1967 Austin-Healey 3000 MkIII Convertible
Chassis no. HBJ8L 37052
Donald Healey's new sports car was the hit of the 1952 London Motor Show at Earl's Court. Healey, a top rally driver before World War II, had been technical director of Triumph and built his own line of Riley-powered sports cars after the war. Badged as the Healey Hundred, the new car used the power train from Austin's A90 Atlantic, a baroque-looking convertible intended for American consumption, but which had received a disappointing reception. Its engine was a 2660 cc four, an overhead-valve unit producing 90 bhp, the transmission a three-speed version of the Atlantic's gearbox, coupled to a Laycock de Normanville overdrive. Healey had negotiated the supply of components with Austin's chairman, Leonard Lord. When the Healey Hundred appeared at the show, Lord was so taken with it that the two men immediately discussed its production. The first cars, re-named "Austin-Healey 100," appeared the following spring.
Donald Healey himself was timed at 142.636 mph at Bonneville, and set a number of other speed and endurance records, allowing the advertising department to proclaim "It's fast! It's dependable! It's record breaking!" Production topped 10,000 in three years, more than half of them exported to the United States.
In September 1956, a new, larger Austin-Healey joined the four-cylinder model. On two-inch longer wheelbase, it had tiny occasional seats for two in the rear, and an updated drive train. In place of the four was a 2,634 cc ohv six, the British Motor Corporation's "C" series engine, which, despite its smaller displacement, developed 12 more horsepower. A four-speed gearbox was now included, with overdrive optional. However, it was the three-liter four-seat Deluxe Roadster of 1959-1967 that became the archetypal "Big Healey." Introduced as the BT7 in the spring of 1959, it was succeeded by a Mk II version in 1961, with three carburetors producing 132 bhp. During 1962, a curved windshield was introduced, along with roll-up windows. Twin H6 carburetors now produced even more power than the triple setup.
The final iteration of the "Big Healey" was the HBJ8, Mk III series, introduced in January 1964. Power was now up to 150 bhp and power disc brakes and overdrive were standard. This Mk III, one of the final series, is attractive in metallic blue-grey, with dark blue leather interior. Immaculate in and out, it is equipped with driving lights, adjustable steering column, windshield washers and a cockpit heater. An archetypal example of the Big Healey, it is bound to please the most discriminating enthusiast.
- Please note the correct VIN # is HBJ8L37052