1960 Austin-Healey 3000 MkI BT7
Imported from Texas in 1989 and just three owners since, the second for 27 years; overdrive; electronic ignition; stainless steel exhaust
Launched to rave reviews in 1959, the 'Big Healey' has gone on to become perhaps the most sought after of all the hairy-chested British sportscars of the 1960s. Particularly popular on the American market, the Austin-Healey 3000 (MkI) introduced a number of improvements to the already successful 100-6. The change of model name heralded the more powerful 2,912cc BMC C-Series engine whose 124bhp propelled the car to a top speed of nearly 120mph.
Other improvements included front disc brakes, wire wheels as standard, and a choice of either 2-seater (BN7) or 2+2 (BT7) body styles. Options included a detachable hardtop roof and overdrive transmission. The 3000 MkI remained in production until the arrival of the MkII in 1961.
As the Heritage Certificate confirms, this Austin-Healey 3000 BT7 2+2 was built in January 1960 as a LHD model for the North American market. Finished in Healey Blue with a blue interior and a blue hood, it had overdrive, wire wheels, a heater and an adjustable steering column.
A US Certificate of Title shows that the car was resident in the dry state of Texas before being brought back to the UK in August 1989 by Alan Bunn Classic Cars of Stevenage. He advertised the car for £12,950, describing it as being in ‘superb condition throughout’, and the following month it was snapped up by a Mr R Hunter of Hertfordshire.
Invoices show that the car received a multitude of new parts in 1990 (mainly trim items such as door handles; boot hinges; wing beadings; dash knobs; headlamps; seat foams; carpets; stainless steel exhaust etc), being repainted in the current ice blue-over-white by Quality Coat of Luton at around the same time, as shown in photos on file.
Mr Hunter kept the car until 1995, covering some 7,000 miles before selling it to historic rally driver John Bayliss of Gloucestershire who was to keep it for the next 27 years. Various invoices attest to routine upkeep during this period but apart from new shock absorbers all round and various brake parts and service items, it never seems to have needed much. Hardly surprising as it only covered around 12,500 miles during his long ownership.
Our vendor, a friend of Mr Bayliss and formerly his rally navigator, acquired the car earlier this year and has gone right through it to get it into tip-top running order. This included: fresh oil and filter; new water pump; recored radiator with new Kevlar top and bottom hoses; new fan belt; electronic ignition; new HT leads; high performance coil; reconditioned dynamo; new battery plus various other items. The brakes and suspension have also been checked and greased and the compressions have all been checked and found to be satisfactory.
As you can see in the photos, the car looks presentable and, thanks to many years spent in sunny Texas, appears solid bodily. We are told that it drives as well as it looks, the vendor reporting that the only known fault he is aware of is a tendency to jump out of first gear.
Driven some 30 miles to the sale on one of the hottest days of the year, it has been starting promptly and running sweetly as we have moved it around on site, with good 50psi oil pressure.
For more information contact James on 07970 309907 or email [email protected]
* All charges are subject to VAT