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Poor Man’s Cobra: 1967 Austin Healey 3000


The iconic Cobra is a dream for many, but a reality for few. But what if you already had a British sports car and it had room for more power? Well, we suspect that’s the case with this Austin Healey 3000. This is a true steel bodied 3000, not a fiberglass kit car. Even at a quick glance you can tell there is more than meets the eye with this custom V8 roadster. This Healey is priced at $29,500. Find it here on craigslist out of West Newbury, Massachusetts. Special thanks to Olaf E for this fun tip!


The old inline 6 British heart has been replaced with an American heart. The ever so American 1960’s Ford 289. Now we are unsure of why the 289 was the choice for this car. If Ford power was a must, a 302, or a punched out 302 up to a 341 would have been a bigger and more power choice in our opinion. But we suppose the 289 gets the job done, as the original inline 6 cannot match the 289. Also we would have thought that a manual gear box would have been selected with this build as well. Alas a C4 automatic transmission pushes this Healey around. Personal choices aside, the 289 looks quite at home under the hood, and looks very clean. A cool factor on this Healey is the manner in which the exhaust exits the engine, through the fenders. The headers on this engine are fitted nicely with the body work, and really look the part.


The cockpit looks comfortable and inviting, and doesn’t differ much from its original British roots. The custom upholstered seats, door panels and center console look great. We suspect this Healey is comfortable and easy to drive.


Some of the bigger but not so recognizable modification have been made to the exterior. The roof line, and windscreen have been chopped 3 inches. The convertible top looks top notch in fit and finish, as does the windscreen. Also the more obvious customization are the front fenders and the exhaust gases escaping through them. We love this detail, and again the execution is on point. Something else semi hidden is that the wire wheel have been widened. The front gained 1 inch in width, and the rear gained 2 inches in width. The chrome on the front bumper looks a little tired, but over all this Healey is in fantastic condition.


Boasting a fair amount of well executed custom work, this Healey does cost more than a second hand Cobra replica. But this car is an authentic steel bodied British built car, with a high level of detail and build quality put into it. It would seem this Healey was intended as more of a powerful cruiser than a break neck speed demon. We can appreciate that, but what do you think of this Austin Healey 3000? What would you do with this custom roadster?


  1. Bingo

    $30,000 for the poor man?

    There’s no hope for a sub-poor man like me.

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    • Scot Douglas

      Well, there’s always the poor man’s Vette….

      …the Chevette.


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      • Michael55

        I thought the Opel GT was the poor man’s Vette :)

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    • Brian Birkner Member

      Perhaps not for a poor man, but this Austin Healey is a great deal cheaper than a real Cobra.

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  2. Jim B

    love the location of the shoot – the old barn in the back, the pond with the boat and landing, beautiful!

    the 3000 – er, well, not a fan of V8 “nasty boy” swaps. but many people are. that chopped windshield, eeeeek!

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    • Wm Lawrence

      Yeah, These cars don’t have a lot of head space to begin with. Probably works pretty well if your 5’2″.

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  3. DrinkinGasoline

    I like it….not the price though. Bingo and I are in the same sub-poor, bleacher seat, nose bleed section. Tastefully done molded fender flares would cure those dirt slinging wheels. Turn those raised whites in also :)

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  4. Bill

    What is in the barn in pic. 5 left hand side?

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  5. Dave at OldSchool Restorations

    gaudy, looks like a pimp ride… classless stripes and side white panel not correct kill the Healey connection, expect that nonsense on a replica…same goes for the tires sticking outside the body…that sucks too.

    I had a 100-6 with the 289 auto…tight for footroom, maybe the thru’ fender headers help that a bit. It went like stink in a straight line….did not have enough braking ability or front suspension ( lever shocks) to handle well.

    ICELY done Healey V8’s bring a good price, so the price is ok … spend another 10k on repaint and interior, and have a car well worth owning.

    Like 0
    • Moose Feather

      Agree with everything you say. I have a ’63 in original condition, but for fun I’d like to get a BN1 and do it much like this but finish it with bit more of a rat rod look. Flat or Satin black, white graphics. Anyone know where one is with no drive train pass it my way.

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  6. Jeff

    I did the same conversion back in ’68. The reason for the 289 was that it was a little narrower then the 283. At that time the 302 wasn’t around in the junkyards. I went with the manual 4 speed. a support had to be welded in for the rear of the transmission. Like noted above off the line and in the straight away it flew but harry in the curves. Sold it for a song back in the day and I am still kicking myself.

    Like 0
  7. Bill

    Drove a Heally with a 302….289 is plenty to roast the tires off. not a fan of the pipes.

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  8. Dolphin Member

    Dave is right. Talk about a pimped ride. I don’t use this term much but here it’s appropriate: this was a good Brit sportscar that has been turned into a POS ….side pipes, chopped windshield & top, auto trans, hood straps, Naugahyde, wide stripes, coves…what have I missed?

    Can there be anyone out there who thinks this is worth $30K when that money will get you any one of probably thousands of other cars that are way more desirable and haven’t been pimped to death?

    Like 0
  9. Jorge Garcia

    This guy has destroyed any value that car had before he “customized” it. Big Healeys are either stock or rally tribute cars, either way it’s expensive.

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  10. Leo

    More or less a classless done car, a pimpmobile that had its value ripped out and hacked away at. Kinda like taking a classy lady and throwing her inti a lepord skin looking tight pants with a pink satin too

    Like 0
  11. DRV

    How does this rig folate to a 2nd gen corvette? Someone took a lot of time to paint those coves in!

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    • DRV

      Relate to a 2nd generation Bette…sorry..

      Like 0
  12. Leo

    More or less a classless done car, a pimpmobile that had its value ripped out and hacked away at. Kinda like taking a classy lady and throwing her into leopard skin looking tight pants with a pink satin top

    Like 0
  13. rancher

    My ’67 TR4 had a 302 Ford & automatic transmission because there wasn’t room for a clutch pedal in the foot box after widening the tunnel for the V8 engine.

    Like 1
  14. healeydays

    Sad, very sad…

    I like a well built “nasty boy”, but this car is a clown car.

    Like 0
  15. Jorge Garcia


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  16. Coventrycat

    Steel body or not, everybody will still think it’s a kit because it looks like one. Yuck.

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  17. Biggyinn


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  18. bcavileer

    No thanks. Destroyed beautiful lines of the 3000. Not good at any angle. Now I need another antacid…

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  19. Bruce Best

    There is always a balance to a car, get that balance right and you have magic get it wrong and it can kill you. This monster will get somebody hurt, either innocent bystander or driver and passenger. I have put over 100K miles in my Healy 3000’s and they do not have either the brakes or suspension for the kind of power that this car has.

    What are minor problem on a 3000 MKIII can kill you with over double the power. Somebody spent a lot of time and money making a good car into a bad one. If the frame is not rusty or bent then it is worth picking up and restoring but it will be hard and expensive

    Like 0
  20. Alan (Michigan)

    This is something I’d have to actually see to believe:

    That those headers actually attach to the engine, and are more than just side decoration. I call BS on the assumption that they really do vent exhaust gasses. Not buying it, but all I have to go on is the photos.

    Like 0
    • Wm Lawrence

      Seems like if they are functional there would be some damage to the paint on the fenders. Those things would get hot. Maybe it has never been run.

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    • Wm Lawrence

      Looked at the engine shot again and there doesn’t seem to be any evidence of the pipes leaving the engine. I’ll bet they are phony. There just isn’t that much room for them to run through there.

      Like 0
  21. Bob Prince

    Ugly! A Healey is renowned for its classic lines and uncluttered design. What a waste of someone’s time and money.

    Like 0
  22. CaCarDude

    Have to agree with others here about not a very desirable ride after the hack job done to try to make it something special. Wondering what the story is on the ’56 Nomad at the top of picture one, I would be much more interested in seeing this come up for sale…

    Like 0
  23. Terry

    People have been shot for less.

    Like 0
  24. rob pearcey

    Don’t waste your money , it’s a crossbreed and you can buy a decent Healey for the asking price. Running the exhaust down the side of the car was a poor choice .Dave Old School Restauration nail it his comments.

    Like 0
  25. billy de hulst

    While I am definitely not an originality enthusiast and I have owned V8 engined Mk2 Jaguars and I would really like to find a decent stock looking V8 Healey, I think that this car needs a lot of cosmetic help.

    The factory had already pretty much spoiled the beautiful lines of the older 4 cylinder cars but we Healey folk got used to the the longer 100/6, 3000 Mk1 and early Mk2, eapecially the two seat cars.

    Then came the wind-up windows and bigger windshield. That blew it for me. I bought a Porsche Speedster.

    If anyone is willing to spend $30k on this one I hope they keep it in good condition because it isn’t too far gone to civilize it in a few years.

    Like 0
  26. Rando

    Looks like the “custom/drag” version of hte AMT or MPC kits we all built in our youth. the track width and sidepipes are awful. Top chop looks like a matchbox that got stepped on. No redeeming feeatures. As badly as I would like to have an old project car, I’d be hard pressed to let this one in my driveway for free. Yeah it’s that bad to me.

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  27. peter farmer

    That’s got to be the worse idea of any sports car I’ve ever seen. Especially a Healey!
    I restore. modify and build some of the finest Healeys around in the UK. including V8 Nasty Boys. This effort is disgraceful. Worth probably $30.

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  28. Dan Beliveau

    the windscreen and top don’t look bad but those exhaust pipes, double leather bonnet straps, racing stripes, fake coves and auto trans just don’t do it. should have gone with a tribute rally car look with SS vents covering the side pipes. I had a 67 AH 3000 and it went pretty good with the stock L6 and 2 inch SUs. I’m no purist but you gotta go with one theme not mix and match. Here’s my 80 Spit with a retro sixties early seventies look.

    Like 0

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