The culmination of the “Big Healeys” was the BJ8 Mark III, the most powerful and refined model in the sports car series that started with the Austin Healey 100 in 1953, morphed into the 100-6, then became the popular 3000 in 1959.
In 1964, the 3000 BJ8 brought a higher level of sophistication to the mix, with interior upgrades that included an elegant burl walnut dashboard with improved gauges, and a horsepower boost to 150 from its 3.0-liter inline-6 due to a more-aggressive camshaft profile and a pair of large-bore SU HD8 carburetors.
The overwhelming majority of Healey 3000s were exported from the UK to the US. Production stopped after the 1967 models, which were unable to reasonably meet the demands of the following year’s DOT regulations. The brand was fading anyway in the face of such competitors as the Jaguar XK-E.
The Pick of the Day is a 1967 Austin Healey 3000 BJ8 Mark III that has had just two owners and has been driven only about 21,000 miles since leaving the factory in Abingdon, England.
“Last owner purchased the car with a little over 16,000 miles on it,” according to the Medina, Ohio, dealer advertising the Healey on ClassicCars.com. “He put another 4,000 miles on the car in the last 20 years.”
The car is in exceptional original condition, the seller says, with its original paint and interior, and it “runs and drives very well.” The only obvious change from original are the chrome wire wheels in place of the painted originals.
The final years were arguably the best for the Big Healeys, in terms of drivability and livability, although many marque enthusiasts prefer the 2-seat roadster purity of the originals. But even with their rollup windows, improved convertible tops, rear jump seats and electric overdrive manual transmissions, the BJ8s retain the classic British feel of resolute and gutsy sports cars.
And the deeply thrumming exhaust note is one of the best automotive sounds on the planet.
Healey 3000s boomed in collector car popularity in the earlier part of the century, but values have settled down since then, with only the most exquisitely restored examples – the kind you’d be afraid to take out of the garage – reaching into 6-figure values.
But these cars were meant to be driven with gusto, and once again the question looms about this low-mileage example: How could anyone own such a great car and not drive the heck out of it?
But for what sounds like an unusually nice original, the asking price of $45,500 seems reasonable.
To view this listing on ClassicCars.com, see Pick of the Day.