Motoring Monday: AH 3000 Rally Tribute

ahrally2

The Austin-Healey 3000 was a very successful rally car in its day. This car is not one of the actual rally cars, but it has been turned into a convincing cosmetic tribute to them. Located in Bellingham, Washington and listed for sale here on eBay, this evocative “Big Healey” is looking for an opening bid of $33,950. Having owned a 1961 3000 with hardtop, I have a soft spot for these cars, especially in rally trim. The extra lights, fender vents, modified grille opening and traditional color scheme really look the part. The mechanicals appear to largely be stock, but since it looks like the modifications came before the car was put into storage in 1985, all we know about the modifications are the sellers details of uprated camshaft, headers, and side exhaust.

MOSS2

photo courtesy healeysweden.com

You may notice the name “Pat Moss” on the roof of the Healey. Pat Moss-Carlsson was an excellent rally driver, winning not only numerous ladies class awards but many outright trophies as well, including the 1960 Liege-Rome-Liege rally in the Healey above. Yes, that name is not a coincidence, she was Sir Stirling’s sister! I’m pretty sure she never drove this car, though.

healey engine

The heart of a 3000 is its engine. With three HS6 SU’s (standard equipment on this model) and the aforementioned mild modifications, this engine should have a lot of torque but still be mild-mannered enough to be enjoyable on the street. The transmission is the classic heavy-duty four-speed with electric overdrive; I remember the torque allowing me to take advantage of all of the available ratios. These cars are lots of fun to drive!

ahrally3

And drive it would be exactly what I’d do! This isn’t a pristine show piece; you can see that from the closeups–the paint is weathered, some stress cracks, and the white rectangles for the side numbers are actually magnetic, but it’s a car that is meant to be driven! I would consider the imperfections badges of honor and would enter the car in all the vintage rally and racing events I could afford! The underside pictures look remarkably solid and certainly inspire confidence, with no major leaks (it is a British car–if there are no leaks at all, I’d worry that it had no fluids) and hadn’t been driven. This way, I know the car’s able to be used, and the long list of maintenance that has just been completed makes me even more confident. I wish there were more room in my garage (and more money!). Have you got room in yours?

WANT ADS

WANTED 1959/1960 Pontiac ANY parts car Contact

WANTED 1958-76 Lambretta Any This is a motor scooter all metal Contact

WANTED 1954 Buick Skylark Looking for a car that needs restoration Contact

WANTED 1958 – 1959 Chevrolet Impala Top dollar paid! Contact

WANTED 1970 Chevrolet Chevelle SS Have cash in hand. Call 573-541-1970 or email collectorcarsandparts@yahoo.com Contact

Submit Your Want Ad

Comments

  1. Randy Forbes

    Healeys are definitely cool; I took this ’57 2-seater for a little drive today!
    While it’s not a Works Rally replica, it’s got a pretty souped-up engine (45 DCOE Webers, Isky cam, headers, gas-flowed head and balanced rotating/reciprocating assembly).
    Bought it in 1978, and I’ve owned it over half my life__I’ve had it this long, I guess I’m supposed to keep it!

  2. Dolphin Member

    I also have a soft spot for Big Healeys and once owned a stock ’62 Tri-Carb in Healey Blue, but I would enjoy having this Pat Moss tribute to run modern fun rallys with. The rally setup for these is impressive, especially the big Lucas lights and the fender vents. These were rally winners in their day, although I could never figure out how they could excel in snow and on bad roads with the minimal ground clearance they had. I really like that photo of the car on a gravel road kicking up dust.

    Just drive her—that’s right.

  3. RayT Member

    As a former (regretfully) owner of a 1960 BT7 Healey — which my father bought new and drove for over 500,000 miles before passing along to me — this one definitely gets my attention. As far as I’m concerned there is no automotive experience that matches driving (and listening to) a Big Healey.

    I’m enough of a “purist” to want to remove all the “rally” stuff. Unless it was really a serious racer with a history — I think of the Hollywood Sport Cars-sponsored Healey that Ron Bucknum raced so successfully, which supposedly still exists and I would love to have in my garage if it were at all possible — I’d rather enjoy it as a wonderful touring machine. And I’d drive it a LOT!

    This car would need a lot of nit-picky stuff done to make details conform to my memories (the orange valve cover, black engine bay and negative-ground electrics wouldn’t suit a fanatic, which I am) but who cares? It’s a Big Healey and, for a guy who has missed having one for far too long, it’s quite the nicest machine to show up on these pages….

  4. Jamie Palmer Jamie Staff

    @ Randy Forbes — beautiful car! Glad you’ve had it for so long :-)

    @ Dolphin — Having daily driven a ’59 100-6 for a couple of years, I have to agree with you on the ground clearance! At least with the Mk. III’s there was more, but still not a lot.

    @Ray T — Any hope of tracking down your original car? I managed to find my original TR6 last year that I had sold 30 years before — I shouldn’t be restoring it (it’s a parts car to anyone else) but I will be :-)

    • RayT Member

      @ Jamie — I’m sure it wouldn’t be too difficult to track down, and from time to time I’ve thought of doing so.

      Hate to say it, but there are other Healeys I’d rather have — a genuine 100M and a 3000 BN7 head the list — if I leave sentiment aside.

      Who am I kidding? What I really want is to have one of EVERY Austin-Healey produced, from BN1 through 100S right on to a pristine BT7 (no rollup-window cars, though)! Right after I scoop up the Powerball I’ll get on it….

      • Jamie Palmer Jamie Staff

        Ray, I know what you mean. There’s no way I can even remotely justify restoring this TR6. But when I see my high school budget “fixes” still in place, it’s hard to separate reason from sentiment. BTW, good luck on that Powerball; I’d love to see the collection you’d end up with when you were done acquiring!

        One thing; I was surprised to see something other than a 100S head the list–is it because it’s a little “raw” for touring? Just curious!

  5. RayT Member

    Jamie, I’ve had the pleasure od driving every Big Healey model produced, including the 100S. The S I drove was virtually in race trim — a restored original with no later “enhancing” of the engine — but was sweet and smooth on the road. In my experience, that’s true of a lot of vintage race cars.

    The sole reason the S does not head my wish list is the consequences of an engine malfunction. The aluminum crossflow head is not a shining example of metallurgy at its best, and the modifications made to the block to fit the head would be difficult to replicate without an intact example for a guide. Gearboxes and brakes (and, of course, panels) were unique to the model as well. With only 55 Ss ever built, and most raced hard when new, spares are not easy to find!

    If one were to lunch, say, a 100M engine, it would not be as difficult to find the bits to put it back together.

    • Jamie Palmer Jamie Staff

      Ray, thanks for the clarification! I guess it makes sense that the castings wouldn’t be terrific considering they were only planning on making 50 in the first place (right?). I’ve only driven a 100-6 and 3000 Mk. I (my 100-6 drum brakes worked just fine, thank you); always wanted to try a 100-4 and/or a 3000 Mk. III. I hope you’re able to source one before they go completely out of sight!

Leave A Comment

RULES: No profanity, politics, or personal attacks.

Become a member to add images to your comments.

*

Keep me in the conversation via email. Or subscribe without commenting.