Few race cars have made such a serious strike for female equality-Pat Moss and Ann Wisdom took an overall victory in the most difficult rally of the time in this Healey
British Motor Corporation’s Austin-Healey marque introduced the new 3000 model in 1959 as an improved version of the 100-Six, with the well-proven, pushrod six-cylinder bored out to nearly 3 liters, and an uprated suspension and disc brakes fitted.
From the beginning, the 3000 achieved numerous competition successes both in the hands of private entrants and from works-supported entries alike. The first rally outings for a “Big Healey” in 1959 resulted in a second place overall in the Deutschland Rally, and a second in class in the Coupe des Alpes. In 1960, BMC’s competition department prepared a team of special cars to participate in all the major European rallies.
The new team cars were ready for action early in the season, with Pat Moss and co-driver Ann Wisdom winning the Coupe des Dames in the Geneva Rally. Their first major international event with the new car was in the Tulip Rally in May, wherein this experienced and skillful combination finished a remarkable eighth overall and first in class.
Only a month later, the women competed in the Coupe des Alpes, where driving almost faultlessly in this demanding event resulted in a second overall place, again taking the class win. Amazingly, this result was to be eclipsed some three months later in September, when Moss and Wisdom competed in and won the most grueling of all the European rallies, the Liège-Rome-Liège event.
At the end of the 1960 season, the 3000 was sold to Moss, who planned to use it in other events. It was entered into the Mille Miglia in 1961, but for some reason did not start. Moss sold the car to David Friswell of Solihull, England, the following year. The car changed hands a few more times, until it found a long-term home in 1974.
When that owner acquired the car, it was still in remarkably original condition, and as a result of his sympathetic restoration, it is considered to be one of the most original of the Austin-Healey works team cars. Sparingly used, recent work has included a complete mechanical rebuild of the engine and gearbox and preparation for use in historic rallying events. An exemplary car with superb provenance and a wonderful competition record, it now awaits a new custodian.