Austin Healey 3000 BJ8 Barn Find

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With the meteoric rise in Austin Healey 3000 values, especially the later BJ8 cars with improved rear suspension and more luxurious interior, finding a barn find example seems to be harder and harder. This one has been found already (the picture above shows it being brought out of it’s long-term storage) and it has been evaluated by a seemingly knowledgeable seller who is willing to share that information. The car is located in Elkhart, Indiana and is for sale here on eBay with a buy-it-now of $25,900 but bidding is much lower than that. The seller has included a ton of close up pictures as well as a frank evaluation of what will be necessary to restore this car, but also suggests that a much smaller level of work would be required to just make it a fun driver. I’ve owned two Big Healeys and it is a unique driving experience–the whole lusty engine thing and somewhat primitive handling in stock form make every trip an adventure! Would you like to bring this icon home?

Fast Finds

Comments

  1. RayT Member

    “No longer for sale,” and that’s a good thing. My experience with Big Healeys — my father had two in succession (100-6 and 3000), and I later had the 3000 plus a “Hundred” BN2 — tells me there was more rust and neglect here than meets the eye. If an inexperienced enthusiast had stolen it away, they would have been in for considerable effort, expense and discomfort before getting this one truly road-ready.

    For $5K I would have been interested, knowing what the repair/rebuild expenses would likely amount to; any more, and it would have been one to walk away from. My own needed less than this one does when I sold it, and I simply could not have afforded it.

    Since I prefer the earlier BN7/BT7 cars to the BJ8s, not feeling too bad about missing this.

  2. L.M.K. Member

    Gone !

  3. Dolphin Member

    The auction listing has been ended because the car “is no longer available”. Was the highest bid of $21K not high enough to let the auction run? Or maybe he got a can’t-refuse offer. If so, then I’ll bet the buyer will wish he hadn’t.

    The car looks pretty good in lots of areas at first but appears to have bondo in the rockers and looks rusty at some fender edges. Too bad he has already sprayed the underside and fender joints with rust inhibitor, but it’s not a rust free car. Engine is an unknown since it isn’t running and the carbs are off, but turns and might be OK.

    If I were in the market to own another big Healey I would keep looking. I think there are better choices out there at a bit more money, but more car and much less R&R work for the money. The big Healeys haven’t regained the prices they were bringing some years ago and I think with so many of them sold over here and so many surviving, it’s more of a buyer’s than a seller’s market.

  4. John H.

    I agree with Dolphin and the others. A close look at those floors tells it all. That dash is beyond refinishing. And it was interesting that seller never had car in his name, so good luck with getting a clean sale.

  5. John

    The problem with old Healey 3Ks is that when its been restored to “new” condition, you still do not have a very good car. They were fragile and problem prone. They were quick, probably too quick for their chassis. I can remember one of the sports car magazines (perhaps Sports Car Graphic) saying at the end of their test: the big Healy offers less, for more than its predecessors (2 carbs instead of 3) on the same rickety chassis and narrow wheels. They asked, while the BJ8 will go 130 mph, is it really a car you would want to go that fast in? Beautiful old cars that are best observed in someone else’s collection.

    • Howard A Member

      Hi John, I agree. I think the “Big Healey” thing is a little over blown too. My brother had a ’58 100-6 with a ’64, 3000 motor. It was a fast car, but not the best. I think my MGB handled better. They were front heavy, causing over steer, loud, ( which is cool for a while, until you tear the exhaust off, because it’s so low, then it’s REALLY loud), hot, cramped driving posture and we did bury the speedo in OD once. That’s not for the faint of heart. ( it was all over the road, and twitchy)

  6. Leo

    Healey 3000 prices arent where they were 6 or 7 years ago but they are back to climbing again and 7 or 8 years down the road this car will seem like a bargain and some naysayers will be kicking their asses. As far as the market and it being a “buyers” market… Hmmmm… Original cars, in good driver quality, are HARD to find and are quite easily sold. I have six offers sitting on the table for my BJ8 from peoplevwho have the funds so i disagree with the “buyers” market statement. Mine is a 2 owner 105k mile survivor. The motor has never been gone into, nor has the transmission (doesnt burn oil either though it does mark its territory with a couple of drips like most british cars) so i will say if you think the big healeys are a fickle car then you dont know how to maintain your cars.

    I think ill just enjoy mine for another 10 years before i seriously contemplate selling it

  7. Leo

    The 5k buy comment cracks me up!! For 5k you will get the motor and possibly the trans. Better update your price calibrator or drop down to the sprite mg catagorey (exclude the bugeye as 5k isnt going to get you much there either).

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