Same Owner Since 1960: 1959 Austin Healey 3000

Jeff LaveryBy Jeff Lavery

A quick glance around eBay confirms values are still strong for Austin Healeys, which makes this honest survivor immensely appealing with a $20K asking price. The early Healey 3000 is listed here on as part of a property wind-down that appears to have belonged to an extremely neat DIYer. Though the asking price is listed, the seller is still encouraging offers and serious inquiries to the email address listed in the ad. 

Said to have been purchased by the car’s last owner in 1960 while he was attending Stanford, the 1959 Austin Healey has stayed in his care ever since. Still wearing its California black plates, tonneau cover and wire wheels, this Healey feels quite honest. The body appears sound, aside from some issues with the trunk lid. The car has not moved since 1998, which is when it was shipped to Washington State from its original California home.

Given the long period of garage storage and its overall cleanliness, it seems likely the Healey was destined for restoration, especially with period accessory steering wheels like this one set aside for future use. These Mark I Austin Healeys used a 3-liter C-Series engine, representing a nice bump in displacement from the previous generation’s 100-6 powerplant. Not many of these two-seater drop-top BN7s were ever made, with total production well under 3,000.

The presence of the tonneau cover offers hope that the interior was preserved, and those wishes are confirmed with this cabin shot. Clean dash, un-torn seats and no mis-matched panels are all welcome sights. The estate sale listing says this was a Silicon Valley and Sacramento car until its move north in the late 90s, so rust issues are hopefully near non-existent. For $20K, this looks like a sound investment for both ROI and smiles per gallon.

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  1. Alan

    Now you’re talkin. A real deal

  2. boxdin

    A steal, even if there is a little rust.

  3. John

    That should be sold by now. Excellent find.

  4. bcavileer

    Black plates must be worth as much as some of these cars. Always seems to be a major selling point.

  5. Jeff


  6. ccrvtt

    Steal. Plain & simple.

  7. Geri

    Jeff, Thanks for the post on the Austin Healy. Geri Lin’s Estate Sale Service.

  8. Dolphin Dolphin Staff

    Could be a good buy, but frustrating because the seller didn’t even roll it 15 ft out of the garage for decent lighting. The 60 spoke wheels are good, and a good thing that was mentioned, since you couldn’t tell otherwise.

    There are small dents on the RF fender, front bumper pushed back & up from park-by-ear, and a bad looking trunk lid, so even if the paint is original Old English White the car will likely need paint.

    Go if nearby, otherwise a roll of the dice. But then again, these sales are a way people get a bargain vintage car these days. I would definitely go if nearby…..

  9. Joey Dimes

    I’m not sure if the whole survivor car thing is still a trend or not but I think it would be fun to get this mechanically straightened out and drive it just like it is.

  10. Moose Feather

    I’ve been contemplating selling mine and even had an offer so I could buy me a project exactly like this. My wife would shoot me, but this is exactly what I’m looking for. Maybe she’d fall for this his and hers arguement.

  11. Marc

    Interesting approach to selling this – Estate Sale and owner of sale co said they’d had a lot of interest and questions, they would post questions and then take bids.
    Stayed in touch by email and was waiting for q+a’s to be posted so I could bid well above the $20k and then she sold it “to someone local” for $20k without taking bids. Owner didn’t get anywhere as near as much as he could have done. Is this normal behaviour or does it seem wrong to anyone else?

  12. Geri

    Marc, There were many offers with dollar figures. I did answer many of your questions personally in an email to you as I did others. Many of which were like the ones you had asked. This was our exchange: Your Question: “I have two questions that I’m sure others have asked – how is the rust situation on the car? Answer: From what others have said it is not bad. a few spots near the rear wheel on both sides. Your Question: and how close is it to being a runner/when was the last time it ran? Answer: Not sure about that, but the last time it ran was in 1998 when they drove it off the moving truck and put it in the garage. Not sure why, but I will find out.” I also asked you if you wanted to see the car in person. These are questions that I did answer. So today when I told you that the car sold to someone local. Then you threw out a figure. I am sorry that you feel that I did something shameful as you stated in your email to me, but we had a car to sell and it sold for the asking price.

  13. Marc

    Very simple – you wrote to me and said you were going to handle the sale a certain way as “there are many people interested”.
    Then you did something completely different.

    You said that you would “post q+a’s” and then “I’ll keep you posted” so that you could get the owner the highest offer. I said I’d be happy to make an offer once you did that and confirmed that I didn’t need to see the car to buy it.

    Then you sold it to “someone local” for $20k when your client could have got more (by your own admission as when you wrote to me the current offers were above asking price).

    A little confusing as I thought the idea was to get as much as possible but I’m sure you will have your reasons for acting in this way and that you will have a completely clear conscience.
    It’s certainly not honourable in my opinion but I was obviously naive to think that it would be handled that way.
    I live and learn and someone got a car much cheaper than it could have been sold for.
    We move on…and I’m still looking for an Austin Healey

    • Moose Feather

      Something finished or a project?

  14. Marc

    Prefer finished and ok to drive in California re emissions.
    Thanks. Marc

  15. Joe

    I know who bought this car. The car is running now and close to driving. I bet they would sell for a good offer.

    • Marc

      Is the car still available plse?

  16. Marc

    Thank you, would be happy to hear what’s going on with it, be connected. Maybe there’s something we could do. Thanks.


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