The Austin Healey 3000 has endeared itself to enthusiasts the world over, not least for those who remember the sight and sound of this muscular British sports car roaring to spectacular success in international rallying. A development of the Austin Healey 100-6, itself born of the four cylinder 100, the 3000 was launched in March 1959. Like the 100-6, in either two seat BN7 or 2+2 BT7 guise, it used a simple but torsionally strong ladder frame chassis with Austin A90 independent coil spring/wishbone front suspension and a live leaf sprung rear axle located by Panhard rod. Front disc brakes were fitted for the first time. Under the bonnet the 100-6’s 2,639cc engine was enlarged to 2,912cc and, via twin SU carburettors, it produced 124bhp at 4,600rpm with an impressive 162lb.ft torque at 2,700rpm.
Mated to a four-speed gearbox and capable of 110mph (116mph with overdrive) and 0-60mph in 11.4 seconds, the 3000 received much praise for effortless performance and fine handling.
It wasn’t long before the 3000 proved highly competitive in international rallying, displaying both pace and great strength on its 1959 Alpine Rally debut. It was a sign of things to come, Big Healeys scoring numerous successes with great drivers such as the Morley brothers, Pat Moss, Paddy Hopkirk, Peter Riley, Timo Makinen and Rauno Altonen.
May 1961 saw the introduction of the MkII with new grille and bonnet intake, three carburettors on a semi-downdraught manifold, a new camshaft and 132bhp at 4,750rpm; difficulties with tuning, though, saw a reversion to twin SUs within a year during which the gearlever was finally located centrally. Further improvements came in August 1962 in BJ7 form with standard 2+2 seating, permanently attached hood and wind-up windows.
Built in August 1962 and exported to America on the 19th September 1962, this is a 3000 MkII 2+2 in the striking Colorado red and cream combination.
This example’s recent American owner purchased the car from a dealer in Connecticut in 1993 and then brought the car to the UK when he took a job in London. Subsequently the owner’s job took him to Singapore and he left the car in a dehumidified storage facility in the UK until 2014 when the American owner decided to sell it.
The current owner has just spent £12,000 on refurbishing the Healey and these extensive works have included a full mechanical service to ensure the car is reliable and it also has a new mohair hood and carpets, the chrome, where needed, was replaced and the sound bodywork cleaned and polished. The wire wheels were refurbished and re-painted and the seat squabs restuffed. It is thought the car had a full restoration approximately 25 years ago as the running gear and underside are in very good condition.
The present vendor’s intention was to have a smart looking reliable car which could be used on a regular basis rather than a concour show model. The car has a great exhaust note and drives well….it has recently completed approximately 300 test miles without any issues. This is an appreciating model with a very popular colour combination and one that can be driven on a regular basis.