Austin-Healey 3000

The Austin-Healey 3000 was built from 1959 to 1967, and is the best known of the "big" Healey models. The car's bodywork was made by Jensen Motors, and the vehicles were assembled at the BMC Abingdon works. The 3000 was a successful car which won its class in many European rallies in its heyday, and is still used in competition by enthusiasts today.

The original Austin Healey 3000 has a 2912 cc I6 engine, with twin SU carburetors and Girling front disc brakes. It was only referred to as the Mark I after the Mark II was released, previously only being known as the 3000. Wire wheels, overdrive gearbox, a laminated windscreen, a heater, an adjustable steering column, a detachable hard top and two tone paint were all available as options.

Introduced in March 1961, the 3000 Mk II came with three SU HS4 carburettors and an improved camshaft, designated the BT7 MkII (4-seat version) and BN7 MkII (2-seat version). However, upon the introduction of the BJ7 (2+2 seats) model in January 1962, the number of carburettors was reduced to two, (SU type HS6) because of the problems experienced with balancing three carburettors. As a result of the introduction of the BJ7, the BN7 MkII was discontinued in March 1962, and the BT7 MkII followed in June 1962. Externally, the main changes introduced with the BJ7 were a vertical barred front grille, wind-up windows rather than side curtains, an improved hood, and a wrap-around windscreen. Optional extras were similar to the MkI, although the option of a factory hardtop was not available from the BJ7's introduction. From August 1961 a brake servo was also available as an optional extra, which greatly improved braking performance. The BJ7 was discontinued in October 1963 with the introduction of the 3000 MkIII.

This car was auctioned off by RM Auctions in August of 2011 at the Portola Hotel & Spa and Monterey Conference Center, Monterey, California and in March of 2012 at the Ritz-Carlton, Amelia Island, Florida.

Sources: RM Auctions; Wikipedia, 2011
Photo Credits: Copyright Hugh Hamilton and Dennis Lee Gerber

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