1962 Austin-Healey 3000 Mk II BN7 Roadster
Chassis no. HBN7L/16953
Engine no. 29E/RU/H3309
3-liter, SOHC, 132hp inline six
Four-speed manual transmission with overdrive
One of 355 2-seater BN7s produced
Exceptional restoration by marque specialist Kurt Tanner
Beautifully maintained and presented
"A classic competition car among the all-time greats in motoring history," was how The Autocar magazine summed up the works Austin-Healey 3000 in 1963. Yet at the time of its arrival in 1959, few would have guessed that the low-slung 'Big Healey' would triumph over its apparent shortcomings so effectively that it now rates as one of the most successful rally cars of the 1960s.
A development of the preceding 100/6 rather than a genuinely new model, the Austin-Healey 3000 was launched in March 1959. The two cars looked virtually identical and under the skin was the same separate ladder-type chassis and independent front/live rear axle suspension. Improvements to the 3000 included a slightly enlarged (to 2,912cc) version of the C-Series six-cylinder engine and Girling disc brakes up front, a development greeted with enthusiasm by devotees of this muscular British sportscar. Breathing through twin SU carburetors, the revised power unit produced 124hp at 4,600rpm; top speed - with the optional hardtop fitted - increased to 115mph, with 60mph reachable in a little over 11 seconds. Like the 100/6, the 3000 was available in two-seater (BN7) and 2+2 (BT7) guises and came with wire wheels and adjustable front seats as standard.
Unveiled in March 1961, the MkII version with restyled grille and hood intake was the last 3000 available as a two-seater, the 2+2 option having been for years the more popular, while engine improvements in the form of triple SU carburetors and a revised camshaft liberated an extra 8bhp. From November '61 the 3000 was equipped with a new gearbox, a development which at last moved the gear lever to the centre of the transmission tunnel. In January 1962 the 2+2-only MkII Convertible (or MkIIA) appeared, boasting long overdue refinements such as winding windows, swiveling quarter-lights and fixed foldaway hood. Reversion to twin-SU carburetors cut maximum output by 1bhp, yet thanks to the superior aerodynamics, conferred by its curved windscreen, the MkII Convertible contrived to be marginally faster than its immediate predecessor, reaching 116mph flat out. MkII production ceased in 1962 after 5,095 2+2s and 355 two-seaters had been built; though the Convertible continued until the introduction of the 3000 MkIII in 1963.
A BN7 two-seater model, this Austin-Healey 3000 MkII is one of the few twin bucket 3Ks built during the two years such a configuration was available. Virtually from new, the roadster was used as a daily driver by a single owner until 1984 at which point the car was tucked away in a garage until 2003. Five years after coming back into the light of day, Austin-Healey maestro Kurt Tanner performed a nut-and-bolt restoration on the car to his usual exceptionally high standards. All of the original mechanical components, such as the engine, transmission, and other mechanical systems, were rebuilt. Finished in the very attractive combination of black over red with red hides, the Oldenburg Family Collection acquired the roadster in August 2008, shortly after the completion of the restoration. In four years hence and having only traveled a mere 357 miles, Kurt's handiwork has retained its shine. Beautifully presented with an original set of 1962 California plates, this most desirable of Big Healeys is ready to roll.
- Please note that the title for this vehicle is in transit.