Endless Possibilities: 1962 Austin Healy 3000

Sometimes we feature collectible cars that are rare and desirable, but just too far gone to save.  The good news is that technology is progressing to a point that these considerations may end up a thing of the past.  If you are interested in a project of epic proportions, or an investment that can sit and wait for technology to catch up, have a look at this 1962 Austin Healey 3000 for sale on eBay in Wylie, Texas.  With a buy-it-now price of $13,600, is this desirable Austin Healey overpriced or an opportunity in disguise?

The challenges facing our hobby are growing by the day.  Younger generations who would like to own a collectible automobile struggle to find the space, tools, and financial ability needed to enter the hobby.  However, they are very tech-savvy.  We have all heard of Confucius’s wish that we all live in interesting times.  Well, for automotive enthusiasts, we may be entering those times.  Incredible progress is being made daily in a field called additive manufacturing.

What is additive manufacturing?  This United States Department of Energy web page gives you a brief but informative overview of the process and its applications.  To make the process more relatable to car people, a lab at the Oak Ridge National Laboratories has used additive manufacturing to create an electric Cobra replica.  Try to disregard its imperfect shape and think of just how the process will revolutionize the classic car industry once it is at a commercially acceptable level.

Small plastic parts such as knobs and handles are currently being made by enterprising enthusiasts using 3D printing technology you can purchase from Amazon.  I have been told that we are not far away from being able to purchase desktop CNC machines for under $1,000 that can be used to make simple parts.  Lincoln Electric is working hard to develop a machine that can make metal parts by combining MIG technology with computer control.  There are also advances being made in coatings and finishes through the additive manufacturing process.

We all know that money drives innovation, and the collector car hobby as a whole spends billions each year to restore, modify, and customize all manner of vehicles.  Are we really that far off from traditional chroming being replaced by an additive manufacturing finish that is more environmentally friendly and cheaper?  Could fenders like the ones on this Austin-Healey be scanned and reproduced without going the route of a hugely expensive press and custom stamping dies?  How about the idea of stripping a rusty fender down to bare metal and using additive manufacturing to replace the metal that has rusted away?  The possibilities are endless…

Will they be here in time to make this 1962 Austin Healey 3000 a good investment to purchase and garage in the meantime?  Possibly.  The car seen here likely spent the majority of its life in the elements.  Considering that many British cars are prone to rust and the fact that it is a convertible, it is a miracle the car has not been crushed.  What makes the prospect of selling this car even possible is that it is fairly rare, there is a strong collector following for these big Healeys, and it was equipped with overdrive.

Looking at the additional pictures as you scroll down the ad, you really have to question what restoration would cost using current methods.  Nearly every body panel would need to be replaced.  Quickly scanning Moss Motors’ website shows that the fenders and quarter panels average around $1,600 apiece.  A gifted body man could possibly weld on metal and form it into shape, but at what cost?   Summing up rough estimates for parts and labor sends the price of this project into the stratosphere.  At least for now.

So, despite all of the doom and gloom we read about every day, there is a lot of hope for the future of our hobby.  Once manufacturing catches up with the dreams of inventors these dreams will become reality.  All of this will trickle down to us and forever change our hobby for the better.

Do you think technology is going to make the restoration of cars like this Austin Healey practical end economical in the future?  Please let us know your thoughts in the comments.


  1. bobhess bobhess Member

    Open those doors and you are going to have a two part car.

    Like 5
  2. drew

    I wonder why Dennis Collins is selling this beauty? It’s one of his favorite marques.

    Like 7
    • Steve R

      This car was featured on his YouTube channel last night, he covers the reason why he won’t restore it. The seller was a nice guy, I want his house, and MG-A which is unbelievable.

      Steve R

      Like 8
      • bobhess bobhess Member

        Dennis is no dummy. I wouldn’t touch this one either.

        Like 4
    • Eric B

      I haven’t watched yesterday’s video yet, but he probably already owns 5 others just like it that are nicer and bought it to flip. He’s a wheeler and dealer.

      Like 0
  3. scott m

    I didn’t know it takes advanced fabrication skills to transfer a VIN plate?

    Like 2
  4. healeydays

    Got to give him credit, Dennis is real good at finding these cars.

    Like 1
    • drew

      That’s what I was thinking looking at the Maserati posted the other day. Where did he find it and how much did he pay for it?

      Like 0
  5. JohnfromSC

    The value of AH 3Ks peaked a while back and other than +1 concours, aren’t going anywhere. It would cost almost the same to restore this as a Jag XK150S and you couldn’t sell it for much more than half the money. If you like these, many very good drivers are available for $50K.

    Like 4
  6. LD

    Just saw this purchase by Dennis on Coffee Walk today(1/27). Glad to see they got the trailer unstuck and back to Texas.

    Like 0
  7. Danno

    3D printing and additive manufacturing are going to change the world, eventually. When any part for any vehicle can be printed, old vehicles will last as long as the owners want them to.
    I think the electrification of the modern industry will be the bigger boon, though, current manufacturers will be reduced to making the base platform, and the consumer will be left to add the shape and accoutrements. There are so many ways for an average day person to employ a personal manufacturing device, I suspect it’ll lead to a tsunami of innovation.
    Exciting technology, I hope to see it in my life.

    Like 1
    • Allen Member

      Danno: Old cars all ready last as long as you want them to. But you have to pick the right old cars. With the caveat of staying out of snow and salt I’m still driving my ’73 MGB/GT daily, and as I do so I always marvel to myself: “Isn’t this amazing! There is nothing, absolutely nothing, that can go wrong on this car that is not worth fixing.” So an old car that is well-supported by the restoration community can be driven forever. Eventually, it may have to be electrified as old fuels get phased out, but that won’t be due to a terminal failure intrinsic to the car. Sharing your interest, I would hope to see that day myself.

      Like 1
  8. Heartbreaker AL

    The grand daddy of the Cobra. The Cobra took off where the Austin quit, but wanted to go.

    Like 0
  9. DA

    Somebody punched this poor Brit in the mouth and threw it in the woods to die, slowly.

    Like 0
  10. Paul in Ma

    I sold a 62 tricarb project in far better and complete shape about two years ago and $13K was a fair price for that. I think this is a $4K car and even then, I don’t think it would be restored. We are decades away from 3d printing being useful for car bodies. I follow people who make their own cars (bodies – using existing other components) CAD software is great for designing and creating the bucks. The wooden bucks can be cut by CNC. Between CAD and CNC doing the design and the bucks, it makes it much faster and better however there is still a human beatiing pannels at the end.

    Like 2
  11. Rex Welker

    At least the tires hold air!

    Like 0
  12. Morrie

    Looks like the one Dennis Collins picked up in one of his latest posts.

    Like 0
  13. V12MECH

    Nasty for Texas, dragged out of a creek.$13k is laughable.John is right, peaked long ago. Look for more peaks soon.

    Like 2
  14. JW Timberlake

    Monumental restoration project for sure….here’s a parts car up in MD for the lucky buyer: https://buysellsearch.com/view/vehicles/cars/137813900/r%2Fvehicles%2Fcars%2Fmk-austin-healey%2Fml-3000%2Fyr-1962

    Like 0
  15. trdave

    Is this a joke? $1300 is outlandishly high. $130?

    Like 0

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