Cobra Fighter? 1967 Austin-Healey 3000 MK III

The seller assures us, “Yes, this is a true Healey.” It’s important to clarify that, because the car is so customized, it’s possible those are fiberglass panels and there’s no actual “made in England” tag on it. But this really is a 1967 Austin-Healey Mark III, available on Facebook Marketplace in Salem, Massachusetts with a $27,000 asking price—and interesting trades considered.

This car has had the works done to it. The idea was to turn it into an alternative Cobra, and to that end, it has a Ford 302-cubic-inch engine coupled to an automatic C4 transmission, widened factory knock-off wheels, and a very extroverted quad-pipe side exhaust. The engine looks shipshape, but it’s hard to tell its health visually.

The car has been chopped, and the seats lowered to accommodate taller drivers. There’s a red-and-white paint scheme, hood straps, and a completely custom matching red-and-white interior with heavily padded seats and a console. The wood dashboard is one of the few components that looks stock.

The vendor assures us that this concoction both “looks and drives like a 1965 Shelby Cobra.” And it does, kind of, if you squint, look like a 427 Cobra.

The kind of enthusiast who wears a tweed cap while driving a bone-stock Healey is going to be appalled at this build. But it probably is a lot of fun to drive, and likely to be reliable, too, as well as a good highway cruiser. Let’s hope that the brakes and suspension can cope with all that power, but maybe they’ve been updated, too.

In stock form, the Mark III “Big Healey” had 150 horsepower, up from 136 in the Mark II. The secret was larger SU carburetors. It stayed in production until the end of the year, and that was it for Big Healeys. Some 17,712 Mark IIIs were built, and 91 percent came to the U.S.

If you have something interesting to trade, this car could prove to be amusing for its new owner. And that $27,000 is the “asking” price. You couldn’t duplicate it for that amount of spend.

Comments

  1. alphasud Member

    I wouldn’t have the heart to cut up a big Healey but since someone has already done it I’m sure it’s fun to drive or maybe it’s a real handful. I don’t know for a fact but the V8 probability has a similar weight to the strait 6 it replaced. I would want a 5-speed though. I agree with the writer the asking price is reasonable and in no way you could build it for less given the current Healey prices.

    Like 9
    • outpostbob

      If I recall correctly, the Austin 3 liter 6 weighed 613 lbs with flywheel and manifolds, versus 576 for a small block Chevy. V8. Ford has to be comparable, I could think. And this would (presumably) even further enhance the car’s 52% rearward weigh bias, since the engine is shorter.

      • Ed Flanagan

        Ford Sb is considered to be 100 lbs lighter than SBC

  2. RayT Member

    You BF guys won’t let me curse or engage in personal attacks. So I won’t say anything about this device or the lifeform that created it.

    Like 12
    • jwaltb

      Attack the car, not the builder. That’s what others of us do…

      Like 2
  3. J_Paul Member

    That is…hideous.

    I wonder how much work it would be to at least make it LOOK like a proper Healey again (removing the side pipes, redoing the interior, putting an original windshield and top back on, and nixing the strips), while keeping the V8. That would be a fun car.

    Like 11
  4. bobhess bobhess Member

    Drove an Oldsmobile powered Healey that was built in the ’60s and it was solid and fun to drive. Frames are pretty stout with extra cross members that don’t leave a lot of room for additional exhaust pipes and mufflers. Don’t think the exterior headers do anything for the car but the conversion looks pretty good to me.

    Like 3
    • bobhess bobhess Member

      Oh… have no comment on the stripes.

      Like 5
    • Danny V. Johnson

      I’m sure the Olds engine was 215 aluminum V-8. Those side pipes have got to go.
      .

      Like 2
      • bobhess bobhess Member

        No aluminum Olds V8s in the ’50s. Engine was an early ’50s bored out to 311 ci.

        Like 1
  5. angliagt angliagt Member

    I guess that you could buy this,& the Spitfire,
    & have “Two of a kind”.

    Like 2
    • jwaltb

      Or save money and just stick your fingers down your throat!

      Like 3
  6. Ben T Spanner

    I have had 6 big Healey’s and this will not be the 7th. There is no accounting for taste or lack thereof.

    Oh Oh Oh everyone is looking at us. True, but not for the reason you think

    I once went to a free lunch sponsored by an association of Chiropractors. It was a festival of fiberglass “neo classics” such as Clenets, hair plugs and gold chains. The wives complimented it with boob jobs and eyelifts.

    Like 4
    • jwaltb

      Complemented.

      Like 3
  7. Chuck Foster Chuck Foster

    If I had it, which I won’t, I’d take the side pipes and stripes off, I kind of like the top, but then, you never drive these with the top up, or in the rain. Maybe I’ll put a V6 in my TF.

    Like 1
  8. ChingaTrailer

    I’m surprised that the comments have been as complimentary as they have been – mine wouldn’t be, so I won’t make it.

  9. Steve RM

    That interior looks like it belongs in a 50s custom. This is quite the hodge podge of diffrent styles that don’t look like they belong together.

    Like 6
    • bobhess bobhess Member

      You jogged my memory Steve RM. If you lived on the west coast in the ’50s, ’60s, and ’70s you got interiors like this done in Tiajuana.

      • Steve RM

        I grew up in Northern California in the 60s and 70s and there were lots if interiors from Tiajauna around. Lots of custom stuff. There was also a guy that the restorers went to. A saw a mohair interior that he had put in a Model A Town Car. It was perfect.

  10. upchucked

    Another reason I abhor Facebook. And, I don’t give a rat’s patooty what the seller says, this is NOT a “True Healey”, it is …… sorry, words fail me, really fail me! Fortunately, my wife and I have an agreement about any future auto buys. We both must agree …. and she, who has far more culture than moi, would take a flame thrower to this piece of …. chit …. before I could ever place a bid. The seller has a real job on his hands, as he has to find a ‘next buyer’ with an equal amount of deplorable taste, which is probably a good exercise for the seller in trying to peddle this ….. thing. I can’t even say GLWTA, because I truly believe this thing should be buried where it sits.

    Like 1
    • Solosolo Solosolo Member

      I wouldn’t quite go the whole hog with your last sentence because there is a saying that goes “each to his own,” but this is one Healey that I wouldn’t want to own, especially if I should end up at a car show where the true Austin Healey’s were being presented as I think I might get bumped off!

  11. Jack Quantrill

    Ugly-ass side pipes! As a teenager, I put a lakes pipe on my ‘52 MG to make noise. Took it in for a tune up, and the mechanic took it off and threw it away. Said it was sacrilege!

  12. jwaltb

    Natural competitor for an Excalibur, not a Cobra.
    Grotesque and overwrought.

    Like 2
  13. Chris

    I finally understand the saying “if you can’t say something nice…”.

    To be fair, I have done things in my life that would upset others. I probably shouldn’t judge without driving it. I don’t know.

    Like 1
  14. Ron

    Someone will buy this and enjoy it, if you want an original Healey, spend three times what this will sell for and buy yourself a nice one, but quit whining…

    Like 5
  15. scott m

    Like a lot of old cars before they became icons, it was hot rodded, and that is part of it’s history and identity. I would put the interior on a shelf and make a more comfortable one as a GT for those weekend getaways 😎

    Like 4
  16. D.Parks

    The grill looks suspiciously like the one used in the Sebring V-8 conversion replica Healeys that were built a few decades ago. Google Sebring Healey

  17. af

    It’s a sebring kit car

    Like 1

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