The enlargement of its C-Series six-cylinder engine to 2,912cc, and the adoption of Girling front disc brakes, differentiated the new-for-1959 Austin-Healey 3000 from the preceding 100/6. In 3000 form the rugged Austin six delivered 124bhp at 4,600rpm, good enough for a top speed (in overdrive) of 114mph. Otherwise, the car remained much as the 100/6, though the more-powerful disc brakes were a welcome improvement. The original 3000 was built from March 1959 to March 1961 as models BN7 Mark I (2-seater) and BT7 Mark I (2+2 version), becoming known as the Mark I after the Mark II was released.
Robust and tuneable, in its time the Big Healey was immensely popular with privateer racers and ralliers. Today, 40 years after the end of production, Healey 3000s continue to be extensively campaigned in historic motorsport, both in tarmac events and on the rough stuff. Replicas of the works rally cars are among the most sought-after variants, and an extensive cottage industry of recognised specialists exists to cater for the demand for Austin-Healey parts, servicing and competition preparation.
This very well-sorted 3000 Mk1 presents extremely well, having enjoyed a thorough older restoration by leading marque specialist JME Healey, to the tune of £50,000. The work was highly detailed, and well documented, covering all major mechanical components, body, paint and trim.
In the current ownership for 15 years, this lovely Healey has wanted for nothing. In 2014 the engine benefited from a rebuild by Healey specialists Orchard Restorations, a high lift camshaft was fitted, and the transmission overhauled by specialist Hardy Engineering. In the previous year the whole vehicle was repainted in the correct shade of Healey Blue. The current vendor estimates to have spent £8,000 plus on maintenance and upkeep in his ownership.
Finished in a beautiful combination of Healey Blue with contrasting navy leather, PSL 103 is a rare 2 seater BN7 model, of which only 2,825 were produced, compared with 10,825 for the 4 seater BT7.
Offered with UK V5, evidence of restoration and maintenance work, a sheaf of MoTs, and heritage certificate, this is a highly capable sportscar which is very much on the button.