Austin-Healey 3000 Custom Roadster
Donald Healey’s four-cylinder Healey Hundred was a sensation at the 1952 London Motor Show, impressing Austin’s Leonard Lord who promptly put it into production as the Austin-Healey. Successively upgraded, it received six-cylinder power in 1956, but it was the three-liter, four-seat BT7 Deluxe Roadster of 1959-1964 that became the archetypal “Big Healey.”
The only polished-aluminum Big Healey known, this BT7 was completed in 2009. A frame-off restoration and enhancement included fitting of 22-gauge mirror-quality aluminum panels fabricated in Britain. The body features a louvered hood and vented fenders, finished off with racing fuel cap and classic British Tripod headlamps under removable chrome stone screens.
All brightwork has been replated or replaced to quality exceeding the original. The windshield is new. The top and side curtains are of black Sun-fast material, and honey-tan carpets are laid over BQuiet sound deadening. All gauges are original, and the interior is completely upholstered in premium Spinneybeck Italian hides. A mahogany Tourist Trophy steering wheel and shift knob complete the interior motif. The chassis is rust-free, painted in two-part epoxy primer and finished with three layers of Sunset Orange basecoat and one of clear.
One of the last 1962 BT7 models, the car has one of the early BT8 148 bhp engines with Le Mans solid lifter cam and 9 to 1 compression. This was completely disassembled, blueprinted and rebuilt, fitted with twin rebuilt SU HD-8 carburetors and Pertronix electronic ignition. The wiring is new throughout. The clutch and pressure plate are new, and the four-speed gearbox has electric overdrive. The braking system was completely rebuilt with new components, new shock absorbers were fitted and the steering bushings were rebuilt. Five new chrome 72-spoke wire wheels are mounted with wide-grip Kumho Power-Star 15-inch radials, the burliest tires available without altering the body, and the Falcon stainless steel dual exhaust system sings a glorious baritone note.
More than 300 pounds lighter than a standard Healey, this car moves like a 200 hp beast. One of the quickest of the Big Healeys, it is also the most beautiful. It is, according to the vendor, the car that Donald Healey would have built had he been able. Its new owner will be getting an incredible bargain.
This car was auctioned off by RM Auctions in January of 2010 at the Arizona Biltmore Resort & Spa, Phoenix, Arizona.
2,912 cc overhead valve inline BT8 six-cylinder engine with twin SU HD-8 carburetors, four-speed gearbox with electric overdrive, independent front suspension with wishbones, coil springs, lever arm shock absorbers, rear suspension by live axle and leaf springs and front disc with rear drum brakes. Wheelbase: 92"
Source: RM Auctions