Austin Healey 3000: Spotted

Given that it's still winter, the mornings are frosty and the roads are often damp, what better time to pick out a classic British sports car for a Spotted? Out of the many that we have produced, there are plenty to consider. Why not a hot, noisy, uncomfortable bruiser like this Austin Healey? It makes perfect sense...

The story of the Healey is long, dating back to 1952. Donald Healey and his son Geoffrey had been producing saloons, roadsters and coupes since the end of the war. But they needed to follow the lead of MG, which was busy selling small sports cars to Americans that were stationed over here during the war, and fell in love with these quirky little cars. It was a profitable enterprise and fitted in nicely with the whole 'export or die' mantra to help Britain financially to get back in the black.

So, after many a late evening working on the new sports car, Donald was ready to launch the Healey 100 at the 1952 Earls Court motor show, where it eventually took centre stage. That's where it caught the attention of the Austin Chairman, Leonard Lord, who was also looking to pick up car sales Stateside. A deal was done at the show for Austin to produce the cars, and the rest is history really.

That's not to say Donald's involvement with the car stopped there; far from it. He took part in developing the car over its 16 years in production, from fitting more powerful engines to wind-up windows (don't laugh - it took ten years for that luxury!). He also made sure the car received publicity. In 1956, he took a streamlined, supercharged version to the Bonneville Salt Flats and took it up to an average speed of 203mph. Then, there was the rally success at the hands of Pat Moss-Carlsson along with co-driver Ann Wisdom-Riley driving a Healey 100/6 and later, the 'hairy' Healey 3000. I've driven a Healey 3000 MkIII and I cannot think of a worse competition car, but somehow they made it work. If only I had their talent...

Anyway, back to this Spotted. If you want the full big Healey experience, then this late MkIII 3000 is the way to go. The steering wheel is large and will require plenty of effort to turn it because the steer is incredibly heavy. It's hot inside the cramped interior due to that huge, lazy engine upfront. Torque is plentiful, and can easily overwhelm the rear tyres if you are reckless with the throttle. The windscreen isn't high enough for taller drivers either, and you suffer from serious windchill at speed. But none of this matters when a car sounds this good, and is this involved to drive. It's a beast, but that's part of the appeal.


Engine: 2,912cc, inline-6
Transmission: 4-speed manual with O/D, rear-wheel drive
Power (hp): 150@5,250rpm
Torque (lb ft): 165@3,500rpm
MPG: 24.9
CO2: Don't ask!
First registered: 1964
Recorded mileage: 70,000
Price new: £1,106 3s 9d (1964)
Yours for: £22,750

See the original advert here.




P.H. O'meter

Join the PH rating wars with your marks out of 10 for the article (Your ratings will be shown in your profile if you have one!)

  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
  • 6
  • 7
  • 8
  • 9
  • 10
Rate this article

Comments (23) Join the discussion on the forum

  • pirategaz 20 Jan 2018

    the add says 49,000.... beautiful car though Iove it

  • bad company 20 Jan 2018

    I always wanted one but could never afford to buy. When I could afford it I tried one and found that at 6ft, 1, I didn’t fit. frown

  • alpha channel 20 Jan 2018

    pirategaz said:
    the add says 49,000.... beautiful car though Iove it
    That's the price I expected to see when reading the article and I'd love one of these myself. (though if what bad company says holds true I'd not fit in one myself at 6'2"... mind you if I could afford one I could afford to look at a small mod so I could fit).

  • Steve Benson 20 Jan 2018

    Those back lights don't look right for a MKIII, no indicators. The engine colour is wrong and it isn't a "late" MKIII, they were built from 1964 to 1967 so it is a very early one.

    Not sure about the handling comments in the article either, they were brilliant back in the day and still not bad now in the dry.

    Edited by Steve Benson on Saturday 20th January 09:07

  • Zippee 20 Jan 2018

    I love the Healey's, one of my all time want to own classics especially in the 2 tone colours such as red/cream or blue/cream.
    Had to do a double take when I saw the price as I was ready to jump straight on the phone and head to the bank smile

View all comments in the forums Make a comment