'767 KNX' - The ex-Works, Sebring 12-Hours, Targa Florio
1964 Austin-Healey 3000 MkII Lightweight
Chassis no. HBJ7-64H-57-2
Engine no. XSP 2157-2
2,912cc Aluminum SOHC Inline 6-Cylinder Engine
3 Weber 45DCOE Carburetors
4-Speed Sebring-Type Manual Transmission
4-Wheel Girling Hydraulic Disc Brakes
*1964 Sebring 12 Hours Works entry driven by Paddy Hopkirk
*1966 and 1968 Targa Florio entrant
*Five owners from new
*In remarkably original condition
The 3000 MkII
A development of the 100/6 rather than a genuinely new model, the Austin-Healey 3000 was launched in March 1959. Improvements to the 3000 included a slightly enlarged engine and Girling disc brakes up front, a development
greeted with enthusiasm by devotees of this muscular British sportscar. 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 version having been for years the more popular. Adapted to all manner of motorsport, the 3000 found itself a strong contender in rally, endurance and road racing - proving itself to be a formidable contender in every type of racing it entered.
The Motorcar Offered
One of only five Works-prepared 3000s set-up for pure circuit racing and described by B.S. Levy in the July 1992 issue of British Cars as "the most historically significant, and certainly the most original Big Healey of the lot", 767 KNX is arguably one of the most notable 3000s produced.
Rolling off the factory line and into the Works at Warwick, 767 KNX was meticulously prepared to contest the rigors of endurance racing and help build the reputation of the company in the United States, where Donald and Geoffrey found so much success selling their six-cylinder motorcars. Sebring had been picked as the ultimate show of continued strength and publicity - but prior outings in 1957, '58, and '60 had proven mixed. A pair of 3000 BJ7s, 55 FAC and 54 FAC, had both finished a respectable 12th and 26th, respectively, but this was not enough.
The light and quick homologation hard-top Healey bore similarity to a standard BJ7 only in that it carried the same basic profile. Aluminum body panels, a very hotly tuned triple Weber carburetion setup, hotter cams in 6-port aluminum heads, ZF limited-slip differential, and a special racing gearbox made this Big Six a rocket ship. For the big race on March 21st, 1964 the lone Works Austin-Healey entry was entrusted to Paddy Hopkirk, fresh from his legendary victory at the Monte Carlo Rally just two months prior, teamed with Canadian Grant Clark.
Classed against the Ferrari 250 GTOs--the only non-Ferrari in its class in fact--767 KNX began the race with Hopkirk at the wheel. A puncture nearly ended the race for him, but he miraculously managed to maintain control of the car. Following a pit stop for fresh rubber, Hopkirk played catch-up until handing the wheel to Clark. Driving hard and continuing to try to make up for lost time, it was mere minutes after the driver change that Clark lost control of the car and ended the team's race, with 767 KNX on its roof after 49 laps.
Only lightly damaged, the car was sent back to the Works for repairs. As was customary in those days, Healey simply sold the old racecar to a privateer for no more than the cost of a new road car. Yorkshire woolens magnate Henry R. Crowther was the first private owner, having acquired "one Sebring Austin-Healey '3000' in Healey Ice Blue" for the paltry sum of £1,080 on August 7th, 1964. Crowther retained 767 KNX only briefly before selling it to his friend and renowned Austin-Healey collector and racer Ted Worswick. 767 KNX would be retained by Worswick for the subsequent 26 years, during which time the car was kept in remarkably original condition. In his care, 767 KNX ran the Targa Florio twice - in 1966 and again in 1968 - finishing 29th in its latter outing. A 3rd in class would be achieved at the prestigious Oulton Park GT support race while a handful of other outings were recorded.
In 1970, 767 KNX was laid up for a dozen years until the 50th Anniversary of the RAC Rally, placing 5th overall (behind a quartet of Minis) as well as taking home the prize for the GT Class and the Team Prize. A 1984 outing at Oulton Park was followed by a trip to Italy for the 3rd Coppa d'Italia in 1987. In 1990, 767 KNX returned to the US for the first time since 1964 to participate in the Anglo American Challenge. Upon its return from ithe US, the motor was rebuilt by marque specialist John Chatham.
In 1992, 767 KNX moved to its third private owner, vintage racer Norman Grimshaw. Continuing the car's successful racing career, Grimshaw and Barrie 'Whizzo' Williams campaigned 767 KNX at the 1995 and 1996 Silverstone Festivals. The car then returned to Chatham in 1996 for a rear axle and limited-slip differential rebuild. 2004 saw the historic racer change hands once more to collector Jonathan Procter. Shortly after acquisition, 767 KNX was sent to noted marque specialists Denis Welch Motorsports for a complete mechanical overhaul. Completed in 2005, and with invoices totalling over £19,000, the freshly refurbished racer was acquired by the American vendor in 2006.
Back in the US, 767 KNX has enjoyed a few races since acquisition, but has been used only sparingly and meticulously maintained. In 2012, 767 KNX returned to Florida for the Amelia Island Concours.
Offered today having passed through the hands of only five private individuals since leaving the factory Works, 767 KNX has benefited from a lifetime of sympathetic care and use. Very original, it has received only the aforementioned mechanical work and a repaint since new - its old scrutineer tags still hang from the passenger grab handle. Amply capable of competing both on and off the track and and fully backed by FIA certification, it would be a welcome entrant at any number of highly sought after events, including the Targa Florio or Colorado Grand.
Works competition Healeys have always been well respected and highly sought after from the Sebring Sprite, Special Test Car/100S, and of course the big 3000 variant as offered here. Many notable collectors own Rally and Sebring 3000s, and they share garage space with multi-million dollar motorcars--a true testament to the affection in which these cars are held. 767 KNX is, without a doubt, a crowning piece for just about any collection.