First introduced in 1959, the Austin Healey 3000 was produced as a logical successor to the much loved 100-6 model. Throughout its 8 year production run the 3000 sold very well and was highly successful in amateur racing events throughout Europe. The Mark III version of the 3000 was introduced in early 1964 and brought with it a more powerful engine as well as some additional modifications that provided for a better driving experience. The phase II as introduced with some minor chassis modifications to provide for better ground clearance. In total, a little over 17,700 Mark III cars were manufactured for worldwide distribution. Production ended in 1957 with intent for the slot of the car to be replaced by the straight-six powered MGC.
The example on offer here is a 1964 Austin Healey 3000, chassis number HBJ8L25663 and engine number 29KRUH452. This is a Phase 1 example with seldom seen early MKIII features and is a numbers matching car per the included BMIHT certificate.
According to the certificate, the car was built between December 23’rd and 31’st of 1963 and dispatched January 15th, 1964 to Compton California in the United States. When it originally left the factory it was finished in Colorado Red with a Black interior and top. It was also fitted with wire wheels, heater, adjustable steering column, black tonneau cover, overdrive, and roadstead tires. As the car currently sits it is finished in very appropriate english colors of British Racing Green with a tan interior and top. The car currently also sits on a set of excellent, period optional Dunlop steel wheels, a nice change from the standard spoked wheels. As far as history on the car goes, it was delivered new to California where it spent most of its life until about 2010 when it was purchased by the current owner as a California blue plate example still wearing its original colors. The current owner decided to undertake a restoration of the vehicle and decided on the current color scheme. The restoration was extremely detailed and done to the highest standards, thoroughly documenting the entire process with every receipt saved and recorded. The car was stripped down to the chassis and built back back up utilizing all new, refurbished, or NOS components. The restoration was completed about a year ago and minimal miles have been put on the car since.
Included with the sale of this car is the BMIHT heritage certificate, tools, spare, jack and documentation.
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Body And Paint
The donor car for the restoration was a very nice example and the restoration undertaken was extremely well done. The BRG paint was beautifully laid down and remains in fantastic smooth condition with excellent color, shine, and depth. The body was nice and straight before the restoration and remains in the excellent condition with consistent panel and body gaps.
Glass And Trim
The glass, all round, remains in fantastic clear condition, with no issues to note. Rubber trim pieces were all replaced during restoration, meaning they remain in excellent condition, supple and bright. Chrome is fantastic from front to back, with only very minimal soft scratching evident on some portions of the bumpers.
The wheels that are fitted are an awesome set of Dunlop steel wheels and provide a nice change of pace to the often fitted spoked wheels. They fit the car very well and provide for a fantastic look. They are in great shape with consistent painted surfaces and bright, clean chrome center caps.
This restoration undertaken on this car was extremely thorough and very well done. Given that it was completed about a year ago and the car has seen minimal use since then, it remains in excellent condition with no real issues on the exterior of note.
Seats And Surfaces
The tan interior complements the BRG exterior exquisitely. The interior was treated to the same thorough and well-documented restoration as the exterior and remains in likewise fantastic condition. The seats look excellent with appropriate stuffing and seams and minimal to no wear present. The rest of the leather trim including the door cards and center console are in fantastic condition. The wood-faced dash is smooth and consistent. The tan color matched carpets show minimal wear and have good color throughout. The fitment around the transmission tunnel in the footwells is a bit baggy but this is really the only thing of note. The steering wheel looks brand new, with bright chrome spokes and a beautiful wooden wheel. The rubber shift boot doesn’t sit quite right and appears a bit bunched up but this is a common problem with this component.
Functionality And Accessories
The gauges are bright and colorful and appear to read their respective functions as they should. All the switches and knobs are in great shape and function well. The shifter moves easily through its range of motion and the hand-brake holds the car firmly. Both the door latches and the window winders operate as they should.
ENGINE BAY AND TRUNK
The engine bay is very well done and highly correct. Painted surfaces are smooth and consistent. All the rubber components, as well as wires and tubing, appear to be new and all of the correct type. The id tags are affixed to the fire wall in their correct locations. Overall the engine bay is very clean and tidy with no signs of any issues present.
The trunk area is also clean and tidy with all correct components in place. The proper ribbed mats line the floor and sides, with the correct hooked and leather spare wheel tie down in place, holding the Dunlop steel wheel spare in place. The battery is held in place with the correct tie down and this area is clean and free of any issues. Lifting the mats reveals smooth clean metal and a well-done fuel tank. The trunk also houses a correct tool roll and jack.
The underside of the car is finished to the highest correct standards, like the rest of the vehicle. Painted surfaces remain smooth and consistent. All underside sheet metal is smooth and shows no signs of prior issues. Components and lines are all of the correct type and appear to be in excellent condition.
The engine fires right to life with a bit of choke and settles into a smooth and easy idle. Once up to temperature, the engine revs freely and makes excellent power. There does not appear to be any dead spots or stumbles in the power-band and the car is a delight to drive.
The clutch feels solid and responsive with good feedback and uptake. The transmission holds power well, revs freely and moves through all the gears with ease.
Brakes And Suspension
Both the brakes and suspension were thoroughly gone through during the restoration and have minimal use on them since. Both systems remain in excellent operating condition and function just as one would expect.
The tires are new Vredestein Sprint Classic’s on all four corners with abundant tread life left and a nice classic look that compliments the car well.
Driving a well sorted “Big Healey” is a delightful experience and the thorough restoration of this car means that the driving experience is impressive. The straight six engine produces a fantastic raspy note out of the straight swept exhaust. Although not blisteringly quick, the engine produces excellent torque, providing for a fun and lively driving experience. The road feel is fantastic and leaves the driver feeling at one with the road. This BJ8 represents an excellent opportunity to acquire a car that has been painstakingly restored to the highest standards and finished in delightful British themed colors with interesting additions that set it apart from other 3000s on the road. This car currently needs nothing and would make an ideal vehicle for showing and displaying at any automotive themed event as well as spirited drives on nice fall days.