When it comes to defining what makes a good traditional sports car, there are a few non-negotiable elements that the majority of car people can agree on. It has to have two doors, a powerful engine mounted in the front, power getting sent to the rear wheels though a manual gearbox, and an enticing exhaust note that beckons the user to open up the taps. Even today, the Austin Healey 3000 manages to do just that. The genesis of Austin Healey stems from Donald Healey’s deep admiration for motor racing which directly translated to his beloved Big Healeys. The lineage of the 3000 begins with the 100-4, which evolved over the years into the 3000, receiving disc brakes, a 6-cylinder power plant, and offered a variety of platforms. Over the years the options and specs varied between two-seater or four-seater, a detachable hardtop, dual or triple carburetors, overdrive, and multiple paint schemes, which was an uncommon practice for sports car manufactures in period. Typically, what they decide to build is what you got but Austin Healey was one of the first to break free of that mold. The combination of variety and performance is a large reason to why these nostalgic roadsters were so well received and examples actively sought after, such as this one.
On offer is fully restored 1965 Austin Healey 3000 MKIII, chassis number HBJ8L28422, engine number 29KRUH3121. Although the history of this car is unknown, this example has been completely restored, essentially remanufactured, with improved reliability and performance all while remaining true to the essence of the Austin Healey. The example has been purposefully built to serve as a turn-key Big Healey that has been tediously restored through and through that is ready to be enjoyed. As they do with all of their cars, the seasoned specialists at BRC of Philadelphia took great lengths to ensure that this Healey was restored to better than new condition, artfully incorporating a series of tasteful modifications from stock which include:
- High performance engine rebuild
- 5-speed transmission conversion
- Lightened flywheel and ring gear
- Hi-torque starter
- Upgraded rebuilt radiator
- Aluminum oil slump
- Electric thermostat fan
- Dayton wire wheels
- Mohair top upgrade
- Full leather interior
- Wooltin Wool II carpet set
- 15” Moto-Lita steering wheel
The exterior of the car is nothing short of concours quality, the Sage Green Metallic paint showing phenomenally, possessing lots of depth and free any blemishes. The panels have been expertly gapped and are consistently even throughout the car. The green soft top is impeccable with no significant flaws to note with the only improvement that could be made being a slight adjustment as there is some very minor sag noted. It is not a pressing issue and would detract from the car very little if left as is. The chrome and trims components have all been refinished and show as such. All the rubber seals are supple with absolutely no dry rot whatsoever, having all been replaced. The upgraded 72 spoke Dayton wire wheel give that car a great look and are completely spotless, balanced as without flaws.
Open the door and one is greeted by very tidy door jams with the correct aluminum finish work. The parchment interior boasts an ungraded leather package with matching piping throughout. The front and rear seats as well as the door panels are perfect, with no wrinkling or signs of wear. Replacing the somewhat cumbersome original steering wheel is a 15” Moto Lita steering that makes for a much-improved visceral experience. The wooden dash face has been re-varnished, housing the correct rebuilt gauges. All surfaces and components are newly refinished, with everything operating like new.
Upon opening the bonnet one notices a very clean engine bay, nicely detailed, highly correct in it’s finish and internally was built to reliably perform. All of BRC’s engines are blue-printed, balanced and completely rebuilt using modern internals when possible. Finished in correct Austin Healey green the engine appears to be highly correct while also able to perform better than it had from the factory. There is nothing substandard, skipped, or out-of-place in the engine bay, at all. The undercarriage continues the theme of the car it is also incredibly clean. There are no known leaks from the underside of the car, a rarity even in totally restored English sports cars. Additionally, the chassis rails are straight and true and free of any dents, as good as we have ever seen as these cars consistently have dented frame rails. The trunk area, again, showing as new with correct black liner. The spare wheel is held down by a nice leather strap, with the jack and hammer, present along with the Mohair tonneau cover.
The operation of this Healey is just lovely for many aspects of its visceral attributes make one think about the depth of work completed to make it work so correctly. Simple things from the way the doors open and hold open and close to the cars ability to freely rev and handle a corner with absolutely no inconsistencies. It is truly well built with attention to detail that only a restorer who has completed hundreds of restorations can understand. When the user really puts his right foot down for some more spirited driving, this Healey exceeds expectations in every aspect of its performance. The rebuilt straight-six just sings along, the steering is precise, and the 5-speed gearbox allows the user to fully exploit the power of the engine all while being able to comfortably cruise in 5th gear on long tours. The nuances of what makes these cars perfect during a restoration are long learned lessons of experience, and it shows in every facet of this cars presentation. Strong oil pressure, holding steady temperature (with upgraded electric fan), braking straight, and without any issues noted this example has received proper initial sorting miles without any faults found. It would be recommended that the new care taker attribute further mileage to critique any minor post-restoration sorting items that may arise. As this is essentially a new remanufactured example in every respect with only a few hundred miles since completion.
As the pending end of Austin Healey approached, Donald Healey ordered that two cars be finished in a sage Green. It was thought to be a prototype color in a sense but never applied to any of the production cars. This example pays homage to the last days of Austin Healey while simultaneously granting this car with uniqueness among other Healeys. This example was built to enhance all of the great features that make these cars so cherished in the classic car community, having been thoroughly restored with the addition of several mindful updates. This is a Big Healey that one can fully indulge in, show at any concours, but most importantly, get out and drive. Offered with this sale are the BMIHT Certificate, spare wheel, jack, handbook, and tonneau cover.
Available Documentation: (Please click the links below to view the files)