Sweat Equity Sports Car: 1961 Austin-Healey 3000

The ‘Big Healey’ of the early 1960s stood between the high powered sports cars like the Corvette and E-Type and the smaller, more affordable ones like 4-cylinder MGs and Triumphs. A good Healey 3000 can now sell for about as much as a same-year Corvette and may not be affordable for many fans of the marque. The only cheap Healeys nowadays are the ones that need a lot of work. If you are willing to search for a engine, body panels, and other parts, you could start building some sweat equity in this 1961 Healey 3000. Find it here on eBay in northern Florida with bidding at $3,950.

This Healey has not been on the road since 1974 and has suffered greatly ever since. If it spent all that time in the humid Florida climate under poor storage conditions, it’s not surprising that it is as rusty as it appears. It has lost its engine, although the carbs, intake manifold, pistons, and transmission are still with the car. Normally we would call this a roller, but that’s probably not the right term for this car since it’s described as needing assistance ‘at 2 wheels’ and winching onto a flatbed or trailer to get it home. A photo shows a rear wheel on a dollie, which suggests that the driveline is probably seized.

The good news is that, except for the engine, it looks like pretty much everything is there, including the original dataplate, title from 1974, and the sliding side curtains that these true roadsters had for windows. The seller doesn’t sugar-coat the scenario for the buyer, saying that the car will need a lot of metal replacement including body panels, doors, trunk, and hood. We would guess that the floors probably need to be added to that list. He suggests that if a buyer has another Healey with good body panels that can be used on this car, the restoration would yield an authentic BN7 Healey 3000. That’s a proposition worth considering, since this is a true 2-seat Healey 3000 MkI roadster, one of only 2,825 made from 1959 to 1961.

This car is not for everyone… Including us, but we are sure there is someone out there who will buy it. It will need lots of time, effort, and cash to be put right. The rewards could be there for the right person, who will have one of the rarest of the regular production Healeys, and a true 2-seat British roadster. The seller originally listed it with a $6k Buy It Now option, but obviously removed that after they saw there was some interest. We are assuming that the reserve is set a little lower. Anyone here up for a seriously painful restoration project?


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  1. Larry

    What a shame

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  2. Hans Von Mehler

    I had a 1958, and I thought mine was in bad shape! this poor car, hope someone saves it.

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  3. TVC15

    Very sad , but too far gone , £££££$$$$$ and years to restore

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  5. Chris H.

    It’s just an object d’art at this point, I doubt there is much to be salvaged. Perhaps it’s just the paint holding it together?

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  6. Sean Smith

    Looks like there are some 100-4 bits there too. The 3000 grill is hiding a 100-4 opening.

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  7. Chuck

    The person who left this car out to rot should be shot…It’s a basketcase now…With the outer panels being what they are, it’s a sure bet the floors and frame will be rotted too. There is very little to save here…

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  8. Paul

    No 100 parts on this car, the grill opening is just mangled out of shape. I believe that this car is well beyond economical repair.

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  9. Scott

    I have a 60 BN7 and I cannot see anything on here worth salvaging. The metal is gone and people are bidding it up! have yet to it the reserve. Insane amount of work ahead.

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  10. Pat

    Nobody here ever tilt a windmill?

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  11. gunningbar

    People are actually bidding on this??!! Hopefully they just want to give the poor thing a decent burial. I’ll chip in for that…..

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  12. Barn Finds

    Reader Philip Green shared a link on our facebook page which made us look at this rust bucket a little differently. On the site you can view the transformation of a Healey that may have started off even worse than this one. It is worth a look: http://www.acmefluid.com.au/larry/3000.html

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  13. mikey

    Anything can be re-created but at what cost? Better off buying something done.

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  14. Dolphin Dolphin

    Bid to $4,391 but did not meet the reserve.
    That was all the money….and more.

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