The Austin-Healey 3000 was launched in June 1959 with production running until 1967.
Austin-Healey 3000 history – under the skin
Visually the 3000 is very similar to its predecessor the 100/6. Under the skin, the Austin Westminster C series engine from the 100/6 had increased from 2639cc to 2912cc. Watch a clip of the Big Healey’s engine firing up.
Behind, now-standard, wire wheels were front-disc brakes to handle the increase in power and the car was available as a 2-seater and with 2+2 bodywork.
Evolution of the Austin-Healey 3000
During its lifetime the car was updated 4 times. 3000 Mark1 was produced from 1959 to May 1961, the Mk2 from April 61 to June 62, Mark 2a from Feb 62 to November 1963 and the Mark3 from November 63 to December 1967. Over 43,000 Austin-Healey 3000’s were produced, 90% of these were exported to the United States but many have found their way back to the UK.
A big part of the Austin-Healey 3000 legend, is a result of its period success in worldwide rally competition. Great names like Jack Sears, Paddy Hopkirk, Timo Makinen all piloted the famous red and white sports cars with success and Pat Moss’s (with navigator Ann Wisdom) heroic win of the grueling 1960 Liege-Rome-Liege rally is regarded as one of the finest victories ever.
Owning an Austin Healey 3000 today
Considering the early cars are over half a century old now, the Austin-Healey 3000 handles 21st century traffic very well, although the ‘biggest’ of big Healeys is refreshingly compact when compared with modern cars. The cars are mechanically tough but simple enough for mechanically-minded owners to work on at home. There’s still an excellent supply of spare parts and specialist support in the UK and US, for when things get tricky.