Some Assembly Required: 1965 Austin-Healey 3000

I’m not sure what to make of this one, it’s supposed to be a 1965 Austin-Healy 3000 but it looks suspiciously like a pile o’ parts. The listing is not too descriptive either, as well as being a bit hard to follow, so let’s take a look here and decide if there is actually a car to be had. This Austin is located in Pleasant Valley, New York and is available, here on eBay for a current bid of $3,050, five bids tendered so far.

Here’s how it is supposed to look.

We have covered Austin-Healey 3000s on Barn Finds before but they’re usually intact and recognizable as such. The seller indicates that this 1965 example is a Mark III, one of 17K built between 1964 and 1967, a substantial sports car with its 150 HP, 3.0-liter engine. Like so many cars from “back in the day”, they were a pretty common sight at one time but today are mostly consigned to garages or car shows. As an aside, I knew a guy when I was in high-school who swapped the Healey’s 3.0 liter, in-line six for a 1962 vintage Chevrolet 327 CI V8, complete with a newer Muncie four-speed manual transmission and the appropriately altered driveshaft. My understanding is that the conversion from the A-H six to a Chevy small-block is not so unusual but that example was the only one that I recall encountering. But I am digressing from the example at hand…

So what’s here exactly? It looks like three distinctive components, a front subframe with the engine/transmission and cowl, the rear clip, and the front sheet metal (fenders, header, and grille). The seller states, “THE FRAME WAS FISHPLATED AND THE FRONT SHROUD WAS GREEN INDACATING THIS HEALEY WAS IN AN ACIDENT“. He also offers that the parts may have the original “car#” which I guess is the sequence number from the VIN. The seller further adds, “You know I’ll make it roll and steer” but I’m not sure what that means unless he’s now trying to reassemble the disparate pieces into a reasonable facsimile of an Austin-Healey 3000.

There is an 80K mile,  3.0-liter, in-line six-cylinder engine included in the sale but the seller suggests that it will take a while to get it running – so maybe it’s salvageable and maybe not. There is no reference to the transmission but one is clearly attached to the back of the engine, it could be a four-speed manual or a four-speed with overdrive making it a five-speed manual.

It seems unlikely that this Austin will see a revival into a full-fledged car. There are some potentially usable parts as in the noted drivetrain and maybe some of the instrument panel gauges; the rest of it, however, looks pretty forgettable. The seller also states that there is no title available but that probably doesn’t matter at this point. So, what do you think would be the best way to proceed with this Austin-Healey, part it out completely, try to reassemble it into a roller, or just ditch it as the jumble that it is?

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Comments

  1. RayT Member

    Jim, as a longtime Austin-Healey guy, I can tell you they did not have subframes. What I suspect we’re seeing is a car that suffered terminal Frame Rot — not such an unlikely scenario — and was simply sliced (or broken) into sections….

    It does appear that some parts are worth having. Whether they total out to more than the current bid price, I can’t say. But what I can say with reasonable assurance is that this will never again be the complete car it once was.

    Like 10
    • Jim ODonnell Staff

      I honestly couldn’t tell what in the world I was looking at. The “fishplate” comment really had me confused but it sounds like he has tried to weld some part of the understructure back together, at least that’s how the one image appears.

      Thx,

      JO

      Like 2
      • RayT Member

        He must be one of those “It’ll buff out!” kind of guys.

        I almost wonder if it was appeared to be a complete car before he tried to roll it on the trailer….

        Like 2
  2. Fahrvergnugen Member

    Another Pleasant Valley Sunday, here in status-symbol land. Rows of houses that…

    Like 6
  3. Steve R

    If you look at the sellers completed listing, he has another rusty Healey which he unsuccessfully tried to auction off a few weeks ago, it too was featured on this site. It looks like he came into possession of a couple of long forgotten/neglected cars and is selling them off.

    Steve R

    Like 2
  4. greg v

    Well all you need is $4800 (plus shipping) for a new chassis!

    https://www.ahspares.co.uk/blog/complete-austin-healey-chassis-now-available.aspx?gclid=eaiaiqobchmi156lqpl27qivbh-tbh1tnak7eaayasaaegl6bvd_bwe

    That and a new body and a title will get you going. Wonder what the weight difference is between the original inline 6 and a SBC?

    Definitely not a project for the faint of heart!

    greg v.

    Like 4
    • scott m

      Sheese, I had a flashback watching that video!

      Like 1
    • Al

      I wonder if you can get the frame extended by 3″, so I could drive one again.
      At 16, I could drive one. I was only 6’4″.
      At 17½, I could not. I was 6’7″.

      What is SBC? suicide by carparts!

      Like 9
      • Randy

        SBC = small block Chevy (V8)

        Like 3
    • cyclemikey

      greg v. – A 283 with a Muncie is actually lighter than the original AH six and trans. Not by much, but still. Been there, done, that.

      Like 1
  5. Doyler

    I already got a Lego set for Christmas.

    No thanks.

    Like 5
  6. 1970gt6 Member

    This looks like something Mr. Haney would have on the back of his truck!

    Like 7
  7. Steve Clinton

    Quick, somebody call Fred Sanford!

    Like 6
  8. matt

    I try not to say anything derogatory at Barn Finds, but I think someone is bidding on a title – and maybe a few parts…

    matt

    Like 3
    • Steve Clinton

      That’s not derogatory, it’s being truthful!

      Like 3
      • Mark

        Those who buy scrap like this for the VIN, title or whatever other documentation with intent to swindle are a curse on the hobby.

        Like 4
  9. cyclemikey

    greg v. – A 283 with a Muncie is actually lighter than the original AH six and trans. Not by much, but still. Been there, done that.

    Like 1
  10. John higgins

    This is perfect, drive trailer and all onto the scale at the scrap yard, drive off ,unhook the trailer pick up your check and proceed to a nice cozy pub for an afternoon of football , cold beers and pizza with your mates.

    Like 4
  11. John Pagel

    Many(most?) Big Healey restorations these days start with a new chassis, it’s actually cheaper than doing the rust repair and the chassis is better. I know of one shop on the West coast that only does restos with a new chassis. You can make a mathematical argument for buying a seriously rusty POS like this cheaply and basically starting over. An ambulatory, moderately rusty, car would probably sell for three times as much yet cost roughly the same to restore. This may not be as ridiculous as you think.

    Like 5
    • Paul in Ma

      This is something people don’t get. I sold an etype that had a good drivetrain, Vin and title and the body was completely unsalvageable. It was a better than other ones at 4x the price because you knew from the start it needed a new body vs the death of a thousand cuts for one that is just rusty.

  12. Goatsnvairs

    Trailer for sale, buyer must dispose of load.

    Like 3
  13. benjy58

    Gives new meaning to pile of parts. Or as most people would say rusty junk.

    Like 1
  14. Chinga-Trailer

    Looks like just another Beverly Hills Hair Club offering to be . . .

  15. Wayne from oz

    The seller says “fish plates”. What the term actually is is “Fitch” plates. In other words pieces of flat steel welded to weak spots. The seller also failed to mention “some assembly required”. lol.

    Like 1
  16. C5 Corvette

    I hope the trailer comes with it.

    Like 1
  17. 72FAKESS

    stay away!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    Like 1
  18. David Cole

    Twin carbs and vertical fins on the grille…I reckon it was a 2+2 BT7.When I first saw the grille I thought Mk2 BN7 (had 3 carbs) Quite sought after but the twin carbs give an indication it’s BT7..

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