1960 Austin-Healey 3000 Barn Find Success Story!

One of the best parts of running this site is hearing from readers about their Barn Finds success stories! We started this site to help save classic cars, so hearing that we helped rescue one, even in some small way, really makes our day. So, as you can imagine, we are super excited to have heard from reader David L about the Austin-Healey 3000 that he bought after seeing it here! After reading Montana’s great article about this barn find, which you can read here, David rolled the dice and ended up scoring a great find. That was back in September of 2020 and he has some exciting news to share!

Buying anything online can sometimes be a bit scary, especially expensive items that you can’t see in person beforehand. At $14,500, this Big Healey wasn’t exactly cheap, but with prices what they are now, he decided it was worth the risk. The heavy layer of dust did a great job of hiding the car’s overall condition, but he could tell just from the photos that it was going to at least need interior work and after sitting for 36 years it was a safe bet that the mechanical systems would need to be refreshed. Once it arrived and it was washed off, he discovered it was solid and has some sweet patina. So, rather than give it a total restoration, he decided to just do what was necessary to make it a nice driver.

With the help of his mobile mechanic, David was able to sort everything out and get it running great again. He had to replace the seat bottoms but was able to restore the rest of the interior and it’s now an enjoyable place to be. It looks absolutely fantastic especially compared to how it looked when he bought it. He has about $5k into parts and labor, not including his own time. That’s still below what Hagerty values a #4 at and you’d be hard-pressed to find another 3000 in driveable condition for less than $20k. You can’t put a price on the experience of saving something like this or the patina (if you are into that look), so we think he did great on this one.

At the end of the day, it isn’t just about money or potential value, it’s about driving and enjoying your classic. Having rescued more than a few finds ourselves, you can’t put a price on the first time you fire up the engine or take your find out on its first drive after getting it all sorted out. It sounds like David has been enjoying his find, although he’s still working on getting the overdrive working. We want to congratulate David on scoring this great find and for sharing his success story with us!

If you’ve rescued a find that we’ve featured and have it back on the road, we would love to see it. You can send your photos and story to us via email!

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Comments

  1. 370zpp 370zpp Member

    Nice.

    Like 2
  2. alphasud Member

    Good to see a success story. He did get an awesome deal and with some work he has a nice car. Drive it and enjoy for a while and then paint it later on if you so choose. He is definitely on the up side of this investment too bad they all don’t turn out that way.

    Like 10
  3. Geoff

    “Sweet patina” SMH. The Barn Finds editor (if they have one) needs to start a swear jar for car writing cliches. The poor thing looks like its been pistol whipped. Still at the price its a valuable car bought right and it should be brought back hopefully soon.

    Like 5
    • David Lawrence

      Hi it’s David the owner. Pistol Whipped is a bit harsh but true! My poor Healey had a hard life! There must be 20 Small Dents when things were dropped on it over the years. Just got the mechanics pretty good although still messing with the overdrive. Thankfully these cars you can do most of the work by yourself. To enjoy driving it this summer and then maybe think about some cosmetics, or not. Maybe take the dents out :-)

      Like 13
  4. Frank Armstrong

    Finding one unraveled by rust is a miracle. Nice work to save this one. Just drive it and let it keep appreciating. Good to see one renovated by the owner and not turned over to a restoration shop.

    Like 3
  5. bobhess bobhess Member

    David….One of my favorite Healeys. Owned 2 ’55s, one which I drove while I rebuilt the car. It’s the perfect scenario for having maximum fun with a car like this one. Keep us posted.

    Like 2
  6. Ken

    The before and after photos of the engine are the coolest things I’ll see today. Excellent work!

    Like 5
  7. Scott L.

    I LOVE patina. But not here, though. This thing is aching for a paint job.

    Like 1
  8. DonS

    Awesome find, minimal work, roadworthy, patina. The only thing lacking is about 100 more pictures for me to look at. Dang she looks nice!!

    Like 2
  9. David Lawrence

    David, again. Thanks for the kind words everyone! Even I was surprised with the before and after photo of the Engine bay. I guess I couldn’t remember what it look like when I got her and when you do just a little bit every day it adds up. Yes there’s a fine line between patina and “pistol whipped”. Will probably get a paint job eventually, this car was originally Healy blue. I think in the early 80s someone decided they like the white with red combo as I’m pretty sure Healy blue and red was not an option. As I plan just to use her as a daily driver the world is my oyster as far as color schemes. I totally lucked out with my friend Tom who is a traveling mechanic. Although I have probably done 85% of the work, his 15% Was the hard stuff. His fabricating skills were awesome.
    Would be happy to post a couple more photos of the process if I can work out how to do it.

    Like 2

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