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Big Project: 1961 Austin-Healey 3000

1961 Austin Healey

Big Healeys are iconic British sports cars that provide a nice mix of power, agility, and relative exclusivity. From the looks of it, this is a Mark I BT7. If you aren’t into Austin Healeys, that probably doesn’t make much sense. The BT7 part means that this is a 2+2, so there is a small seat behind the front buckets. The differences between a 1961 MK I and a MK II are many, but the most apparent here is the lack of a third SU carb. The seller of this car claims that they bought the car to restore, but their health will not allow them to do so. They can’t confirm if the engine is seized or not, but they do mention the rust. There’s lots of it! So, if you’re brave, you can find this project here on eBay. Thanks goes to Jim S for the tip! Can you list all the differences between a Mk I and a II?


  1. Jamie Palmer Jamie Staff

    Ok, I’m assuming we are talking the first generation of Mk. II’s (the second was the convertible rather than roadster, and more similar to the Mk. III). Let’s see, and this is from memory, so I’m sure I’ll get some of it wrong:
    1) two carbs rather than 3
    2) grille (Mk. I horizontal wavy slats, Mk. II vertical)
    3) BT7 = Mk. 1, BJ7 = Mk. II (I’m doubting myself on this one…)
    4) Front badge changed from just wings to Mk. II
    5) I think you could still get the two-seater version, but I’m not sure. Someone will know.

    Now from the Mk. II roadster to the Mk. II convertible:
    1) Fold down top/boot cover rather than disassemble
    2) No more side curtains, roll ups
    3) higher door line due to windows
    4) More curved windshield
    5) I’m sure there weren’t two-seat convertible models.
    6) Back to two carbs? Is this where the larger carbs came in?

    I think the interior didn’t get the wood until the Mk. III convertible, which also FINALLY got some improved ride height in the rear. And that beautiful metallic golden beige color. The Mk. III was a BJ8. I know all the Mk. III’s got the two larger carbs.

    OK, those who know better tell me what I got wrong :-)

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  2. Randy Forbes

    Yes, I can list all the differences, but I don’t like to type that much ;)

    I’ll name one (1) though: a ’59-’61 3000 doesn’t wear a MK1 badge…

    Tomorrow, April 1st will mark thirty-seven (37) years since I bought my ’57 100/6 2-seater. It seems like only nearly four (4) decades ago!!

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    • jimbosidecar

      My 2nd car, bought when I was 15 as a 1956 100.4 I was broken down on the side of the road one day and a fellow in an early 3000 stopped by to help. He had a rope so he towed me to his house.After diagnosing the problem he then offered to trade my car for his (tri-carb 2 seater). I declined the trade and sold the car not long afterwards.

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  3. Mark E

    I was reading this article & thinking of how I knew someone who had one of these back in the early ’70s, before it became stylish. Randy’s comment reminds me that the marque has probably always had a fan base! ^_^

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  4. The Shark

    Many years ago 69-70 I had a 61 BT7. I picked it up with a blown engine. I replaced the big 6 with a 289. with a 4 speed. Loved that car. then the kids started coming and away went the car….

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  5. Ron Tyrrell

    In a building in Buffalo Wyo sets a 1962 BN7 mk 2 2 place. This car was one of the 380 2 place built that year, it is one of 140ish that had the center shift handle, the others had the side shift. It has Buick solid rims, light blue and primer and was in number eight condition , paint was the issue. I sold this car to a friend in 1970, it was driven from McCord AFB to Buffalo and put away, very rarely was it driven. My friend passed away a few years back and the Healy was passed on to his sons. I was to have the first right of refusal if it ever came for sale but there have been large offers from people canvassing Wyo registry so I doubt I Iwould ever be able to get it back,. Most like the auto will remain there until such time the sons decide one way or the other. This is a true story, I would give any thing to have that Healy again.

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  6. gunningbar

    It just..uh..drips (drops!) rust….too bad but someone with more skill than I have (hopefully!) will save it!

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