1960 Austin Healey 3000 (BT7) - Excellent Mechanicals! Exemplary Roadster!
- Condition: Used
- Make: Austin Healey
- Model: 3000
- Type: Convertible
- Year: 1960
- Mileage: 121,000
- VIN: HBT7L8739
- Color: Red
- Engine size: 6 Cylinder
- Number of cylinders: 6
- Fuel: Gasoline
- Transmission: Manual
- Drive type: RWD
- Interior color: Black
- Options: Leather Seats
- Vehicle Title: Clear Want to buy? Contact seller!
1960 Austin Healey 3000
In the pantheon of small British Roadsters, one car has always been far, far ahead of the pack. That car is the Austin Healey 3000. The car traces its roods to the ambition (and capital) of Donald Healey and the engineering genius of Gerry Coker. In 1951, Donald Healey found himself at the head of a tiny car company based in Warwick, England. This company - the Donald Healey Motor Company ("DHMC") - built four basic models of "sporty" but expensive cars. In fact, some DHMC cars were more expensive than the Jaguar XK-120. After a visit to the United States, Healey came up with the idea to build a "mid-market" sports car (a car that would be less expensive than a Jaguar but more expensive than an MG).
Healey took his idea to the chairman of Austin, Leonard Lord. Lord had recently attempted to push the Austin A90 into the American market and had suffered a stunning defeat as Americans rejected both the brand and the car. Despite the setback, Lord understood the economic power of America and he liked the idea of a sports car with an Austin powertrain. Thus, the Austin Healey brand was born.
Gerry Coker was assigned the duty of designing the sheet metal for the first "Big 6" - the "Healey Hundred" - which was completed in 1952. The 100 was instantly praised for its impressive looks and performance and it remained in production for the next six years. In 1959, Austin Healey introduced the 3000, which maintained the wheelbase and body of the 100-6 (with slight modifications). The Mark I 3000, had a 2912 cc, I6 engine fueled by twin SU carburetors. According to contemporaneous testing, the engine was capable of generating a top speed of 115 mph and could go from 0-60 in 11.7 seconds. The car had as options: wire wheels, heater, adjustable steering column, two tone paint and a hardtop.
Needless to say, the 3000 captured the hearts and wallets of American and European drivers. It was widely praised for both its looks and performance. The 3000 remained in continuous production for eight years (from 1959 to 1967) and two more "Marks" were developed. Owing to emission requirements, the car was retired after the 1967 production year.
After admiring Austin Healey's for roughly forty seven years, I made the decision to purchase one. I assumed that I would be impressed with its "Big 6" performance and underwhelmed by its British amenities. However, upon seeing the actual car (and yes, I bought this car without ever having seen or driven an actual 3000), I immediately noticed that unlike other British roadsters I have owned, e.g., MG TD, MG B, MG A and TR6 all of which tend to be a bit Spartan, the Austin Healey 3000 is immaculately detailed. If I had to chose a single word to describe its fit and finish then I would use the word "bespoke." I choose this word because of its English connotation and for the further reason that the car seems to be tailored like a custom suit. In example, the tops of the doors are trimmed in polished aluminum as are the door seals and posts. In further example, the tonneau is not simply a piece of canvas stretched from from anchor point to anchor point. Rather, it is fitted with ribs which give it form and shape. The tonneau also has a nice "outset" to accommodate the steering wheel. In the same fashion, the seats are of real leather (not BMC pleather), the steering wheel and shifter knob are real wood, the windshield is highly polished, the carpets are wool, and etc., etc., etc. There are probably fifteen other items which I could list showing the level of attention to detail given to this car. However, I will let the pictures below speak for themselves.
Originally, the engine in the 3000 was mated to a 4 speed transmission with an optional electronic overdrive. In the case of this particular car, the original, electronic overdrive equipped transmission has been removed (it remains "with" the vehicle and will accompany the vehicle's sale), and in order to achieve a more efficient gear ratio, the original transmission was replaced with a more reliable Japanese 5 speed. The "Smitty's" kit used to perform this replacement cost over $2,000 (excluding labor), and the results are simply remarkable as the car can now "cruise" at 80-90 miles per hour (without incessant transmission whine and with lots of extra RPM's available). This replacement is the only known, non-stock component in the car (radio, Optima battery and battery cut off switch excluded) and, in my opinion, it greatly enhances the performance (and value) of the car. It also appreciably increases speed, lowers weight and improves fuel economy.
The pictures of the car accurately reflect the condition of its paint (good), interior appointments (almost perfect), top (minor imperfections), tonneau (almost perfect), carpet (almost perfect), tires (good), rims (almost perfect) and chrome (good). The pictures also show that the car is rust free, that the body panels fit nicely (not perfect but nice) and that the car is not not leaking copious amounts of oil. After obtaining the car, I adjusted the valves, replaced the fuel filter, removed the gas tank and had it professionally lined with RENU (a rust inhibiting coating) and replaced the passenger side, rear axle seal. The pictures cannot show the mechanical operation of the car but I have personally driven this car over 90 miles and can attest that it is in exemplary running and driving condition. In that vein, all the lights work and nothing to my knowledge is inoperative. In saying this, I further attest that the car does not overheat and has no known mechanical defects, e.g., brakes work, clutch is good, starts, stops, runs, drives, has lights, etc., etc. Obviously, I encourage you to have an independent pre-purchase inspection performed. Alternatively, if you buy the car at the "buy it now" price, I will give you a "buy it back" guarantee (at no cost) which warrants that the car is free from mechanical defect. Please call me for details on this guarantee.
In regard to value,Hagerty's valuation guide states that as of August 2015, a 1960 Austin-Healey 3000 BT7 "Condition 2" car is valued at $61,000, while a "Condition 3" car is valued at $36,200. I personally believe that this car is closer to a Condition 2 car than a Condition 3 and have priced the car accordingly. However, as "condition" is a subjective undertaking, I am open to negotiation on the purchase price. Obviously, I will not "give the car away" so please do not undervalue the asset under consideration.
In closing, you are looking at an extremely nice British roadster. It has stunning good looks, admirable performance and will make a very good investment. If you are interested in adding this car to your collection then please contact Mark Counts at 713-320-3059.
Great color combination!
Virtually new tires!
5 speed transmission!
Fast, sexy and reliable!