• A matching numbers car in original colour scheme
• Desirable BJ8 Phase Two model
• Noted as a lovely driver, having been in regular use • Original age-related exterior patina
Successor to the popular Austin-Healey 100-6, the 3000 was renamed to celebrate the adoption of a 3.0-litre inline six-cylinder engine, offering up to 150bhp in its final Mark III guise. The 100-6 was itself a redesigned version of the Austin-Healey 100 series, a car that was based on Austin Atlantic running gear and named for its ability to crack the magic ton – quite a feat in the early 1950s.
When the 3000 arrived, it quickly made its mark as a rally car, with many class victories to its credit under the auspices of the BMC competitions department. The 3000’s factory racing career ended in 1965 though, as BMC turned its attention to the giant-slaying Mini Cooper S. The Big Healey has a reputation as something of a ‘proper’ sports car, thanks to its firm ride, heavier steering and rumbling engine. It remains highly popular in the classic market, thanks to its relative simplicity and muscular good looks.
Available both as a two-seater and a 2+2, the Big Healey to have is the 3000 MK III, as we have here.
This running, driving, Austin Healey 3000 has come from long-term ownership in the USA. Imported into the UK in 2018, registered and in regular use since.
Finished in Colorado red over black (duotone), complemented with contrasting full red leather seats with black carpet interior. The more desirable BJ8 phase 2 model, with it 4 speed gearbox and overdrive.
A Heritage Certificate is included in the history file and confirms red/black as the original colours and that the chassis and engine numbers match.
Documentation also includes original US Title document, shipping details and UK registration (V5C) and MOT certificates.
The interior of this Austin Healey 3000 is truly enjoyable place to be. The leather-topped and wood trimmed dash is complimented by a plethora of stylish instruments and switchgear. The red full leather seats still present very well, despite signs of age-related wear and patina.
Continuing throughout the interior, across chrome fixings, plastics and rubber trim which all reflect a car that has been used and enjoyed, but certainly not abused. The age-related wear is of a level expected for an unrestored and original car of the 1960s.
Having benefited from a life spent in warmer climes, the exterior is sun bleached and blistered, rather than rusty and rotten, which is so often the case with cars spending decades in wetter weather such as the UK. As such, this car is generally solid throughout, but featuring a charming patina across the bodywork, which has developed slowly over its lifetime.
The exterior brightwork is again reflective of its age and originality, with signs of pitting and patina. The glass of the windscreen and lights are in a good generally clear condition, with very few scratches or marks.
The black hood is believed to have been recently replaced and as such is a nice tight fit and as expected has no tears, rips or cracks in the plastic windows.
The wire wheels are all in fair condition and don’t cause any real concerns from five paces, but would certainly benefit from a restoration to lift their appearance. All are shod in good looking tyres, with plenty of remaining tread.
The chassis is straight and true with no evidence of any previous accident damage. It is free from underseal and apart from light surface rust the original red paint is evident across the coachwork. The outriggers, sills and floors appear to be sound and rot free, as are all the main panels.
All panels across the car appear straight and with a good overall fit, while bearing all the hallmarks of a carefully used and unabused example which would either benefit from a sympathetic restoration over time or used in its patina-sporting originality and enjoyed immediately.
There is evidence of a brake overhaul to include replacement rear wheel cylinders, front callipers and brake hoses. A replacement alloy fuel tank has also been fitted as have a reconditioned radiator and new alternator.
The engine starts and runs smoothly, and the gearbox operates quietly, with synchros operating correctly, changing up and down though all the gears easily.
Concours it is not, but this Austin Healey 3000 is wearing its honest life story with pride. If you’re looking for originality, as either a prime candidate for restoration or to enjoy as is, this is a great example. It benefits from being well sorted mechanically, which translates into a good driver and good manners on the road.
These 3000s are the fastest and the easiest to live with on a long road trip, and for many they are the archetypal Big Healey. These are great mile-eating sports cars with lots of torque and an untemperamental nature and surprisingly practical, too.
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