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Still For Sale: 1965 Austin-Healey 3000

1965 Austin-Healey 3000 MK III

When Andrew M sent in information about an upcoming auction for a barn find Austin Healey 3000, I was driving through the middle of Montana and writing about it while driving just didn’t seem like a safe idea. When I finally had a chance to get to it, the auction was nearly over. I couldn’t find any information about how much it sold for so I just assumed it had sold and was off to a new home. It turned out that this barn find didn’t end up selling though and thankfully, Andrew sent us another email letting us know it still was still on the market. I haven’t been able to find the reason this 3000 didn’t sell at this past weekend’s auction, but Auctions America has updated the listing with new information about making an offer. They don’t offer much information, but the listing can be found here at Auctions America. Thanks for the tip Andrew!

Austin-Healey 3000 Interior

This big Healey has obviously seen better days and the barn it was sitting in did little to preserve it. The interior is intact, but in sad shape. It’s hard to tell from these photos what all it is going to need to be replaced and what can be restored. Typically auction houses are good about offering high quality photos and information, but the lack of details on this one could explain why it didn’t sell. Simply cleaning it up and taking better photos would surely generate more interest.

Austin-Healey 3000 Motor

One of the major appeals of a barn find is originality and a quick glance under the hood confirms that it is anything but. The engine appears to be the correct unit and there doesn’t appear to be any signs of tampering, but there is lots of overspray. The firewall is wearing red paint, so it is safe to assume that the respray was in the correct or close to correct color. Any time I spot overspray I tend to get a bit nervous of what might be hiding underneath, so be sure to inspect it closely.

Austin-Healey 3000 MK III

The 3000 isn’t my personal favorite of the big Healeys, but I wouldn’t mind taking one out for a spin. Values for these just keep going up, which leaves me curious as to why this one didn’t sell. Perhaps the right buyer just wasn’t in attendance or maybe the seller’s reserve was simply too high? If anyone was there or has heard why it didn’t sell, please share in the comments section below! I’d be very interested to hear what happened.


  1. John M

    Why it didn’t sell at the auction? I’ll tell you why. Because people are asking way too much for these “need everything” Healeys and set the reserve way too high. I wouldn’t pay a nickel over 10K for this car. It needs virtually everything. Paint, body work, chrome, complete interior and dash redone, new top, and no doubt the engine and tranny need rebuilding, the gas tank will need to come out and be cleaned and sealed, the carbs rebuilt, probably all new wiring. To do all that it really needs a body off ground up restoration which costs major bucks. I have passed on two other big Healeys that were in similar condition. One was a runner for 12K and the other was a rare 2 seater for 10K. It is just too easy to run up a bill for 40-50K for restoration if it is to be done right. The engine alone will cost 10K for rebuilding. The tranny 7K. Its anybody’s guess what the body work and painting will cost. A lot. Take your 50K, save a lot of time and headaches and go out and buy a real nice driver.

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  2. grantp

    OK, John M and I are on the same page. I would be surprised if it had sold anywhere near their ‘estimate’, which is more than likely what the consignee somehow expects it is worth. Folks just have to feel their way through life and accept reality, and not expect a bonanza just because the name of the car is well known. Sheesh.

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  3. jim s

    it sure would be a nice car after it was restored but for the reasons stated above it is going to take way too much time/money, so it will have to be a labor of love. that does limits the number of buyers. still a great find.

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  4. Dolphin Member

    If this Healey had the after-restoration market value of the 911 that preceded it on here, it would have sold. It has lots of needs but it’s all there, and there’s even a chance that the chassis is intact.

    John M is right—too many Healeys available—beater, driver, or restored—at reasonable prices, to make this deal work.

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  5. Leo

    Everyone is right on the mark so far as to why it didnt sell. Simply proced too high for the condition. The whole “barn find” cliche has gotten sellers who run across a highly sought after marquee to expect unrealistic prices. I can tell you first hand thst parts for these arent cheap and a pile of money can be spent in a very short time. This is a model where tge motto ” nuy the best you can afford ” is advice well heeded. I bought mine (1966 BJ8) of the original owners widow. I had to replace tires, have the rims trued, replace all the hydrauclis ( sat for 12 years in a garage ) and the above was in the 6k range. Thats after paying in the 20’s for it. Happy? Estatic! Have a one owner car with NO RUST, original interior in nice shape for what i consider a decent price.

    Speacking of the various models of big healeys and ” collectibilty / values. The 100m’s naturally are at the top of the range. BN1’s comand good money as do the BJ8’s. I love the styling if the BN1 but i likewise love all the improvements the BJ8 was graced with

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  6. Redman

    I called out of curiosity… Sounds like they won’t even take offers under 15K… Oh well, what I really want is a TR250 or early TR6 anyhow.

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  7. Sam

    ’65 BJ8 had amber turn signals in addition to “white” lights…..this one only has white.??

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  8. John M

    To continue the story, …I never did get a Healey (maybe someday) but I did locate a very nice Triumph TR3. It came with rebuilt motor, all new brake lines and brakes, rebuilt carbs, new overdrive, gas tank cleaned and sealed, new tires, fresh paint, great interior, and the list goes on….I paid a very fair price of 12K for it because all I needed to do is get new bumpers, new sealing around windshield and doors, new hubcaps, and a few other cosmetic items and now I have a super running TR3 that looks like a millions bucks and draws attention wherever I go. I now have a car that I could likely make money on If I sell it and is every bit as enjoyable to own and drive as a big Healey. My emotions nearly got the best of me when looking at some (need everything Healeys) but now very happy I passed on them and got this great TR3 sitting in my garage just begging to be driven.

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  9. john z

    Did those healeys have mgb style gauges?

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  10. Jamie Palmer TR6Driver Staff

    @John Z — yes, the later 3000’s (I think only the Mk. III’s, but someone may correct me on that) had gauges ala these pictures. They are larger than MGB gauges but use a similar font (maybe the same?) and style.

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  11. GlennA

    I’m a little late to the party, but I think this is the one my brother and I saw at the Auburn, IN sale this past weekend. I got a pretty good look at it while in the tent, but didn’t see it go through the sale. This would have taken a bottomless supply of time and money to bring back. The rust across the midsection of the floor was heavy and, as a result, the body was sagging causing the tops of the doors to bump the quarter. Not my cup of tea–could buy one in much better shape and save some serious headaches! I do like the lines, though.

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  12. Dennis

    Like most vintage cars, most of the time the car sells for more than it is worth. Then the shock hits and the purchaser is into it deeper than they wanted to be. It is always better to buy one that is running and complete instead of this type.

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