Austin-Healey 3000

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Austin-Healey 3000
Austin-Healey 3000 at 2010 Ottawa British Auto Show.jpg
Manufacturer Austin-Healey (BMC)
Production 1959–1967
Assembly Abingdon, England
Body and chassis
Class Sports car
Body style 2-door roadster
Layout FR layout
Engine 2,912 cc (2.9 L) C-Series I6
Wheelbase 92 in (2,337 mm)[1]
Length 157 in (3,988 mm)[1]
Width 60 in (1,524 mm)[1]
Height 46 in (1,168 mm) (Hood down)
49.5 in (1,257 mm) (hard top)[1]
Curb weight 2,550 lb (1,157 kg)
Predecessor Austin-Healey 100-6
Successor MG MGC

The Austin-Healey 3000 is a British sports car built from 1959 to 1967, and is the best known of the "big Healey" models. The car's bodywork was made by Jensen Motors, and the vehicles were assembled by Austin-Healey at the Abingdon works.

The 3-litre 3000 was a highly successful car, which won its class in many European rallies in its heyday and is still raced in classic car competitions by enthusiasts today.


The Austin-Healey 3000 was introduced in 1959, replacing the Austin-Healey 100-6. Despite its new name, the changes were minor compared to those between the original 100 and the 100-6. The wheelbase and body were unchanged, as were the models, a 2+2 and a two-seater.

Mark I[edit]

Mark I in London
Austin-Healey 3000 Mark I (1959) at the 39. AvD Oldtimer Grand Prix 2011 Nurburgring

The original 3000 was built from March 1959 to March 1961 as models BN7 Mark I (2-seater) and BT7 Mark I (2+2 version). It only became known as the Mark I after the Mark II was released, having no designator prior. It featured a 2912 cc I6 engine, with twin SU carburetors and Girling front disc brakes. Wire wheels, overdrive gearbox, laminated windscreen, heater, adjustable steering column, detachable hard top, and two-tone paint were available as options.

A total of 13,650 Mark Is were made (2,825 BN7, and 10,825 BT7).[2]

A BT7 3000 with hardtop and overdrive tested by The Motor magazine in 1960 had a top speed of 115 mph (185 km/h) and could accelerate from 0–60 mph (97 km/h) in 11.7 seconds. A fuel consumption of 21.6 miles per imperial gallon (13.1 L/100 km; 18.0 mpg-US) was recorded. The test car cost £1326 including taxes.[1]

Mark II[edit]

Introduced in March 1961 as the BN7 Mark II (2-seat) and BT7 Mark II (2+2), the 3000 Mark II series came with three SU HS4 carburettors and an improved camshaft. However, the triple SUs proved difficult to balance and were replaced with two SU HS6 upon the introduction of the BJ7 (2+2) model in January 1962. With its debut the BN7 Mark II was discontinued in March 1962, and the BT7 Mark II in June 1962.

Other changes included a vertical barred front grille, wind-up windows instead of side curtains, an improved hood, and a wrap-around windscreen. Optional extras were similar to the Mark I, although the factory hardtop option was dropped with the BJ7's introduction. From August 1961 a brake servo was also available as an optional extra, which greatly improved braking performance. The BJ7 was discontinued in October 1963 with the introduction of the 3000 Mark III.

A 3000 Mark II BT7 with hardtop and overdrive tested by the British magazine The Motor in 1961 had a top speed of 112.9 mph (181.7 km/h) and could accelerate from 0–60 mph (97 km/h) in 10.9 seconds. A fuel consumption of 23.5 miles per imperial gallon (12.0 L/100 km; 19.6 mpg-US) was recorded. The test car cost £1362 including taxes.[3]

A total of 11,564 were made: 355 BN7 Mark II, 5,096 BT7 Mark II, and 6,113 BJ7.[2] A Swiss motoring publication (Auto-Jahr) had had a competition to redesign the 3000 as a closed roof grand tourer, and the winning design was executed by Pininfarina just in time for the October 1962 Earls Court Show.[4]

Mark III[edit]

1966 Austin-Healey 3000 Mark III (North America)

The 3000 Mark III was launched in October 1963, and remained in production until the end of 1967, when manufacture of Austin-Healeys ceased. Only one further car was built in March 1968.[citation needed] Designated the BJ8, the 2+2 Mark III was the most powerful and luxurious of the big Healeys, with a standard walnut-veneer dash, wind-up windows, and a 150 hp (112 kW) engine. Added power came from a new camshaft and valve springs, twin SU 2" HD8 carburettors, and a new exhaust system design. Servo-assisted brakes were also standard. Options remained otherwise the same, except that the standard interior trim was downgraded to Ambla vinyl, with leather as an extra.

In May 1964 the Phase II version of the Mark III was released, which gained ground clearance through a modified rear chassis. In March 1965 the car received separate indicators.

A total of 17,712 Mark IIIs were made.[2]

In racing[edit]

Austin Healey 3000's have a long competition history, and raced at most major racing circuits around the world, including Sebring (USA), Le Mans (France), and Mount Panorama Circuit, Bathurst (Australia). The BMC competitions department rallied the 3000 from its introduction, but the development of the works cars effectively ended in 1965, mainly because of the success of the Mini Cooper 'S'.


  1. ^ a b c d e "The Austin Healey 3000". The Motor. July 13, 1960. 
  2. ^ a b c Clausinger, Anders Ditlev (1990). Original Austin-Healey – The Restorers Guide to 100, 100-Six and 3000. UK: Bay View Books. ISBN 1-870979-13-3. 
  3. ^ "The Austin Healey 3000 Mark II". The Motor. July 26, 1961. 
  4. ^ Björklund, Bengt, ed. (November 1962). "Sportnytt på Earls Court" [Sporting News From Earls Court]. Illustrerad Motor Sport (in Swedish). No. 11. Lerum, Sweden. p. 8. 

Further reading[edit]

  • Bonds, Ray (2003). The Illustrated Directory of Sports Cars. Motorbooks. ISBN 0-7603-1420-9. 
  • Holmes, Mark (2007). Ultimate Convertibles: Roofless Beauty. London: Kandour. pp. 24–25. ISBN 978-1-905741-62-5. 

External links[edit]