Two years ago, $60,000 would have been a good price for this concours-winning BJ8. By waiting, the seller’s return increased by more than 50%
The new Austin-Healey went into production in 1953 and was immediately popular in the U.S. The cars were well-styled, inexpensive, rugged and above all easy to drive, for both the sports car enthusiast who fancied some light competition or just for tooling down to the shops.
The early four-cylinder cars were superseded by a six-cylinder model in 1956, appropriately named the 100/Six, and these stayed in production until 1959, when the engine was enlarged to 2,912 cc, hence the name Austin-Healey 3000. These were more powerful and faster, equipped with front disc brakes, and soon gave rise to the legend of the Big Healey.
Shortly thereafter, in 1964, came the 3000 MkIII, generally considered to be the finest Healey variant of them all. It was more convertible than roadster, with wind-up windows, excellent soft top, and two-plus-two seating. The cockpit sported a varnished wood dashboard with the traditional sports car array of instruments, a central console between comfortable bucket seats, and well-fitted carpets.
This Big Healey 3000 was restored to a fastidious level with the prime intent of being a concours winner, and the car has gained much success in the last nine years. Attention to detail includes the correct Lucas battery and even factory advisory tags. The spotless exterior is finished in red, whilst the interior and hood color appear to be stone (despite their “grey” designation per Healey specification). This 1967 Austin-Healey 3000 features a leather upgrade kit (which was a factory option) in preference to the standard vinyl, and the red wool carpets complete the stylish effect.
From 1997 to 2004, this car competed at numerous concours and notable firsts include the 1997 AACA National Fall Meet Senior Award, 1998 Stowe British Invasion concours division, 1998 Gold Level in Austin-Healey Concours Registry, 1999 Amelia Island Concours d’Elegance, and 2004 Greenwich Concours d’Elegance.
In addition, it featured in Car Collector Magazine and was used on the cover of the 2006 British Car Calendar. The vendor insists that the car drives as well as it looks and notes that the engine and transmission have less than 1000 miles on them since they were completely rebuilt. As such, he describes the car as a “showcar driver.” Included in the sale are an extra set of painted wire wheels for show, jack, toolkit, and owner’s manual, as well as an extensive restoration file.