Stored For 32 Years! 1967 Austin-Healey 3000 Mk III

The owner of this 1966 Austin-Healey 3000 Mk III is an enthusiast who has been collecting one-owner classics for more than fifty years. He found this vehicle as part of the original owner’s estate sale and purchased it in 1989. He immediately placed it into storage, and it has only recently emerged after thirty-two years in hibernation. It appears that he has been meticulous with the storage routine, meaning that returning this British classic to a roadworthy state has not been a major undertaking. It is ready for a new owner to drive and enjoy or to restore to a pristine state. It is located in Canton, Georgia, and has been listed for sale here on eBay. Bidding has already rocketed past the reserve and currently sits at $27,105.

There’s a bit to unpack with this Healey, and the deeper we go, the more obvious it becomes that the owner is no amateur in purchasing and storing classic cars. The vehicle has a known history, with the seller being only its second owner. When it emerged from storage, the news appears to be almost exclusively positive. It seems that the original owner wasn’t that attached to the car’s original Healey Blue paint because he performed a color change to a darker shade in 1987. This remains presentable, with a decent shine. There are some marks, imperfections, and slight peeling. However, if this Mk III is considered a driver-quality classic, it could be left largely untouched. The panels are remarkably straight, while the floors and frame are spotlessly clean and rust-free. That isn’t to say that there is no rust because the car has suffered the fairly typical issues on both rear doglegs. Addressing this would not be difficult or expensive, with replacement sections readily available via several suppliers. The original owner installed a replacement top around the time he performed the repaint. This is still in as-new condition, while the trim is equally impressive. The Healey rolls on the optional wire wheels, and these show no evidence of deterioration that might require a specialist to address.

When we look at the numbers-matching drivetrain, we receive a graphic demonstration of how competent this owner is when it comes to preparing classic cars for storage. This process includes pulling the plugs and brimming the cylinders with a special preserving lubricant used by the Air Force. When the time came for this car to return to active duty, this lubricant was flushed, as were all of the remaining fluids throughout the vehicle. With new fluids, oil, and filters, the car was carefully coaxed back to life. In this case, it took little effort to return the Healey to a roadworthy state. It features a 2,912cc six-cylinder engine that is backed by a 5-speed overdrive manual transmission. Thanks to a more aggressive camshaft and larger carburetors, the Mk III enjoyed a 10% power boost compared to its predecessor. With 150hp available under the right foot, it should be capable of covering the ¼ mile in 16.3 seconds. For potential buyers, the news with this car is positive. The owner has had no issues returning it to a roadworthy state, and it is ready to be driven and enjoyed immediately. He notes that this car’s engine feels extraordinarily strong, suggesting that it should be capable of more than matching its original performance figures.

It seems that the interior trim of this Healey is original, and while it isn’t perfect, most buyers would consider it acceptable for a driver-grade car. It has no significant problems and could probably serve its next owner untouched for many years. There is some minor wear on the seats but no rips or tears. The upholstery on the door trims is coming loose, but the next owner could potentially stretch this back into place. The dash looks good, but some of the vinyl on the console has begun to rip. The carpet appears quite acceptable, while the factory radio has made way for an aftermarket radio/cassette player. Replacement upholstery for the Austin-Healey 3000 remains readily available, but it generally isn’t that cheap. Potential buyers will need to consider this when they contemplate any restoration work. Depending on where the bidding ultimately goes will determine whether restoring the interior is financially viable.

By the time this 1966 Austin-Healey rolled off the production line, the writing was on the wall for the 3000. Production ended in 1967, and the MGC that replaced it never commanded the same levels of respect or desirability. The owner offers some potential valuations for this car derived from Hagerty, but as is often the case, these figures could be on the optimistic side. Having said that, if you go out into today’s market, you will struggle to find a tidy, rust-free, and unmolested car for less than $50,000. From there, values rise sharply, and a pristine car can easily command $70,000 or more. With the bidding on this one past the reserve, it might be worth watching this listing carefully if a classic British sports car is on your “must-have” list.

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Comments

  1. Euromoto Member

    What’s up with the orange?

    Like 6
    • leiniedude leiniedude Member

      They are in all of his auctions.

      Like 2
    • DSteele

      I have the same question?

  2. bobhess bobhess Member

    Got your attention didn’t it?

    Like 1
  3. Fahrvergnugen Fahrvergnugen Member

    Orange you glad you asked?

    Like 9
  4. leiniedude leiniedude Member

    Once I got my eye off the orange I saw that luggage rack. Wow! And people think they look bad on Vettes.

    Like 7
  5. HadTwo

    5-speed transmission???? with overdrive….Misprint?

    Like 2
  6. RoughDiamond RoughDiamond Member

    The Seller hid that orange well in the motor picture.

    Like 2
  7. Howard A Member

    Well, the “steam” sure fizzled on these, huh. Perhaps people found out, after spending 6 figures on these not too long ago, they really are poor cars, for $100 grand, anyway. This is an exceptional example, with refinements over the early ones, but a list of shortcomings, only the most stout British purist would tolerate. I,,,am one of those people. To be clear,, I believe the electric O/D, which all Big Healeys had, ( the switch to the left of the key) actually operated in 3rd AND 4th, making it a 6 speed, but with the torque this motor delivered, there was really no need to “split” 3rd, the motor really is the best part of the car. Great find, and who knows, Big Healey’s , and many other “flash in the pans”, may be once again affordable. I’ll tell you from experience, someone is going to get a fantastic car here for $25g’s.

  8. Ben T. Spanner

    I see orange peel on the left front.

    Like 3
  9. David Mac

    I have known this gentleman for several years. He definitely knows his stuff and there is no one more honest.

  10. MDY

    The overdrive was built by Laycock de normanville (I can never forget that name!) and it did operate in 3rd and 4h gears. From what I remember, this drivetrain was from a truck. First gear was so steep, my buddy never used it. It was 1970, we were in high school, and my buddy found two of these in a garage, one being a parts car. The driver was the 1962 model with the Lemans engine and 3 carbs. It was a fun car to have at that age but it was a challenge to keep it running. He paid $800 for the pair. I do recall that it had a lot of rust spots. There was something about the two metals, aluminum up steel, that caused the rust. I could never understand why the prices got so high on these, either. Not an impressive machine, in my mind. Very simple and old technology.

  11. Mrtinwoodie

    He’s a flipper(curbstoner)
    The orange is his trademark

  12. Laurence

    Yes, it is a 4 speed gearbox with Laycock de Normanville electric overdrive in third and fourth gears. While wire wheels had been temporarily optional in the late ’50s and early ’60s, by the time of the BJ-8 (Mk III) variant, they had become standard again, as per the earlier Austin-Healey 100s.

    I have owned three Big Healeys over the decades, and while one has to learn how to live with the low ground clearance and stiff suspension, these are rugged and extremely good looking cars. Treating a Big Healey to a nice two-tone paint job, such as black with red down the sides, or silver with black down the sides, as well as a set of 72 spoke chrome wire wheels, is the icing on the cake.

    Like 2
  13. Richard Martin

    I don’t think the reference to the factory radio being replaced is correct. As far as I am aware, these were never supplied with a factory radio.

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