491, BN4/O/57752, BN4/O/59606, BN4/O/60287, BN4/O/60292, BN4/O/60298, BN4/O/60910, BN4/O/60962, BN4/O/60988, BN4/O/61113, BN4/O/61159, BN4/O/61985, BN4HL/O/51053, BN4L/8086, BN4L/O/32920, BN4L/O/54604, BN4L/O/56225

BN6/O/2536, BN6/O/57462

HBT7/O/9535, HBT7/17738, HBT7/19052, HBT7L/10754

HBN7/18442, HBN7/3399, HBN7/4676, HBN7L/13026

HBJ7/22418, HBJ7/22438, HBJ7/24982, HBJ7L/24986, HBJ7L/25075

HBJ8/26740, HBJ8/29376, HBJ8/31256, HBJ8/31257, HBJ8/34683, HBJ8/35999, HBJ8/40388, HBJ8/41228, HBJ8/82462, HBJ8/31150, HBJ8L/27232

Patrick Quinn
116 Warks Hill Rd.,
Kurrajong Heights
NSW 2758

(02) 9561 8749 bh
0417 673 065 mob

Email Patrick Quinn