Austin Healey 3000
Reviewed by Unique Cars and Parts
Our Rating: 5
Originally the "big" Healey was the Austin Healey 100
with its 2.6-litre four cylinder motor established from the Austin Atlantic
. The Healey was not seen as a sophisticated vehicle with its separate chassis, cam-and-peg steering
and solid rear axle.In 1956
the six-cylinder BMC series C engine was used in a stretch version of this car to make the 100/6.
But this car was not that successful with performance being down. Along came the 3000 MkI in 1959
. Performance increased to 183 km/h and new disc brakes
certainly improved the stopping power. From this point on the cars were two-plus-two only and could be easily recognised by the vertical-slat front grille.
Austin-Healey 3000 Mark II
version of the Austin-Healey 3000, the Mark II, had a revised front grille with vertical bars, instead of horizontal. It also had an improved engine with three carburettors, raising power to 132 bhp, an increase of eight horsepower over the former twin unit. Modifications included a new camshaft, stronger outer valve springs an improved tuning chain damper and a new air cleaner.
The frame, side floor panels, wheel arches and centre tunnel were modified to provide built-in anchorages for safety harness, which was offered as an optional extra. There was also a new heat shield for the silencer. The brakes, with Girling discs at the front, remained unchanged. However, servo assistance was available as an option. The Mk. II was available as a two-seater or as an occasional fourseater tourer. A fibreglass hardtop and wire-spoked wheels are available as optional extras while the car is fitted with a theft-proof switch in the boot.
Austin-Healey 3000 Mark III
Austin saved the best for last with the 1964
MkIII. Brakes were better and the interior boasted a rather opulent wooden dash. The United States was seen as the car's biggest market which ironically brought the downfall of the 3000 due to strict safety legislation. It was replaced by the less successful MGC. Despite its low ground clearance the 3000 was a remarkable works rally car and remains a very sought-after car in Britain and Australia.