Original factory correct Colorado Red over Black paintwork
Full restoration by Healey specialists JME in 2002
MOT to July 2023 with no advisories
Desirable factory works hard top in excellent condition
Alongside the E Type, MGB and Triumph TRs, the ‘Big Healey’ is one of Britain’s 60s motoring icons. But where those cars were pretty and effete, the svelte Austin Healey 3000 was brutal and quick. If would-be buyers didn’t quite get the message then the stories of the car’s multiple rally successes rammed home the point. This was a sports car that proper sports car drivers drove.
The 3000 was introduced in 1959, the latest evolution of the established big Austin Healey shape that was first shown in 1953. Equipped with BMC’s C-Series 3litre straight six engine it was all about long-distance mile-munching. Consequently most were sold to North America, with just a small number remaining in Britain. The Mk1, not surprisingly, was the first iteration, available between 1959 and 1961 and available as a two-seater and a 2+2.
This pretty Colorado Red over Black two-tone 3000 MK1 is one of those ‘BT7’ 2+2 cars with the convenience of two small rear seats. It was one of the first off the line and has covered less than 65,000 miles in the intervening 63 years in the hands of just six owners, two of them – members of the same family – for most of its life.
It was comprehensively restored by Healey specialists JME in 2002, with ongoing work to improve the mechanicals and interior since. It wears its older restoration extremely well, indicative of the quality of the work and the low mileage. The Big Healey is one of the classic world’s most desirable machines and this one appears to have the provenance and useful upgrades that any enthusiast will surely be looking for.
The History And Paperwork
Heritage Certificate verifying chassis number and build date
Extensive history file recording significant expenditure, mostly from last 25 years
First registered 8th July 1960
Current owner since 2011
Original RHD home market car
Sold with laminated screen and hard top
Collection of old tax discs
Letter from previous owner verifying mileage back to 1967
New black leather seats with red piping
New carpets and door cards
New leather dashboard
New wooden Moto Lita steering wheel
All switches and controls work correctly, although note that there is no heather
Small rear seats
Removable side screens
The Big Healey dashboard manages to be effortlessly simple yet iconic. The arc of leather – replaced by the Seller during his ownership since 2011 – is dotted with pretty black-on-cream smiths dials and a smattering of switchgear.
This car is one of the BT7 2+2 cars so benefits from a pair of rear seats. They have the advantage of making the small Healey cabin feel much more spacious and useable.
The Heritage Certificate indicates that this car left the factory with a red interior. The trim on this car has been replaced since 2011 by the Seller, including black leather seats with red piping, black carpets and new door cards. The seat frames appear to be original. All are in excellent condition with no visible marks. There is also a lovely Moto Lita wooden steering wheel in matching condition.
The leather dashboard has a very small area of damage beside the gauges but it is otherwise in excellent condition. The gauges appear original and carry a light patina of age, but are otherwise in very good condition.
The chrome handbrake handle, which has been replaced during the Seller’s tenure, shows some light deterioration.
The extensive history file records many invoices for parts for the interior during the Seller’s ownership, the total exceeding £2,000.
Factory correct Colorado Red over Black two-tone bodywork
Restored in 2002 by Healey specialist JME at a cost of nearly £5,000
Rare factory works hard top in very good condition, comes with cover and rack
New Michelin XAS 15inch wheels
By the time this car rolled off the Abingdon line in 1960 the Big Healey shape was already eight years old, yet its simple style spoke of fast cross-country driving to some far-off weekend getaway. In short, it looks just like a 1960s sports car, purposeful and sleek.
Many Healeys left the factory with pretty two-tone paintwork. This car was restored in 2002 but retains its factory correct combination of Colorado Red over Black, a distinctive mix that suits the car’s lines.
The restoration work was carried out by JME, one of the world’s leading Healey specialists based in Warwickshire, at a cost in 2002 of around £5,000. The quality of the work is evident in the photographs and has held up very well, helped no doubt by the very limited use the car has enjoyed in the intervening years.
As an older restoration there are a few marks around the car, but they are all very minor. There are a variety of chips on the offside front wheelarch, some of which have been touched in, and chips on the trailing edge of the offside rear arch. Moving round to the nearside of the car there are a small number of chips on the nearside front arch.
On the front of the car there is a small chip below the grille surround – and the surround itself shows signs of paint overspray – and chips above the front number plate. On the rear of the car there is a chip on the rear panel beside the offside reflector. Also on the rear of the car, the rubber fuel filler surround has cracked.
One of the photographs suggests that the driver’s door may need rehanging as the shut lines are not quite level. This may be a quirk of the photograph’s angle so could be something to check with the Seller.
The engine bay is very good, with no obvious deterioration. There is slight paint overspray on the chassis plate.
The chrome around the car appears to be original and carries the light patina that you might expect of 60 year old materials. But it is all very presentable and adds to the character of this beautiful car.
This car was factory supplied with a black works hard top that it fortunately retains. It appears to be in very good condition and adds extra versatility to this stylish classic car. A new tonneau has also recently been fitted by the Seller.
The car sits on painted wire wheels that are in very good condition and appear to have been fitted since the restoration in 2002. The Michelin XAS 15 inch tyres are all new according to the Seller.
The photographs of the underside of the car reveal that it is in very good condition, including the sills. There appears to be a patch of welding underneath on one of the floors but this is not particularly surprising on a car of this age.
Matching numbers 2912cc BMC C-Series engine
4spd manual gearbox with overdrive
Stainless steel exhaust fitted in 2005 with minimal mileage since
Clutch, gearbox and overdrive unit fitted since 2011
Letter from previous owner verifying mileage
114bhp rolling road read out
Denis Welch twin carburettor exhaust manifold and silencer fitted by previous owner
Brakes overhauled in 2015
The BMC C-Series engine at the heart of this Austin Healey may not have the biggest power output, but that wasn’t really what the 3000 was all about. With effortless torque and decent long-legged gearing, this was a car for powering along to your destination, ideally one quite a long way away so that you could relish the joy of driving.
This pretty car is largely standard but has the benefit of some well-chosen upgrades. It left the factory without the option of overdrive on the 4spd manual gearbox but the Seller has retrofitted this using a refurbished unit. The clutch and gearbox were overhauled at the same time. This change makes this car significantly more relaxing to drive on longer journeys at higher speeds.
It also has a Denis Welch twin carburettor exhaust manifold and silencer set up and a stainless steel exhaust. The history file indicates that the car has been rolling road tested to 114bhp.
Other useful improvements include fitting an unleaded head and electronic ignition that improves the car’s reliability.
The history file for this car is extensive, with records of every invoice dating back many years. We were not able to verify when the car was last serviced so this may be something to check with the Seller.
It is encouraging to see that the Seller continues to MOT the car, even though this is no longer a legal requirement. The car has MOT to July 2023 with no advisories.
The Big Healey is one of British motoring’s icons, a svelte but brutal sports car designed to munch miles. The BT7 2+2 adds practicality to this popular car while the plethora of parts specialists and owners clubs make owning and improving them a joy.
This very original BT7 has the benefit of an older, high quality restoration by a marque specialist and it continues to wear it very well, with only very minimal signs of wear. It has clearly received ongoing investment to improve the interior and mechanicals and there are numerous useful upgrades, like the fitment of overdrive, that make it more reliable and useable. The Healey 3000 is a beautiful car and this low mileage example looks very honest.
Notice to bidders
This item is sold on an ‘As is Where is’ basis. The condition of this item is the opinion of the seller and may differ from your own opinion. Photos and listing descriptions are for guidance purposes only*.** Car & Classic do not warrant listing accuracy. Full inspection is recommended. Viewings are at the seller’s discretion. Buyer is responsible for delivery and collection of any item purchased.*
UK-registered cars and motorbikes on Car & Classic are run through an online HPI check. On the HPI report, this vehicle shows no insurance database markers for damage or theft. It is currently not covered by a finance agreement.
A non-refundable buyer’s deposit is payable on this item, refer to FAQs and T&Cs for the applicable percentage.
Car & Classic's secure payment system protects buyers and sellers. At the end of the auction, the winning bidder transfers payment into a third-party escrow account. Once the transfer of the vehicle is complete, both parties confirm they are happy with the sale and the money is released to the seller.
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1960 Austin Healey 3000 Mk1
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