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Car Tales: From The Past To The Future, Austin-Healey 3000

I have always loved the Austin-Healey 3000. It is such a quintessential sports-car. There’s nothing really like it, that thunderous exhaust note, the physical manifestation of the Healey’s gutsy engine.
Is there another car that has such a throaty, growling sound? One with such tremendously sexy power?
1966 Austin-Healey 3000 BJ8 for sale
The entire Austin-Healey range always has hit an extremely uplifting nerve in me: it’s a marque so redolent of British motoring panache, with a permanent place of honor in the UK driving history.

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Donald Healey himself had been a First World War pilot who loved the very idea of cars. In 1931 he had won the Monte Carlo rally, driving an Invicta. Then he designed cars for Riley and Triumph before moving on to the Austin-Healey 100/4 in 1952.
1966 Austin-Healey 3000 BJ8 side view
Without even having sat in one I grew up feeling that Austin-Healey cars were so beautifully stylish in a kind of infinitely timeless way: utterly modern, and also utterly futuristic, but at the same time they looked like cars that could have come from the 1930s, hurtling through Italian Alpine passes or making mince-meat of the vast flat distances of the Great Plains.
The Austin-Healey 3000 was built from 1959 until 1967. The car’s bodywork was made by Jensen Motors and the vehicles were assembled at British Motor Corporation’s MG Works in Abingdon in Oxfordshire, alongside the corporation’s MG models.
During its production life, the car changed from an open sports car, albeit with a child-transporting 2+2 option, to a sports convertible. In 1963, 91.5 per cent of all Austin-Healey 3000 cars were exported, mostly to North America. The 3-liter 3000 was a highly successful car, which won its class in many European rallies in its heyday and is still raced in classic car competitions by enthusiasts today.
British Motor Corporation ended manufacturing in 1967 filling its place with a new (though similar) car; the MGC.
At the moment at Beverly Hills Car Club we are presenting a wonderful 1966 Austin-Healey 3000 BJ8 Convertible, in classic British Racing Green complemented with Black interior.
1966 Austin-Healey 3000 BJ8 rear view
This Big Healey is equipped with a manual transmission, 6-cylinder engine, SU dual carburetors, front-wheel disc brakes, twin exhaust finishers, Smiths instrumentation, black convertible soft top with a matching color boot cover, chrome trim, chrome bumpers with overriders, oval chrome grill, 3-spoke banjo-style steering wheel, Vredestein tires, wire wheels with knock-off spinners, and a full-size spare tire in the trunk.
1966 Austin-Healey 3000 BJ8 interior
Amenities include forward-folding front seats, crank windows, vent windows, dash-mounted rearview mirror, padded armrest, toggle switches, glove box, & fender-mounted side mirrors. If you’re in search of a classic sports car that combines timeless elegance and performance, look no further than this charming example – ready to be cherished and mechanically sound.
Austin-Healeys were great value for money: when it went on sale in 1953, let’s not forget, the 100/4, the only one that was strictly a two-seater, was the world’s cheapest commercially available 100mph sports car. In 1956, it was replaced by the 100/6 which had a straight-six 2.6-litre motor; a pair of tiny rear seats were fitted, making it technically a four-seater – handy for taking the kids to school.
I used to get really turned on just by the sight of any of these Healey models: the 100/4s, the 100/6s, even the cute little Bug-Eyes.
But then there were the Austin-Healey 3000s, the most powerful of them all – the ‘Big Healey’, as they became known, like the one we have right now. A BT7 3000 with hardtop and overdrive tested by The Motor magazine in 1960 had a top speed of 115 mph (185 km/h) and could accelerate from 0–60 mph (97 km/h) in 11.7 seconds.
The 3000 sports convertible Mark III was announced in February 1964 with power increased from 136 bhp to 150 bhp by a new higher lift camshaft. SU HD8 carburettors replaced HS6 units increasing the choke size from 1.75 to 2 inches, or total area 6.3 sq. inches, increasing by 30.6%.
1966 Austin-Healey 3000 BJ8 engine
Power-assisted braking became standard instead of optional. The new car’s fascia displayed its speedometer and tachometer directly in front of the driver. Upholstery was now in Ambla vinyl.
In total 17,712 Austin-Healey 3000 Mark IIIs were manufactured.
What I’ve also found since I founded Beverly Hills Car Club is that Austin-Healeys are such a unique taste. And that the people who own them reflect this: they are almost always very unique and charming people, grabbing attention at a car event, just as their vehicles do.
Whichever model, Austin-Healeys are such fantastic cars to take for a cruise along the California coast – with the top down! When they get going these Austin-Healeys really get motoring: they are fast!
I’ve sold over 800 Austin-Healeys, so we must be doing something right!
-Alex Manos, Owner
1966 Austin-Healey 3000 BJ8 buyer Alex Manos

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