Driver Quality Austin-Healey 3000 Mk III

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Having driven an Austin-Healey 3000 as a daily driver, I can relate that it’s a rather unique experience. The car actually feels far less sophisticated than you would expect, and making it go quickly was a matter of horsing it around. That being said, there’s nothing quite like a drive in a big Healey on a fall day when you have nowhere in particular to go. This one is located in Birmingham, Alabama and is being offered here on eBay at no reserve, with bidding at $15,600 as I type. At first glance that seems inexpensive, as a lot of work has been done on the car, but upon close examination it’s not as high quality work as I’d like to see. The seller seems very honest about the condition of the car, and has taken close up pictures of some of the problem areas, such as where pitted metal was painted over, and where bodywork was not done to a high standard. However, if you are looking for a driver quality 3000 that you don’t have to worry about every little scratch, this car might work well for you. Would you like a 3000 as your daily driver? Let us know in the comments!

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Comments

  1. DENIS

    I always loved those things-never owned one but drove several. I don’t think those bucket seats fit my “bucket” too well anymore….siiigh…

  2. Fred

    Kudos to the seller for pointing out those little paint and body deficits- 99% would not do that.

    • Jamie Palmer Jamie Staff

      Agreed, Fred, that is unusual. Gives me some confidence in the rest of the description.

  3. Chris

    i almost want to buy it to see all the craziness in the body when it comes back from the stripper.

    The rearend looks massive for that puny motor.

    • Frederich

      There isn’t anything puny about the big six in a healey . I drive one everyday.

  4. Alan (Michigan)

    $17,588 already, 6 days to go.
    Going to get expensive, I think!

  5. Howard A Member

    My brother had a car like this in the late ’70’s. It had power to pass, but generally, not the nicest car. ( and I love British roadsters) Front heavy, rattled, no heat, (of course) and I guarantee, the next owner WILL tear the exhaust off, a weekly occurrence with my brothers car. With the OD, it will bury the speedo ( that was a ride I’ll not soon forget, 40 years later), if you dare. I’ve never seen that front shock setup, somebodies idea of bypassing the lever shock and found nothing wrong with the lever-type shocks on my MGB, as long as you kept oil in them. These big Healey’s bring big money, and I’m not really sure why. For the money, however, looks like a very nice car.

  6. Tim H

    Jamie Interesting point you bring up. For old guys, our memories of what it was like to drive these cars in our youth really doesn’t match what it is like to drive them today.

    Back in the 70’s, by miscommunication, I missed picking up a 100-6, I love the way the windshield lays back. But if I had it would I drive it much?

    Some of us are collectors who can drive old cars slowly and be happy, others are just old guys who still just want to drive fast and need power steering. I must be still trying to prove something.

    • Jamie Palmer Jamie Staff

      Tim, I’m with you. I drove my 1967 Spitfire to the airport this morning, and I’m 100% sure it will fire back up and take me home when I come back on Thursday. Only disappointment was that it was drizzling, so I couldn’t put the top down!

  7. Matt Tritt

    I came close to buying a 3000 in 1963, but after driving it for a few days found it to be pretty clumsy in the “S’s”, and hard to keep water from dripping on my knees. Compared to a Porsche Super 90 it was like driving a Buick: Great on the straight and not very exciting everywhere else. Still, if you consider the state of the art at the time, it was a very cool car.

  8. jimbosidecar

    My daily driver through part of high school was an A-H 100.4 Lots or torque, handled better than most of the cars of the day, and heat? Heat was all the time from the engine into the cockpit. 45 years later, that’s what I remember the most was how hot it got inside the cockpit.

    • Jamie Palmer Jamie Staff

      Jimbo, I agree. When I was driving mine, I added three layers of largely ineffective insulation trying to keep my feet from frying. For a totally unrelated reason, it’s the only car I’ve ever answered the question “do you know you’re on fire” with a “yes” while I was driving it. I did some really dumb things when I was in college… :-)

      • Tim H

        You might be a sport car nut if when asked if you know your feet are on fire you answer yes.

      • Wm Lawrence

        I grafted the air valve from a 6 cylinder on top of the driver’s side footwell of my 100-4. No problem with heat. Still turns into a bathtub when it rains.

  9. Dolphin Member

    I had a 3000 tri-carb as a daily driver from ’63-’65 and it was fantastic back then. That was before musclecars dominated the performance scene very much, and when roads were much better maintained and much less crowded that they are now.

    It would be a great car to have again, but only as an occasional driver and only in an uncrowded area where the roads are good. I can think of places like that where I would own one again, but many more places where I wouldn’t want to take it out except on special occasions.

    This one isn’t perfect but it seems to be honestly presented, and with an opening bid under $15K and no reserve I’m not surprised it has a lot of bids after only 2 days.

    • Wm Lawrence

      It’s hard to find a rebuilder for $15,000. This would be a nice start on a premium car.

  10. 365Lusso

    Pretty cars indeed, and easy to work on if they are rust-free (that’s asking for a lot). They plow unbelievably due to that heavy truck engine. Worst accident I’ve ever been in (solo accident, didn’t hurt anyone else) was in one of these.

    Having a brisk run on a beautiful fall day, went around a sharp left-hand curve with a cresting hill in the middle of the curve. As soon as I started down the back-side of the curve while still cornering hard–wham, the back end snapped around, the car headed for the edge of the road sideways, tires hooked in the grass and it rolled. Fortunately, when it went inverted it was in the air, came down and stayed on its wheels. The frame was bent, and the only injury I had was an inch-deep puncture in my left shoulder, never did figure out how that happened. Heavy front end & light rear end = bad. Young fellah just learning about handling in vintage British roadsters and feeling his oats = bad.

    Be careful with the “Phase 1” Mark IIIs, they are really close to the ground (they really hate speed bumps), the ground clearance was raised on the Phase 2 Mark IIIs. Have an expert or knowledgeable friend check it for rust–very important.

    • Howard A Member

      Hi 365, similar thing happened to my brother in the mid- 70’s. His was a 1958 100-6, with a ’64, 3000 motor. He was traveling down a boulevard at a brisk pace, when someone pulled out in front of him, he hit the brakes, the left side grabbed before the right, sending him into a 180 spin, and ended up, mowing over a traffic island, folding both right side wires under, taking out the rear axle, right front suspension, and of course, tearing the exhaust off (again) He ended up selling it for $150 dollars for parts.(it was repairable) I always needle him how much these are worth now.

    • Wm Lawrence

      The 4s had a 50/50 front to rear weight balance. They couldn’t meet that with the 6 cylinder engine although they came close. I have new tech tires on mine and can’t ever seem to break it loose.

  11. Leo

    Looks like a solid base for a restoration if want a concours car or do some more work and just drive it. Its missing the folding seat back for rhe rear jump seats and thats a expensive part to source as an assembly and even more expensive to create from different parts suppliers. Mine was missing also but i was lucky to pick up a complete original one for about $1200
    Parts for the big healeys are expensive lol. Ive always looked at the big healeys as grand touring cars and the sprites as a sports car. The motors were sourced from Austin’s truck division so they have loads of torque and with the OD will cruise all day at 90mph.
    Price will end up in the mid to high 20’s. Six years ago it would have been in the high 30’s . Prices are rebounding again though and in another 10 years this car will sell for double todays price

  12. Wayne

    NOTHING comes close to the sound of the twin exhaust of these big Healeys. Considering that these have a truck motor, the sound that emanates from the old OHV six surpasses E types and Ferraris etc. Once heard never forgotten.

  13. jim s

    it is no reserve so it will sell. i too think this may be a good starting point but needs a lot of work before it is used as a daily driver. this would be a nice car to have if you lived close to the Skyline Drive or another road like that. seller also has a TR4 for sale and i see an RX7 race car in the background of one of the photos. great find.

  14. Woodie Man

    Back in the mid eighties my brother shipped his ’67 out to me to sell for him. I drove it every day and while I love the look of the car, it was a bear in day to day traffic out here in San Diego. Had the overdrive but it was not a car for someone who didn’t really want to DRIVE it. One day the hood came unlatched and flew up and bent in two. My brother was real happy. I had it repaired by a British ppanel beater and sold the car. I think I got six thousand for it. It was in really nice shape.

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