Full Mechanical Rebuild Done: 1967 Austin Healey 3000 BJ8

We’ve recently seen a few project-grade Austin Healey 3000s here at Barn Finds, but this appears to be one of the better ones. It needs some restoration work, but it has had a lot of the mechanical work completed, while the body and frame both appear to be solid. You will find the Healey listed for sale here at auto archeologist. The car is located in Middletown, Connecticut, and while it isn’t mentioned, I believe that the car comes with a clear title. The seller is also vague on the asking price, but it is below $40,000.

The seller states that the body and frame of the Healey are solid, with no rot. There are a couple of small spots of rust on the body, but these are minor and should be easy to fix. The paint on the car is pretty sad, and it will need a bit of work to strip off the old finish in preparation for a repaint. All of the external chrome and trim is present, and it all seems to be in good condition.

The interior is generally pretty good on the little Healey. The worst looking issue inside the car is actually something that might be very easy to rectify. The timber veneer is peeling away from the dash and glove compartment. You could attempt to have this restored, but replacement parts are readily available, and really aren’t very expensive. The carpet is also tired, and it probably should be replaced. The leather-trimmed components actually look really good, and I think that the seller is on the right track when he states that a good quality leather conditioner would revive them.

If a solid body and a decent interior aren’t enough for you, then I’m sure that a rebuilt engine, transmission and brakes will probably sound quite attractive. The current owner was the person who serviced this car from new, and when the original owner passed away, he was able to purchase the car from the estate. He has gone through the car with a fine-toothed comb to ensure that the car is mechanically sound. Inside the last 5,000 miles, the engine has been rebuilt with new rods, rings, and bearings. The transmission has also been stripped and has been overhauled, with new seals, gaskets, synchros, and a new clutch, along with a master cylinder and slave cylinder. The brakes have also been showered with TLC with a new master cylinder, new rear wheel cylinders, and the front calipers have also been rebuilt. A new gas tank and sender unit have been fitted, and the carburetors have been cleaned and tuned. The wire wheels have also been tuned, tested to ensure they were true, and have been repainted.

The Austin Healey 3000 continues to be one of the most popular of the British sports cars, and this one seems to be a good example. With a solid body and frame, along with a huge amount of mechanical refurbishment already completed, this looks like a restoration job where a lot of the expensive work is complete, and it needs someone to finish the job. Values of the 3000 have been a bit up and down over the past few years, but good examples are continuing to attract healthy prices. This one looks like a really good prospect at the asking price.

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Comments

  1. Nate

    Yum yum!

  2. Ben T. Spanner

    I have had 6 big Healey’s Why would you do all this mechanical work and leave the engine bay so ratty? Rebuilt the brakes and left the fluid can all rusty? Don’t paint the fan shroud?
    As with all 50 year old Jags and Healey’s look very closely for corrosion.

    Like 1
    • AutoArcheologist AutoArcheologist Member

      Hi Ben,
      We can ask all of these questions and more about nearly every car we see posted. I often ask them myself.. sometimes to the person I’m assisting in getting the car moved for and sometimes just to myself.
      Being a two owner car and the current owner the one who did most of the work FOR the first owner, we may never know the answers to those questions, as he was working at the first owners wants and desires.
      Yeah, if I was pulling it all apart, I couldn’t help myself.. I’d be cleaning and painting everything under the bonnet. But… that’s the way this car is.Still a very pretty car, in great running and driving condition.
      Anyone with any questions, please don’t hesitate to ask or contact me.
      Dave@AutoArcheologist.com

  3. Del

    I always find it a flag when price is vague.

    Wonder why the rebuild and not do the rest of the car ? Both under hood and paint ?

    NADA guides say average retail 70 grand with high retail at 124 grand.

    Might be room here to buy and finish off and flip for a big profit

    Like 1
    • AutoArcheologist AutoArcheologist Member

      Hi Del,
      See my response above.
      The asking price is $39,900 and is negotiable.

      Like 1
  4. David Miraglia

    Always wanted one. But out of my price range.

    Like 1
  5. Sarah

    Needs tires that are of the correct profile. These are too low a profile. Vredestein Sports Classics 185-70-15s fit nicely and look more correct!
    A new set of carpets would have improved the sale-ability and desirability of this Healey, and makes you wonder about the rest of it.

    Like 1
    • AutoArcheologist AutoArcheologist Member

      Hi Sarah,
      The car has been pretty much sitting in the mechanic’s garage, being driven only to move it out of the way of others cars coming in for service. I stumbled upon it in my regular pursuit of old cars and I guess I may have inspired him to get her moved on.
      I’m sure there are many of us who are familiar with the feeling of not wanting to put more time, effort or money into a car we want to move on.
      I agree with you on your choice of a better tire and also that the current tires, although a very good driving tire and probably better for overall drivability and handling, doesn’t look as good as the Vredsteins.

      Like 1
  6. stillrunners stillrunners Member

    neat one…..

    Like 1
  7. Mike

    If you look at Auto Archeologist this BJ8 is solid but many of the pic are of parts that do need attention. and some may need replacing with after market.
    I believe the seller may be an honest guy leaving the sale up to a lot of dickering.

    Like 2
    • AutoArcheologist AutoArcheologist Member

      Thanks Mike,
      I have helped a lot people sell their cars and I have moved many of them to various parts of the country and the most recent international sale went to Dubai.
      In order to do that, I need to present the car is it is, without hiding anything, showing the Good, Bad and Ugly.
      I love old cars and if I was independently wealthy, I’d do this w/o a fee, just to see them moved into the hands of someone who will hopefully take the car to the next step. There is certainly room for some haggling on the price.

      Like 1
  8. AutoArcheologist AutoArcheologist Member

    Just wanted to post an update on this Healey.
    It has been discovered that the car was originally Ivory White and Steve Byers of the Austin Healey Registry says that this car is, aside from the repaint to red, one of the most original BJ8’s, in pretty much unmolested shape, he has seen pass through the regsitry’s system.
    Any questions, please don’t hesitate to contact me,

    Thank you all for the comments and interest.

    Talk soon,

    Like 1
  9. Mike

    Auto Archeologist
    I have a BJ8 that I purchased form a friend in 1977 w/ 57.000 miles. It now has 69,000 and I got the build cert. It has been restored and I Show it at local events each summer. The I’m the 3rd owner and 2nd legal owner. First owner was illegally in country and sold it before being deported. Can you find that person’s name if I provide what you need?

    • AutoArcheologist AutoArcheologist Member

      Hi Mike,
      Unfortunately, due mostly to the time frames involved, (early 70’s) finding out who the illegal alien was that owned your car initially will be quite difficult.
      Surprising that the build certificate from AH doesn’t include who the first owner was, as many Heritage Certificates from other manufacturers DO include that.
      Sorry that I can’t help out on this other than to suggest speaking with an immigration attorney who may know how to access gov’t records on illegals.
      It won’t be free but you may be able to find out with a whole bunch of legal file digging.
      If he was here illegally, then chances are very good that any kind of registration he may have had would be shady at best and wouldn’t lead to any real person.. that would be my guess. So, going that route wouldn’t get you anywhere.
      Why are you looking to find this person or at least their name? It seems as though you have thoroughly enjoyed this car for several decades w/o issue, isn’t like you need it to fill in a void in order to get proper registration…

      Talk soon,

  10. Mike

    I was trying to get complete ownership paper trail only. Justifiably I can’t claim myself as 2nd owner. Maybe 2nd legal owner. Lol.
    Have a nice Merry Christmas

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