As the first significant update of Donald Healey’s tremendously successful Austin-Healey 100, the 100-Six, alternatively known as the 100-6, arrived in September 1956. Answering the call among Healey enthusiasts for more power and all-around drivability, especially in Healey’s all-important North American markets, the 100-6 most notably heralded a twin-carbureted version of the Austin Westminster’s 2,639-cc ‘C-Series’ inline six-cylinder engine. Expert tuning by Geoff Healey, Eddie Maher, and Harry Weslake maximized 100-6 performance and other updates included a slight streamlining of the body, a wider and lower oval-shaped radiator grille, the addition of a fashionable and functional hood scoop, and a revised cockpit. A slight two-inch wheelbase extension provided room for a pair of occasional rear seats in the BN4 2+2, which shared its 92-inch wheelbase with the two-seat BN6 for 1958 and 1959.
The definitive 3000 Mark I line debuted in 1959, complete with a larger-displacement 2,912 cc six-cylinder powerplant, improved gearbox, and new disc-type front brakes. Two models were offered initially, comprising the BN7 two-seater and Grand Touring-oriented BT7 2+2 with occasional seating for two additional passengers. Known among enthusiasts as the “Big Healey” following the 1958 introduction of the Sprite, the 3000 line continued in progressively improved BJ7 Mark II and BJ8 Mark III variants through the eventual end of production in early 1968. The Austin-Healey 3000 enjoyed strong results in competition, particularly on the notoriously tough European long-distance rallies. Among its many racing triumphs, the ’3000’ cut a swath through the opposition, including back-to-back outright wins in the grueling Alpine Rally (1960-61), going on to capture the Liege-Rome-Liege and Austrian Alpine Rallies – both during 1964. Highly prized as a definitive British sports car – even by today’s jaded standards – the “Big Healey” continues to be as enjoyable and effective today as when new on racing circuits, classic rally stages, and of course, winding back roads.
This highly appealing 1963 Austin-Healey 3000 is a high-specification “BJ7” Mk II two-seater, which introduced such desirable updates as a more tractable twin-carburetor engine, wind-up glass side windows for vastly improved all-weather comfort, and subtle yet highly effective styling tweaks. According to the accompanying British Motor Industry Heritage Trust certificate, it is an original left-hand drive North American Export model produced to USA specification. Following production during mid-October 1962, it was despatched to the United States on 25 October 1962. Factory-fitted equipment included wire wheels, an adjustable steering column, whitewall tires, an ashtray, laminated windscreen, overdrive, and a speedometer calibrated in miles-per-hour.
As offered, this outstanding example clearly benefits from a complete “nut-and-bolt” rotisserie restoration, finished in British Racing Green over a tan leather interior. Tasteful accents include a newly fitted black convertible top in factory-correct black vinyl, gleaming brightwork, large twin Lucas driving lamps, and “knock-off” chrome wire wheels mounting Pirelli P3000 black wall radial tires. The handsomely restored cockpit is inviting and quite luxurious, suiting the Healey’s Grand Touring ethos, featuring natural tan leather upholstery showing little, if any, wear, complemented by dark brown deep-pile carpeting and a later BJ8-type dash with burled walnut panels with a period-style wood-rimmed steering wheel. A lusty twin-carbureted 2,912 cc inline six-cylinder engine delivers ample power in concert with the four-speed manual gearbox. Speed, economy, and driving ease are nicely enhanced by a factory-fitted Laycock overdrive.
Restoration photos, recent service records, and the aforementioned BMIHT certificate document this wonderful and immensely enjoyable “Big Healey.” Very well restored, maintained, and presented, this 1963 Austin-Healey 3000 Mk II will provide an ideal entry to many shows and with its renowned driving dynamics, it will surely provide an enjoyable and sporting experience with every drive, consistent with its incomparable heritage.
Offers welcome and trades considered