1966 Austin-Healey 3000 MK III BJ8
Oldtimer Australia is delighted to offer for sale a 1966 Austin-Healey 3000 Mk III BJ8.
The Heritage Certificate on file confirms the date of build to be between 30th September and 14th October 1966 with a date of despatch of 26th October 1966. The car’s original colour scheme was British racing green with black trim and a black soft top. Like most Healeys, this was a left hand drive, North American export car. The destination (dealer) was Compton, California USA. The Heritage Certificate also notes the following factory fitted options: wire wheels, heater, adjustable steering column, laminated windscreen, Roadspeed tyres and overdrive.
There is a Statement of Facts letter in the file, issued by the Department of Motor Vehicles in the USA dated 25th October 1997, signed by Mr Lupe Rivas from El Monte in California, stating he purchased the car as a new car and that he is the original owner. This letter was issued just prior to the car being imported into Australia. There is also a copy of a Californian Title in Mr Rivas’ name which he has signed on the 25th November 1997, which confirms he owned the car for 30 years!
There is a Vehicle Import Approval letter on file confirming that the original Import Approval was issued on the 26th November 1997.
The car must have been repainted in California at some stage as it is understood that when it arrived in Australia it was ivory in colour.
When the car arrived in Australia it was in need of some ’TLC’. Fundamentally, the car was in very good condition as the California climate had treated it well. There was no rust found in the car nor was there any evidence of the car ever having been in an accident. It was the perfect candidate for a full rotisserie restoration.
The restoration of this car took some 20 years to complete! It was undertaken by the previous to current owner and it became very much a ‘labour of love’. He was a very meticulous person and wanted his car to be one of the very best Austin-Healeys in Australia. During the restoration all mechanicals were either overhauled or replaced with new parts and the car was converted to right hand drive.
In 1967 Austin-Healey had produced a limited series of gold beige metallic BJ8’s to commemorate the Queens 15th Anniversary. This colour is stunning and it really suits the car. As a result, it was decided to repaint this car in gold beige metallic. The restoration was finally completed approximately around 5 years ago.
Unfortunately, the previous owner never really got to enjoy his car before he passed away.
The current owner acquired this Healey in early 2021. After acquiring the car, he decided to replace the original gearbox with a Tremec five speed gearbox, fit electronic ignition and upgrade the front sway bar. Importantly, the original gearbox (as confirmed by the Heritage Certificate) is still with the car and is in good condition. Sadly, health issues have also prevented him from enjoying his car. Whilst he has ridden in the car, he has not been able to drive it. Sadly, neither one of the two Australian owners having been able to really use this car since it was restored. The car has only travelled approximately 100 km since its restoration.
As a result, the car today presents exceptionally well and (almost) as a fresh restoration. It is hard to fault!
The paint, which was most likely done many years ago, is in very good condition, has a strong depth of colour and a nice deep gloss to it. Walking around the car you’ll struggle to find any defects. The only exception is some small imperfections on top of the front right guard and a small scratch on the bottom of the drover’s door. The panel gaps are excellent and the car is as equally well presented underneath.
The bright work on the car is all in excellent condition. The lenses and the badges are also in excellent condition and show no signs of any wear. The same can be said of the front windscreen and side glass. They are all in excellent condition. The car is fitted with chrome wire wheels which are shod with Yokohama 185/65 R15 tyres. These tyres still appear to be ‘as new’, however, they are dated 2008 and really should be replaced on age.
The interior is in similarly excellent condition. The leather seats show hardly any signs of wear. The same can be said of the carpets. The dashboard and all the instruments present really well and the instruments are all in good working order except for the speedo which has not been connected to the Tremec gearbox and is therefore not working. Instead, an electronic heads-up speedo has been fitted to the car. The car is fitted with a soft top and has a tonneau cover, both of which are in excellent condition.
After having admired the exterior and interior of the car it is time to take it out for a test drive. After all, these cars were made to be driven and not just admired from a distance!
Most Austin-Healey’s have a battery isolator installed in the boot and this one is no exception. This car also has a secret kill switch installed for additional security. Obviously, we can’t tell you where it is . . . but trust us it is there! Once you have taken care of both you can start the car.
Like most other similar British cars, this Healey requires you to use the choke when you start from cold. You pull it out, lock it in place, turn the ignition on, wait a few seconds for the fuel pump to do its work, then you turn the key further to start the car. The car starts fairly easily and then settles into a nice smooth idle. It is best to give the engine a little bit of time to warm up before taking the car out onto the road.
Out on the road this car is a real pleasure to drive. Whilst an Austin-Healey is a quintessential British sports car, the BJ8 and certainly this car, is really easy to drive and relatively comfortable. The engine feels strong and sounds really good. The five-speed gearbox is firm and the gear changes are smooth and easy. The car feels really solid on the road and the steering is precise. The brakes are in good working order and pull the car up quickly and in a straight line if needed. There are a few small jobs to do to, which we can discuss with any prospective purchaser.
A change is circumstances has resulted in the current owner reluctantly offering his car for sale. As a result, here is a unique opportunity for someone to step into what is essentially a fresh restored and beautifully presented Austin-Healey 3000 MK III that you can just get in and enjoy for years to come.
Whilst the car would make a fabulous driver, it could be taken to a concours standard relatively easily.
There is also a spare wheel, jack, timber wheel spinner removal tool, the original gearbox and many other new parts that will accompany the car.
We have sold a few Austin-Healeys in recent times and this car is one of the best!
- A beautifully restored BJ8 Healey.
- Stunning colour combination.
- Original gearbox and lots of new parts included.
- Ready to use and enjoy.
Donald Healey is an icon of the British motor industry. He was born in Perranporth, Cornwall, in the south west of England on the 3rd July 1898. He studied engineering and had a passion for all things mechanical, including aeroplanes and motor vehicles. In 1945 he founded the Donald Healey Motor Company and its mission was to build excellent quality performance cars. In 1946 the company introduced the Healey Westland Roadster and the Healey Elliott Saloon, both built through until 1950. Other subsequent models included the Healey Sportsmobile (1948-1950), Healey Silverstone (1949-1950), Healey Tickford Saloon (1950-1954), Healey Abbott Drophead Coupe (1950-1954) and Healey G-Type Roadster (1951-1953). The most successful car built in this era was the Nash Healey of which just over 500 examples were built from 1950 – 1954. Healey’s cars were good and they enjoyed much success in competition, including class wins in the 1947 and 1948 Alpine rallies as well as the 1949 Mille Miglia. They were also expensive and business was tough going.
The Donald Healey Motor Company struggled and Healey decided that he needed to build a cheaper sports car in far greater numbers to be successful. In 1952 Austin-Healey was formed through a joint venture between the Austin division of the British Motor Corporation (BMC) and the Donald Healey Motor Company (Healey). As they say ‘the rest is history’ and Austin-Healey went on to become one of the world’s most successful sports car manufacturers.
The first Austin-Healey was the Austin-Healey 100 introduced in 1953. These were true sports cars in every sense of the word, an open two seater with minimal weather protection. They were powered by a 2,660cc 4 cylinder engine generating around 90 bhp, enough to propel the car to a top speed of 100 mph, hence, the designation Austin Healey ‘100’. The first series cars were designated BN1 and in 1955 the second series or BN2 was introduced. The BN2 had a four speed manual gearbox (compared to a three speed in the BN1), with overdrive on the top two gears. The BN2 has slightly larger front wheel arches and a different rear axle. Interestingly, the BN2 was the first Austin-Healey to offer optional two-tone paint.
In 1955 Austin-Healey introduced the 100S, which was built for the race track. Featuring light aluminium body work, engine improvements that delivered 135 bhp, a strengthened chassis, disc brakes on all four wheels, suspension upgrades and no bumpers (to keep weight at a minimum) the Austin-Healey 100S was a great success. Only 50 cars were ever built and they are today amongst the world’s most desirable and collectable cars. Hot on the heels of 100S, Austin-Healey introduced the 100M, a high-performance road going model that with engine modifications increased power from 90 bhp to 110 bhp. In total 640 Austin-Healey 100Ms were built in 1955/56.
In 1956 Austin-Healey introduced the 100/6 that featured a more powerful 6-cylinder engine and provided occasional rear seats in a 2+2 configuration. These cars were designated as BN4 Healeys. A two-seater roadster version, the BN6, was introduced in 1958. In 1959 the last of the ‘big Healeys’, the Austin-Healey 3000 was introduced. The 3000 was powered by a 2,912 cc 6-cylinder engine and introduced front disc brakes to the model range. These Healeys were available as a roadster or as a 2+2. The MkI roadster was designated as BN7 and the MkI 2+2 was designated as BT7. The MkII Austin Healey 3000’s were introduced in 1961 (available as a roadster – BN7 and 2+2 – BT7). In 1962 the BJ7 was introduced which was another big step change for the model. This car was more sophisticated and targeted the expanding American market. It featured a wraparound front windscreen, wind up windows and other creature comforts. In 1964 the final iteration of the Austin-Healey 3000 was introduced, being the MKIII BJ8.
In excess of 70,000 Austin-Healeys were built from 1953 through until 1967 and a large percentage of these cars were left hand drive and sold into North America.
- Austin Healey 3000 MK III BJ8
- Two Door Coupe
- 11,860 miles