5 Facts about the Austin - Healey 3000
The Austin-Healey 3000 is one of the most iconic models in the Austin-Healey lineup, known for its performance and classic British sports car design. Here are six facts about the Austin-Healey 3000:
Big Healey Power
The Austin-Healey 3000 was powered by a 2.9-liter inline-six-cylinder engine, which provided the car with notable power for its time. The Mark I produced around 124 horsepower, while the Mark III had an improved engine producing about 150 horsepower. This meant that the British sports car could power to 60mph in just over 11 seconds and go on to a top speed of 122mph. Not bad for a car that's nearly as old as the Bond films.
The big Healey cars were given their name by enthusiasts as a way to distinguish them from the smaller models like the Austin-Healey Sprite. By today's standards however these are fairly small cars that are dwarfed by modern machinery.
Success in Motorsport
The Austin-Healey 3000 was successful in various motorsport events, including rallies and endurance races. It gained fame in events like the 24 Hours of Le Mans and the Monte Carlo Rally, further enhancing its reputation as a class leading competitor in its day.
Donald Healey, who founded Austin-Healey in 1952, was a very successful race driver himself having won the Monte Carlo Rally in 1931 among other victories including a class win at the Mille Miglia. Age didn't slow down Mr Healey either as he carried on racing into later life. On one day in 1956, on a trip with Carroll Shelby, he set a speed of just over 200mph at the Bonneville salt flats in a modified Austin-Healey Streamliner.
While you won't see many of these cars on the race track today, you can still catch them hammering around like the good old days at Goodwood revival.
The production of the Austin-Healey 3000 began in 1959 with the Mark I and continued until 1967 with the Mark III. It marked the end of an era for Austin-Healey as a separate marque, as the BMC merger with British Leyland led to the cessation of production.
From 1963 to 1968, a span of six years, witnessed the prolific manufacturing of what may be the most renowned among Austin Healey automobiles: the 3000 Mark 3 (BJ8). A grand total of 17,712 BJ8 cars rolled off the assembly line, with roughly 1,390 designated as Phase 1 models and the rest as Phase 2 models which debuted only 3 months after the BJ8s initial release in 1963.
Donald Healey was a successful racer as we mentioned earlier however he didn't always keep his racing to the track. In fact he'd frequently put his own creations to the test on public roads. On one unconfirmed occasion he was at the wheel of an earlier model, the Healey Elliott, when he zipped past a police officer in Oxford. The officer began to give chase to Healey but had no chance to keep up with Him as he disappeared into the distance.
Shortly after this Donald wrote an apology letter to the chief constable at the time for his actions. Being a business man however he also took it upon himself to offer a few of his cars for sale to the police force to make chasing criminals a bit more efficient. Although the chief constable gracefully turned down Healey's offer for the force, he did end up buying one of Healey's cars for himself.
The Mark II and Mark III models featured an optional Laycock de Normanville electric overdrive system for improved highway cruising. Introduced as an option in the Austin-Healey 100-6 and further refined in the 3000 series, the overdrive is known for its ability to provide an extra gear ratio, effectively turning a four-speed manual transmission into a five-speed.
This feature is particularly useful for long-distance touring and highway cruising, as it allows for smoother and more fuel-efficient driving at higher speeds. The Laycock de Normanville electric overdrive system, used in many Austin-Healey models, has become synonymous with the brand, contributing to the timeless allure and practicality of these beloved classic cars.
The Austin-Healey 3000 remains a classic and sought-after collector's car, known for its combination of style and performance, making it a favourite among classic car enthusiasts.
If you have a classic car that needs attention you can reach us for servicing, MOT test and repair work on 02380 229 297 or via our website.
If you're looking for an Austin-Healey 3000 Mk3 BJ8 we have a wonderful example for sale on behalf of a customer right now. You've already seen it in this article!