The Austin Healey is one of the more important cars in British motoring history, leaving a timeless impression in the hearts of the enthusiast who owned them. Donald Healey, the motoring mastermind behind the Big Healeys, originally was known for his spectacular abilities as a racing driver, and his performance in the 1931 Monte Carlo Rally. Racing a 4.5L Invicta with questionable handling, he hit a telegraph pole in Sweden knocking the rear axle out of alignment along with one of his brakes failing further into the rally but still managed to finish first in one of the most challenging motor sport events of the time. This triumph lead to the Healey name gaining momentum on an international scale and eventually Mr. Healey decided to manufacturer his very own sports car, which developed into the Austin Healey we know and admire, today. The 100-4 was introduced in 1952 and the first of the Austin Healey’s which would live on for another 15 years in two other variants knows as the 100-6 and 3000. Today we are left with just under 43,000 units produced in total between 1959 and 1967. The most sought after, user friendly, and desired models is the MKIII, also referred to as the BJ8. These final specification examples offered roll up windows, weather tight construction, easy-to-use top, heater, front disc brakes, and a finely crafted wood dash, paired with other little accouterments that make a car enjoyable in nature and user friendly. As such, they remain at the top of the list for any serious British sports car collector or enthusiast looking to rekindle their youth.
The example on offer here, chassis number HBJ8L37623 has benefited from a total restoration by marque specialist, Knut Holzer of British Motor Corp. The car has been comprehensively restored to as new condition, with a few modifications to give it further usability. This example has quicker acceleration and shifting, fully built engine, as well as a 5-speed transmission. Finished in stunning and desirable colors of Healey Blue over dark blue interior (upgraded to leather), this Healey is a serious contender at any concours event, tour, or rally. BMC completed 75% of the car but per the current owners request, the last/final assembly was to be completed by the owner himself. A well versed and dedicated enthusiast who proudly completed the cars final steps. Early history is not totally known, but thanks to the British Heritage Trust Certificate we do know it was originally delivered right here in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania in black over red with the following options: wire wheels, white wall tires, adjustable steering column, overdrive, octagonal wheel nuts, heater, laminated windscreen, and black tonneau cover. This example has seen very little road use since completion, has been properly broken in and post restoration sorting completed. As such and is dialed in mechanically and ready for concours or rallies.
Cosmetically, the car is in 1- condition with every panel free of dents, major scratches or flaws with excellent shut gaps. The Robert Standox paint is deep, shines magnificently, and in the condition, as one would expect from a fresh restoration, as are all of the emblems. BMC uses the same technique and process on all of their cars, which entails a total strip to bare metal and structure. It is invasive, detailed, and comprehensive all of which equates to perfection. All of the rubber components including windshield moldings, door, and trunk and bonnet seals are all supple and brand new. Additionally, every piece of chrome including bumpers, windshield chrome, handles, grill, and door moldings are all newly re-chromed and are free of flaws minus the soft top hinges which have slight pitting and are perhaps original. Pulling the soft-top up you will find a new, correct cloth top with clear rear window free of fading or scratches and a brand new boot cover for sunny days when the top is down. All glass including headlamps, windshield, doors, and quarter windows are all excellent with no scratches or chips. All sitting on a fresh set of Dayton wire wheels and new performance oriented tires. Overall, the car presents as a show-quality example that is certainly hard to fault. The underside is consistent with the rest of the car, and is correct stamped metal finished in shiny body color as are the wheel wells albeit needing a good detail. Opening the trunk will also reveal the restoration’s attention to detail with correct lining and show to be very tidy. Anywhere wiring is present is the correct style, new, and as it came from the factory.
Stepping into the interior, one will find fresh seats, carpets, and door panels with re-finished, crack free dash wood and rebuilt gauges. Gripping the aftermarket moto-lita steering wheel provides for a much more enjoyable, nimble handling experience as opposed to the larger, original steering wheels. The rear seats are also brand new and have never been sat in. Under the dash is very tidy as one would expect from a car that has had every nut and bolt restored. The only item we could pick out is the lack of correct gold-black piping that lined the outer edges of the seats, which these cars came with when original as opposed to the dark blue piping that matches the rest of the interior. This would be attributed to the upgraded leather interior, which is an excellent addition though not factory correct.
In opening the bonnet one will notice every component is correct and colored/coated as the factory did when new. It presents as new and functions as such. Smooth power delivery with quick throttle response and an excellent, gruff exhaust note. Thanks to a fully built engine by Bitner Automotive with 50 years of experience, this Healey produces 192 horse power with dyno sheets to match Shifting into 5th gear at highway speeds also allows the car those much need RPM’s for comfortable cruising as opposed to the short geared original 4-speed box. All rubber hoses, lines etc. are new with no known leaks. The clutch is also new and operates, as it should. The brakes are new and a bit stiff; one item that may need minor adjusting.
In summation, this fully restored “Big Healey” is absolutely turn-key and ready for any show, rally, or tour. Knut Holzer has hundreds of Austin Healey restorations under his belt, for his extensive knowledge and dedication to proper craftsmanship is evident in this example. This astute Healey specialist has produced an example that even the keenest Austin Healey enthusiast would find quite the challenge to justifiably critique. The example on offer has been thoroughly tended to in every aspect and has been prepared for its next caretaker and custodian to enjoy. Included in the sale are tools, jack, spare, hammer, Heritage Certificate, and tonneau cover.
Available Documentation: (Please click on the links below to view the file)