Diamond In The Rough: 1967 Austin-Healey 3000

This 1967 Austin-Healey 3000 is described as a multiple show winner in the “diamond in the rough” category, owing to its tired cosmetics and well-weathered paint. The seller notes he’s poured $11,000 into the car and still hasn’t touched the bodywork, but that investment is said to have yielded multiple mechanical improvements that make this numbers-matching example here on eBay a joy to drive.

Truth be told, I’m a bit shocked $11K in maintenance didn’t include at least some body repair, as the seller discloses that the next owner will be replacing or repairing the rockers, doors, and fenders if they want to rid themselves of the worst rust. The mechanical improvements are all sound – including new plugs, wires, water pump, and electronic ignition – but even that seems to fall short of an $11K investment.

The bones of this car look good regardless, including a very tidy interior that reveals rust-free floors. The dash looks perfectly usable as-is, a nice change of pace as many of these wood veneer fascias are completely destroyed. The overall condition may be attributable to the fact that the current seller purchased this car from his neighbor in 2010 – who turned out to be the original owner!

Amazingly, the engine has not been touched in the current stage of sale prep and cosmetic tweaking. The seller says it drives perfectly fine as-is but doesn’t seem to have a grasp on what could potentially go wrong two weeks from now. New oil and filters are the only changes made, but I’d swap in the replacement thermostat ASAP before driving too far. Bidding is over $15K at the moment, with the reserve still unmet.

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Comments

  1. Howard A

    It is pretty cool, with what they mentioned, $11g’s seems like a bit of a stretch to me to, but who knows, if that’s the case, no wonder less and less people are going the restoration route, in favor of just buying one at auction. While nice Mark lll’s are still bringing $50-$80 grand, you sure could get into a big Healey here for a lot less. While this old gal should be prettied up, it would be kind of fun to leave it as is, show up at Pebble Beach as a tease to all these folks that have 3 or 4 times as much into THEIR Healey’s. Ha! I can hear it now, “with that extra $50 grand, I bought a house in the UP “,,, If you got the cash, it won’t get any better than this.

    3
  2. RayT Member

    I’m sure not seeing where the seller pumped in $11Gs, unless that includes what he paid for the car and the shipping costs from where he unearthed it. Even though Healey parts can be spendy, they’re not that stiff!

    For me, the areas of rot are the worst, and are where I’d spend my first dollars. The mechanicals are so simple on these cars that they’re not beyond even my limited skills to work on! But rust and bodywork….brrrrrrrr!

    Fortunately, I can find reason not to go after this one: I grew up (driving-wise) with a 1960 3-liter, and have fond memories of affixing top and sidescreens when the rain got really heavy. I never warmed up to the windup-window cars…

    But if BF keeps uncovering neat and quirky rides, the day will surely come when I fall off the wagon (so to speak)!

    10
  3. Trey

    Gotta be a typo! Only really expensive thing he bought were wheels and tires!

    2
  4. Coventrycat

    You can throw more than 11k at any Brit car before you get to bodywork. Just ask a Jag owner – like I was. The key word is “was”…

    2
    • Al

      Your absolutely right, Coventrycat.
      My Dad had a Bentley S3 and a Jag 420G, my Mom had a Austin-Healey 3000 Mark III. They were always very expensive to run and maintain. I think the Jag was the worst, because it needed a road-side tune-up every 400 miles or somewhat less, what a pain. Doing a tune-up in the middle of the day in the Mojave Desert was not fun.
      The only thing I didn’t care for is my legs were to long by the time I was almost 18. If your leg is LESS than 36″ you can drive an Austin-Healey 3000, longer, then you can’t.

      4
  5. Doug B

    omg. I’m protesting anymore posts that contain the phrase “purchased from original owner”. It’s becoming as bad as “Patina”. I know everyone has to make a living. But the used car flipping gutter dwellers are frickin’ driving me out of my mind.

    6
  6. bobhess Member

    Without pictures of the front frame or under bodyworks I wouldn’t buy this sight unseen. Did a rusty ’55 and everything from the seats forward had some sort of rust issue.

    2
    • Paul

      Hi Bob, I’d love an associate to help me with a Healey restoration, maybe we’re related.
      Paul Hess

  7. Ben T. Spanner

    I had a 1967 in BRG for 25 years. This is a late one, note the non-eared knock offs. I had 6 big Healey’s and was a body man. Lot’s of work here, If you have to pay for the labor, you should just buy a cleaner one.

    3
  8. YankeeTR5

    Personally, I value a car that “was purchased from the original owner”. That line tells a backstory about the car pretty quickly. If that drives you out of your mind (really?) you’re living on a pretty tight edge…
    Anyone can throw $11K at any type of car if a)they know nothing about cars, how they work and basic repairs and b)trust the wrong mechanic.
    Nice car, but as I’ve aged, rust just a much bigger negative then it used to be. It seems finding a decent project classic car these days is getting scarce. Oh well, bring on the 80’s and 90’s cars.

    1
    • Lance

      80’s and 90’s cars?? Really?? You mean like Yugo and Aztec? Crush anything that has a mother board or chip.

      2
  9. Maestro1 Member

    $11,000.00 on what? Does the Seller have receipts or paperwork to show that much? Not sure about this but great cars.

    2
  10. Matt

    Where was the $11,000 spent? Maybe to buy it.

    Matt

    1
  11. Paul

    I had a 62′ in high school. Myself and three young ladies went for a ride after school, 40 years ago. The left rear wire wheel collapsed, we pulled to the curb and parked it. We had to all get home and left the car until i could figure out what to do. It was gone when I returned and I’ve been looking ever since.
    Red on black, removable hard top. Anybody seen it?

  12. TimM

    Typical high priced classic

    1
  13. Doug B

    There is just so much BS (and low life scammers) floating around out there. Really the only way I would trust anyone to buy a vintage car from is with direct knowledge of the history of the car. It’s just a sign of the times, unfortunately.

    2
  14. Mike

    The $11,000 was spent on labor. At best this is worth $5,000 to $7000. as is.The certificate is iffy too. A photo is usually present. This 65 has a lot of my labor in it and I’m in for $ 35,000 from pink slip to certificate.

    5
  15. Will Irby

    Just needs a little work–and maybe a little more power.

    • Doug B

      I remember when people would put 283-327’s in them. Fast has hell, as long as you didn’t have to steer. lol

      • Will Irby

        A friend of mine has one with a 383 stroker in it. Although it has an automatic, it still has plenty of power.

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