Most probably, the Austin-Healey 3000 model is the most sought-after British classic sports car ever built. The 3000 has been very desirable to many enthusiasts from the very moment the car was launched. The 3000 model had already reached classic status while it was still being produced, something that only very rarely occurs.
Though quite an achievement, that wasn’t entirely unexpected considering Austin-Healey’s reputation and heritage in combination with the company’s earlier achievements in the history of motorsports. Since the 3000 model was introduced, the car particularly excelled in some of the most prestigious race circuits and rallies across the globe.
The 3000 model by Austin-Healey looked quite muscular when the car was launched in mid-June of 1959. The bodywork was made by the Jensen Motors Company while the car was assembled at the BMC plant in Abingdon. The 3000 model was actually like the natural evolution from its predecessor, the Austin-Healey model 100/6 and it came with a few important improvements compared to the 100/6 model.
These included a bigger engine (2912cc as compared to 2639cc), Girling disc brakes at the front, adjustable seats up front and wire wheels were standard as well. The car’s bodywork also had a few very subtle styling changes and the car was available in a 2-seater version as well as in a 2+2 version. An extra option was a factory-built hardtop. Read more about Austin-Healey here.
Worth noting is also that the original 3000 version was named Mk I, but not before the Mk II model was launched and the original model was never really badged as the Mk I model. Just like with some other older Austin-Healey models, these classic cars may also be named for their original factory designations, where the Mk I two-seater model is referred to as the BN7 model and the 2+2 as the BT7 model.
The Austin-Healey Mk II model was launched in March of 1961. This car was featuring triple SU carburetors as well as an upgraded camshaft which boosted the engine’s power up to 132BHP. There were also a few minor changes added to the frontal appearance and the Mk II was also fitted with a better windscreen and hood, and wind-up windows were also added. The 2-seater model was taken out of production in 1963. Details on the Austin-Healey Sprite are found here.
In 1964, the company launched the 3000 model’s final version, the Mk III. This car’s engine was even more powerful, it came with servo-assisted brakes at the front and at the rear, better rear suspension, as well as a more sophisticated and luxurious interior including a wood-veneer dashboard. The Mk III model’s power reached 148BHP which accelerated the car from o to 60 mph in less than 10 seconds while the top speed was more than 120mph. In 1968, production of the Austin-Healey 3000 model was discontinued and today, the 3000 model probably still is the most famous and highest sought-after of so-called “Big Healeys.”
Big Healey’s Time Table
THE BIG HEALEYS TIME TABLE