Worth Fixing? 1962 Austin-Healey 3000

It’s unclear when this 1962 Austin-Healey 3000 last graced our roads, but its overall condition suggests we could probably measure the timeframe in decades. The seller candidly says it requires restoration, although most major components appear present for a new owner to return it to its former glory. It will be a significant undertaking, but with the popularity and value of British classics climbing, it could bare closer investigation. The seller listed the Healey here on Facebook in Foster, Rhode Island. They set their price at $10,000, and I must say a big thank you to Barn Finder Peter R for spotting it for us.

The seller is sparing in their details about this Healey, telling us nothing beyond the facts that it requires restoration and its paint color is yellow. That last fact suggests it may have rolled out of the factory dressed in Primrose Yellow, although that is not guaranteed. It is unclear whether the car is complete because I can’t spot the windshield, grille, bumpers, or other trim pieces. There is no visible rust, but this classic demands an in-person inspection to confirm the frame is sound and how long the shopping list could be on the build. It looks like the interior may be complete, but the car’s overall condition could mean a retrim will form part of the restoration. That process will leave no change from $3,000 but would return the inside of this Healey to its former glory.

It isn’t clear whether the motor occupying this Healey’s engine bay is original and which transmission bolts to its rear. The six-cylinder C-Series powerplant has a capacity of 2,912cc and pumps out a healthy 134hp. Those ponies feed to the road via a manual transmission, with buyers offered the choice of a four or five-speed unit. Although the output figure looks modest, the 3000’s curb weight of 2,465lbs means it can cover the ¼ mile in a respectable 17 seconds. I suspect it has been many years since this sports car achieved that feat, and the engine’s condition is unclear. If it turns freely, revival may not prove challenging. It is worth noting that the engineering of these cars is elegantly simple, meaning a competent person could perform a rebuild in a home workshop.

The seller’s price for this 1962 Austin-Healey 3000 is not cheap, raising the question of whether it represents a financially viable project. That may come down to how much work the new owner can perform themselves. Tidy Healey’s of this generation regularly sell for $40,000, although high-end restorations will push beyond $50,000. The work seems justified if the frame is solid and the engine is salvageable. All it needs is someone with a deep commitment to revive this classic. Could you be that person?

Comments

  1. bobhess bobhess Member

    If all the parts are there and everything underneath isn’t rusting into oblivion the asking price might not be so hard to take. Anything less than that and you will have dug a pretty big financial hole.

    Like 2
  2. RayT Member

    One question, Adam: where have you seen any reference to original five-speed gearboxes for Austin-Healeys? I have owned two and put many many miles on my father’s bought-new 3000, and can recall only two choices: a straight four-speed (rare, and I believe only for the 100-6) and four-speed with Laycock overdrive. All three of ours had the o/d.

    bobhess has got it right. A lack of serious tinworm and completeness are the keys to restoring a Healey. Everything else is either available or virtually unbreakable. Late three-carburetor cars like this one have gotten a bad rap for being difficult to keep in tune, but I think it’s overblown. I have never met an SU I didn’t like. Or couldn’t adjust/service.

    Looks like a car I’d buy if circumstances allow. Most likely a restore-it-because-you-love-it proposition, not a big moneymaker. But that’s always been why I bought cars….

    Like 8
    • gippy

      Triple carb models are desirable- a 2 seater would be even better, but anytime it is located in the salt zones , you need a serious look at the frame and underbody. I remember people calling the overdrive version a 6 speed, because you could use the overdrive in both 3rd and 4th, but that was mostly just posing.

      Like 6
    • nick

      It seems to me, when they first came out they had a 3-speed. Actually it was a 4-speed with first gear blocked out, as the ratio was ridiculously low. Interesting what happens when you can only choose parts from those already on the shelf.

  3. mike

    Best to see in person if possible.Frame could be rusted badly.Tri carb 1962’s are great cars…learned to drive a clutch in one..memories.Hopefully it can/will be saved.

    Like 2
  4. Solosolo Solosolo Member

    No such thing as an original 5 speed Austin Healey. (Or a 3 speed actually as it was an Austin A70, four speed gearbox, with first gear blanked off at the factory)

    Like 2
  5. George Birth

    Be a neat car to own and drive. Had a neighbor owned one Had to sell it when his wife got pregnant.

  6. Peter Pentz

    This a very rare tri-carb BN6.
    For that reason alone it is worth restoring.
    THe body looks reasonably straight …….

    Like 2
    • Solosolo Solosolo Member

      Mine was BN7 also fitted with triple carbs, although I don’t think they were original specs for a BN7.

      Like 1
  7. Reid

    It’s a not-rare BT7. 5,096 made (2+2 tricarb). It will be very difficult to avoid going underwater restoring this, unless the restoring owner does everything him/herself, and how many amateur restorers do you know who do all their own welding, frame-straightening, bodywork, painting, chroming, instrument restoration, vinyl upholstery, carpeting cutting, etc., etc., etc.? And that’s if you acquired the project for free with transport to your shop included. /reality check

    Like 2
  8. Gary

    340 4speed 8 3/4 rear axle, it would wake it up.

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