Austin-Healey 3000 BJ8 MK III
Throughout the 1950s competition in the British sports car market escalated considerably and in 1956 Austin-Healey’s four-cylinder engine was replaced by a larger six-cylinder mill. The following year horsepower was increased further to 117 hp and a new four-seat body was introduced branded by the name BN4.
While the Austin-Healey body only saw minor changes, upgrades to the engine would continue throughout its history. In 1959 the six-cylinder engine experienced another bump in horsepower and was given the moniker “3000”.
The final version of the big Healey sixes was the BJ8. Introduced in 1963 it was built for four years. With two SU HD8 carburetors, the 2,912 cc six-cylinder engine produced 148 horsepower (up from 132 to 134 in the BJ7). The “Phase II” version of the Mk III was even better, introduced in 1964 with increased ground clearance, an improved ride with softer rear springs, better controlled rear axle hop, and such standard equipment as front disc brakes and four-speed manual transmission with overdrive. In addition to various technical improvements, passengers were treated to a more luxuriously trimmed interior with a wood dashboard and center console.
To put the evolution of the Austin-Healey into perspective, by 1966 the 3000 offered two-thirds more power than the first four-cylinder cars, yet weighed in at barely 15 percent more. Only 17,712 Mk IIIs were built and its attributes have made it the most desirable among collectors.
This car was auctioned off by RM Auctions in August 2009 at the Portola Hotel & Spa and Monterey Conference Center, Monterey, California, in January of 2010 at the Arizona Biltmore Resort & Spa, Phoenix, Arizona and in January of 2012 at the Arizona Biltmore Resort & Spa, Phoenix, Arizona.
150 bhp, 2,912 cc overhead valve inline six-cylinder engine, four-speed manual gearbox with overdrive, independent front suspension with live rear axle, front disc and rear drum brakes. Wheelbase: 92".
Source: RM Auctions
Photo Credit: Copyright Darin Schnabel