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 with the optional hardtop in place. Otherwise, the car remained much as the 100/6, though the more-powerful disc brakes were a welcome improvement. Unveiled in March 1961, the MkII version with restyled grille and bonnet intake was the last 3000 available as a two-seater, the 2+2 (BT7) option having been for years the more popular.
Engine improvements in the form of triple SU carburettors and a revised camshaft liberated an extra 8bhp. From November ‘61 the 3000 was equipped with a new gearbox, a development which at last moved the gear lever to the centre of the transmission tunnel. Contemporary road test typically recorded performance figures for the MkII of 114mph top speed and a 0-60mph time of approximately 11 seconds.
In January 1962 the 2+2 only MkII BJ7 Convertible (or MkIIA) appeared, boasting long overdue refinements such as winding windows, swivelling quarter-lights and a fixed foldaway hood.
That same year The Autocar magazine summed up the works Austin-Healey 3000 as ‘a classic competition car among the all-time greats in motoring history.’ Yet at the time of its arrival in 1959, few would have guessed that the low-slung ‘Big Healey’ would triumph over its apparent shortcomings so effectively that it now rates as one of the most successful rally cars of the 1960s.
Presented in red and black, with an interior to match, this charming Mk II Healey is one of the finer examples you are likely to come across. Described as being in excellent condition throughout, the car was initially exported to the US where it spent a significant part of its early years. Brought back to the UK in the late 80s, the car then enjoyed a major restoration in the early 90s with bills and photos providing evidence of the project. With further receipts and MOT’s from the late 80s to the current day, the car has enjoyed frequent and detailed servicing and maintenance making it the car it is today.