1965 Austin-Healey 3000 Mk III BJ8 Roadster
Chassis no. HBJ8L/28837
Engine no. 29K/RU/H 3460
Gearbox no. 3485
Body no. 3193BJ8 73657
150 hp, 2,912cc OHV inline six-cylinder engine, four-speed manual transmission with Laycock de Normanville overdrive, independent front suspension with wishbones and coil springs, rigid rear axle with semi-elliptic leaf springs, and hydraulic front disc and rear drum brakes. Wheelbase: 92 in.
Representing the final version of the six-cylinder “Big Healey,” the 3000 Mk III was improved throughout, with a stiffer front anti-roll bar, front disc brakes, and comfortable styling enhancements, including roll-up windows in the doors. It was a wonderful automobile that benefitted from all the best features and ideas of previous Austin-Healey models, and was a well-balanced, highly enjoyable sports car.
The 3000 Mk III evolved slightly in its mechanical specifications during production; later models were fitted with a frame modified at the rear to accommodate radius arms, to stabilize the rear axle, and six-leaf rear springs. The example offered here was built early in this so-called “Phase II” production, and thus retains this desirable drivetrain specification while having the more attractive, early-style clear turn signals, soon replaced by bulkier amber units – in other words, it is the best of both worlds!
According to its British Motor Industry Heritage Trust Certificate, a copy of which accompanies, the car was built as a left-hand-drive BJ8 model with small rear seats for American export between September 2 and 14, 1964. It was dispatched to a Boston dealer on September 21st, finished in Healey Blue with matching interior and top. On November 10th it was sold to original owner Erving W. Cross of Waterford, Connecticut, as recorded by the original registration certificate and title, which remain with the car today along with several registration cards. Mr. Cross kept the car until 1985, when he sold it to Frank and Patricia Combs of East Hartford.
The late owner was a longtime enthusiast and restorer, who for some years operated a respected restoration and sales facility in Manchester, Connecticut. In the early 1990s, he acquired the car from the Combs’ and became its third owner. Around 2009, he set about expertly restoring it to his vision of the ultimate Healey. The original, matching-numbers engine, which retains its original identification plate, was mated to an exhaust header that directs the pipes out the side of the car, in competition fashion, for an especially rakish look. An enlarged aluminum radiator built in the U.K. was installed to improve cooling capacity, and the wheels were powder-coated for durability, while a roll bar welded directly to the frame and surrounded by a custom metal tonneau, was added to ensure safety on modern roads and on the track. Further, rally-specification suspension components were added; all of these modifications were guided by the Sports Car Club of America’s Solo Rule Book as its owner envisioned use in SCCA events.
With the owner’s typical eye towards quality, the interior was completely reupholstered in dark blue genuine leather piped in red, rather than the vinyl originally used, and fitted with a high-quality custom cloth tonneau cover. The car is accompanied by the aforementioned paperwork, a repair manual, and a correct spare.
The Healey received little use during the remainder of the owner’s lifetime, and is now offered from his estate with 655 miles recorded since completion of the restoration around 2009. In preparation for sale it has been fully detailed and the fuel system serviced, and is offered with spares including the original top frame, wire wheels, and bumpers and boxes of parts that were removed.
This is an exceptionally exciting “Big Healey” – built by an enthusiast who knew what he wanted, and, more importantly, had the skills to do it correctly, using the best engineered-in components from stem to stern. The result is a real thrill to drive and offers, perhaps, unparalleled motoring excitement for the buyer’s dollar.
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