Long Term Ownership: 1967 Austin Healey 3000 BJ8

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The arrival of Donald Healey’s new British sports car in 1953 permanently shifted the trajectory of buyers’ expectations. The Healey 100 was fast – in fact, it was named for its top speed. Later models were even more muscular. Accompanying the impressive performance, Healeys offered outstanding interior appointments – including 2+2 models – and top-notch cosmetics. The BJ8 represented the finale for Austin-Healey in the US; the nameplate disappeared altogether by 1970. Presented in classic “Healey Blue”, this 1967 3000 BJ8 has been listed by a seller on behalf of a friend. Resurrected after a long slumber, this Big Healey has been the beneficiary of thousands of dollars of work lately, including a new stainless steel exhaust system, a complete brake rebuild, and new wheels and tires. Scope for improvement remains, but as she sits, the car is a promising summer companion for shows or tours.

Equipped with a 2.9-liter in-line six-cylinder – ostensibly the same construction installed in the first Healey 3000s starting in 1959 –  the BJ8 benefited from a power increase to 148 hp and a top speed of 125 mph courtesy of larger twin SU carburetors, new valve springs, and a high-lift camshaft. A four-speed manual gearbox was standard; this car has the optional overdrive feature. Front disc brakes were standard, now servo-assisted. The chassis was reworked for better ground clearance, and the car’s rear suspension was improved with radius arms and beefier leaf springs. A glance at this engine bay reveals the car’s original color was likely Ivory White. The seller notes that the car runs and drives well.

The interior is black Ambla vinyl with the characteristic BJ8 silver piping; a true Healey Blue car would have a blue interior. The finish on the wood dash is flaking away. The rear seats are in fine condition, and the top appears nearly new. The trunk is tidy enough, with modest wear apparent. The gas gauge does not work, and the tachometer is erratic. The odometer reads 47,459, said to be the original mileage.

Several undercarriage photos are included in the listing here on eBay, including three showing close-ups of the new exhaust system, seen above on the left. No rust is in evidence. This driver-quality car is bid to $34,988, reserve not met, and it’s located in Altoona, Pennsylvania. Departures from originality, no mention of documents to support the mileage claim, and work required in the engine bay and interior have likely dampened enthusiasm here. Meanwhile, the market backdrop for Healeys has seen prices drift down over the last few years. Special cars such as this well-preserved example in original colors out of long-term ownership can breach $60k, but average-quality BJ8s are more likely to sell near the current quote.

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  1. Eric_13cars Eric_13carsMember

    This is a great price for what appears to be a #2-3 driver. You couldn’t renovate a rough one for this price (ask me how I know). It’s not clear to me why the prices have fallen off so much. A #1 level used to approach 6 figures not that long ago. Someone has taken very good care, especially in the northern climes.

    Like 2
  2. Terrry

    As I recall, you could get a split manifold setup for these back in the day and run dual straight pipes with fiber glass mufflers. It made them sing!

    Like 2
    • Eric_13cars Eric_13carsMember

      When I replaced the exhaust on my 65 BJ8 there were 2 down pipes from the manifolds that ran into 2 separate side-by-side mufflers running on the left side, hopping over the axle before making a 90 degree turn to the right into 2 separate resonators before another 90 degree turn to the rear exiting in 2 pipes on the right side. Earlier models had straight pipes on the left side. The sound my car made when revved up was awesome. Problems were 2 fold – lots of heat under the driver’s (captain’s) seat despite the asbestos shield and they hung so low that speed bumps were almost impossible to traverse including turning into concrete driveways over the drainage lip. A little frame sag or a heavy couple of folks in the car and it was Katy bar the door for them.

      Like 2
      • Terrry

        Often the pipes would exit the rear of the car at an upward angle, side by side. I don’t know if that exhaust was factory or after-market.

        Like 0
    • Wayne from Oz

      Split exhaust manifold (headers), was standard, with twin pipes and mufflers all the way, with no balance pipe. That’s why they sounded so great. Once heard never forgotten.

      Like 4
      • jwaltb

        NOTHING sounds like a Big Healey in a tunnel! It’s an awesome sound.

        Like 2
  3. MarkO

    Ivory coves would look great against the Healey blue. There are many examples that I have seen in that color combination.
    The firewall and underhood areas would match the coves too!
    Man, this is tempting!
    ( unfortunately ,the 35K asking price would lead to a $135K + divorce! )

    Like 8
    • Terrry

      But she’d let you keep the car:-)

      Like 3
  4. Gordo

    Auction ended, reserve not met.

    Like 1
  5. Gordo

    Auction ended; reserve not met.

    Like 0
  6. Al Dee

    I had a ’63 Austin Healey 3000 MkIII in Ivory White. I called it “cream”, and it was the most beautiful paint color I had ever seen on a car. When it was polished and buffed, it gleamed – giving the car a very expensive luxurious look. – Why anyone would repaint their Healey from Ivory White to this “bland blue” color is totally beyond me! Mine was just pure sex on wheels. It was beautiful, very fast, and very nimble on its feet. Had a ton of fun with it for years and then sold it for $5000 in ’71 to a rich woman that just “had to have it”. That was a LOT of money back then – especially to me – so I couldn’t pass up her offer, but I’ve always regretted giving my Healey up. If this Healey was in its original paint color, it would be irresistible – even with all of its problems. Too bad someone went and made this incredible car ugly.

    Like 0

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