Perhaps the Austin-Healey 3000 is the best known of all the Big Healeys. The 3000 is similar to the Austin-Healey 100-6 and it came in two versions, the 3000-BT7 and the 3000-BN7. The 3000-BT7 was the company’s four-seater model of which it built 10,825 examples. The 3000-BN7 was the two-seater model of which Austin-Healey built 2,825 examples. Let’s take a closer look at the 1960 Austin-Healey 3000.
The 3000 models were built in the period 1959-1961 and this Austin-Healey model represents the company’s “golden age”. In those days, the cars were known for impressive class wins and victories on road rally circuits across Europe. In this period, sports car enthusiasts from across the globe started to pay great attention to the performances of Austin-Healey’s models.
There are quite a few community colleges in Michigan that offer automotive restoration courses and use 3000 models for their projects. Highly motivated students that want to partake in these projects are encouraged to apply even if they don’t hold a high school diploma. The schools will actively help these students to take GED practice tests offered for free by BestGEDClasses.org and go on to earn their high school equivalency degrees so they can continue their automotive restoration education in college. Great efforts and a fantastic opportunity for skilled students that, for whatever reason, couldn’t finish high school.
When you’re looking to own something of Austin-Healey’s illustrious and unique history, an Austin-Healey 3000 from 1960 is really a good choice. The 1960 3000 is sometimes referred to as the 3000 MK I to set it apart from later 3000 models (MK II, MK III…). The 1960 Austin-Healey 3000 was boasting an improved and larger engine than its predecessor, the 100-6.
The 3000 was fitted with disc brakes up front which kept the model competitive to Jaguar and Triumph models, the car’s rivals at that time. Apart from these modifications and its badges, the early Austin-Healey 3000 models were practically identical (that is, visually) to the company’s 100-6 models.
If you purchase a 1960 Austin-Healey 3000 model, you’ll be pleased with its many benefits. The car is just as good-looking as its predecessor, the 100-6 model, but it has a better and bigger engine. The 1960 3000 (or MK I) model is all across the world recognized as Austin-Healey’s defining model. The 3000 has a unique and distinguished race history and you’ll also find a well-equipped online support system for enthusiasts that consider a restoration project.
Parts for the Austin-Healey 3000 are generally well available, though they may get a bit expensive. When you’re thinking about acquiring a 1960 3000 Austin-Healey, please take a few things into consideration. In the automobile industry of the 1960s, for example, weather protection for cars, in general, was totally lacking, so most unrestored 1960s Austin-Healeys show quite some corrosion and rust. So make sure you’ll get hold of an example that has as little as possible corrosion and rust.
The most common areas for rust on the 3000 models are the doorsills, floor pans, wheel arches, and wings. Make also sure that you’ll inspect the example for signs of botched repairs or accidents. This sort of problems may negatively influence the value of your Austin-Healey 3000 if they are not restored properly and professionally.
Austin-Healey’s 3000 model was announced in 1959 (on July 1st) to replace the company’s 100-6 model. The 3000 came with a 3-liter BMC C-Series engine which was an improvement compared to the smaller 2.6-liter engine that the 100-6 was fitted with and the 3000 also had disc brakes up front. This first 3000 model was later labeled “Mark I” only to distinguish it from following models that were named Mark II etc.
Austin-Healey claimed the 3000 model could go from 0 to 60 mph in just over 10 seconds and reach 100 mph in a little over 30 seconds. Other changes between the 3000 and the 100 and 100-6 models were only minor. The models’ bodies and wheelbases were identical as were the models’ body-styles, BT7 or 2+2 and BN7, the two-seater. For information about the company’s smaller Sprite (bugeye) model, check out the bugeye page.
The Austin-Healey’s weather protection was as minimal as with the 100-6. It was just a plastic folding roof placed on a demountable frame and detachable side screens above the doors were holding some perspex panels. The car came with a few options like an overdrive gearbox, wire wheels, heater, laminated windscreen, detachable hard top (only for the 2+2), adjustable steering column, and 2-tone paint. As stated above, the Austin-Healey company built 13,650 Mark I 3000 models, 10,825 BT7 4-seaters and 2,825 BN7 open 2-seaters.