1964 AUSTIN-HEALEY 3000 MKIII ROADSTER
Registration No. PHJ 64E
Chassis No. HBJ 8L37 678
Engine No. 29K/RU/H 12274
British racing green with black leather interior
Engine: six cylinder in-line, pushrod overhead valves, twin SU carburettors, 2,912cc, 148bhp at 5,250rpm; Gearbox: manual four-speed with synchromesh; Suspension: front independent by wishbones and coil springs, rear live axle with transverse control arm or radius rods, semi-elliptic leaf springs; Brakes: four wheel power-assisted hydraulically-operated drums. Left hand drive
At the London Motor Show of 1952, the Donald Healey Motor Company, which had been building modest numbers of well respected, quite expensive high performance sporting cars, launched a two-seater sports model aimed at a wider market, using a tuned Austin A90 four cylinder engine and running gear. Good-looking, fast, simple to manufacture, the type was adopted by the Austin Motor Company, now a part of British Motor Corporation, and went into production as the 90bhp Austin-Healey 100. It did well in the market place and in competitions until it was succeeded in by the 100 six, powered by a weighty overhead valve six-cylinder engine yielding 102 bhp already seen in BMC's large saloons.
At the same time, the 100 was extensively revised, given a longer wheelbase, a little more room inside, and provided with more creature comforts than the pared-down fours. The Big-Healey's, skilfully prepared at Abingdon by the works team and driven with great panache, shone in that golden era of long-distance International rallies over the still uncluttered roads of Europe.
Finally in 1964 came the 3000 MK III, generally considered to be the finest variant of them all. It was more a convertible than a roadster with its wind-up windows, excellent hood and two plus two seating. In the cockpit there was a varnished timber dashboard with the traditional sports-car array of instruments, a central console between the comfortable bucket seats and well fitted carpets. There was also a more curved windscreen with quarter windows. But with nearly 150bhp on tap and surging mid-range torque, the MK III was as accelerative as ever, 0 to 60 mph took only 11.2 secs with a maximum of 121mph which was readily obtainable. With large, power-boosted drum-brakes and predictable handling, this last of Healey's big sixes was exhilarating to drive and continued to sell briskly around the world. Fifteen years after the momentous appearance at the London show Donald Healey's fluent styling had not dated, but safety and emission regulations, particularly in the USA brought production of one of the greatest of traditional English sportcars to close in 1967.
This particular example has benefited from a complete mechanical and body restoration with ADC Classic Car Restorations in Bishop's Stortford, and has been only driven a few thousand miles since. The vendor purchased the car from Christie's last year, although having enjoyed it last summer has decided to sell it. In his ownership English Automotive Services have maintained the car, recently paying attention to the brakes.
The car has desirable options including chrome wire wheels, overdrive, new radial tyres and a wood-rim steering wheel. This well-restored Healey is ready for open-top summer motoring, or continental tours of Europe. It is UK registered and comes with a current MOT.