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1960 Austin Healey 3000 BT7 Mk1 2+2

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Details

Price: $39,800

Mileage: 15,800 Miles (TMU)

Engine: 2.9-Liter C-Series Inline 6-Cylinder Engine

Transmission: 4-Speed Manual Gearbox w/ Overdrive

Exterior color: Light Blue Exterior

Interior: Light Blue Interior

Additional features:

Dual SU Carburetors

Lucas Sport Coil

Laycock Overdrive

Front Disc Brakes

Heater

Battery Master Switch

Replacement Blue Carpet Kit Included

Side Windows and Top Included

Tonneau Cover

Older Restoration

Recent Tune-Up

California / Colorado Car

Original Pan and Frame w/ Exception of Trunk Floor

Background

1960 Austin Healey 3000 BT7 Mk1 2+2 exterior photo

In 1952 Donald Healey teamed up with the British Motor Company to form Austin Healey. Their first model would be the genesis of the “big Healey’s,” the Austin Healey 100. It started with a rigid chassis featuring two longitudinal beams supported by cross members and a welded front bulkhead. The rear axle was mounted above the frame to keep the center of gravity low. Then designer Gerry Cocker penned one of the most elegant sports car designs of the period in the bodywork, which Jensen Motors fabricated. It was named the 100 because it could achieve 100 miles per hour. In 1959, the Austin Healey 3000 followed, named after its near 3000 ccs of displacement. The Mk1 3000 was offered as an open roadster and an open 2+2 sports car. In addition to minor body changes, the robust 2.9-liter C-Series engine was fitted, along with front disk brakes and a Laycock overdrive expanding the range of third and fourth gears. After the Mk1, the Austin Healey 3000 would continue into the MkII and MkIIIs to become one of the most successful British sports cars of all time. Short of an E-Type Jaguar, few sports cars are as graceful as a big Healey.

Summary

 exterior photo

This 1960 Austin Healey 3000 BT7 Mk1 2+2 came to us on consignment from a local Colorado owner. It is finished in light blue over a light blue and cream interior (a replacement blue carpet kit is included). A later-style wooden dashboard has been fitted with the original Smith’s gauges, knobs, heater controls, and the “oh $@#” handle for your passenger. The speedometer indicates 15,800 miles, but we have no documentation to support whether they are original, rolled-over 100K, or have been reset. At some point in the 1990s, the owner’s father acquired the car and set about restoring it, all done in Southern California. The work is documented by printed pictures but has no paper receipts. From what we can tell, with the exception of the trunk floor being replaced, the frame and pan are original, and other than some superficial corrosion, they are virtually rust-free. Rust is the single most costly and complex component to consider in any old British sports car. This one has benefited from living in the dry climate of Southern California and later Colorado. The body has some areas of filler, but nothing offensive (detailed below), and overall, the cosmetic condition inside and out is fantastic. The number plate on the engine is missing, so we do not know if it is numbers-matching. The owner inherited it from her father and brought it to Colorado. She drove it on fair weather days but now has decided to sell, turning it over to us on consignment.

We handed it off to British Car specialist Ted Ax of Ax and Allies for an inspection and tune-up in preparation for sale. He reported that the engine is healthy despite blowing a little smoke on cold start and should last well into the medium-term future before needing a rebuild. The C-Series engines were originally designed for industrial applications and are one of the more reliable powerplants of the era. Other than a notchy second gear synchro, the transmission shifts smoothly, and the overdrive functions correctly. The only other notable squawks were a slightly sticky front brake caliper and some typical oil leaks. Ted addressed the tune-up items: a front wheel bearing, oil and filter change, transmission and overdrive fluid changes, rear axle seals, and replacing the ignition switchbacking with an E-Type switch. Ted also spent a lot of time sorting minor issues like re-centering the steering wheel, adjusting the choke cable, inspecting the carburetors and jets, re-clocking the spin-on oil filter adaptor, and thorough descriptions of various mechanical items outlined in the inspection sheet (available via email and in the records binder).

As it sits, this is a fantastic middle-market example of a big Healey—most are either basket cases or Concours cars. We would rate it as a solid Hagerty Grade 3 example, which we have priced it at, making it an excellent opportunity for affordable ownership within the market segment. It could be used and enjoyed as it sits or taken to the next level. Thanks to being a California car with good bones, it would be a very cost-effective example to do the latter. We would like to find a new owner who is as enthusiastic about it as we are.

Exterior

1960 Austin Healey 3000 BT7 Mk1 2+2 exterior photo

The light blue paint presents fantastically; it was a high-quality paint job when repainted. The pictures show the car originally being white, but the entire shell was done, including the engine bay, trunk, and passenger compartment interior. There are typical imperfections expected of an older restoration, but they are few and far between. The paint meter (and knuckle test) show some filler in the lower portions of the doors and areas ahead of the rear wheels. As mentioned above, the frame and floor pans are original, except for the trunk floor. The right frame outrigger has a dent it in (pictures are on our website if you read this elsewhere), but it is not compromised. All trim and chrome work is in good condition, with only minor pitting in places. The rubber gasket where the filler tube meets the body has visible dry-rot. The windshield glass has moderate pitting and a large pit in the lower right-hand corner, but it is crack-free. The wheels are straight and true and are wrapped in Yokohama classic tires with good tread remaining but older DOT dates.

Interior

 interior photo

The interior is also in excellent shape commiserate with the exterior. The carpet is in fair condition, but a replacement set of blue carpet is included in the sale. The dashboard has been replaced with a later-style wood dashboard using all of the original switchgear and gauges. Overall, it presents wonderfully, and everything works except some warning lights, which Ted notes due to the dashboard’s thickness in his inspection. The steering wheel is very nice and is clocked correctly; the turn signal switch does not always reset with the steering wheel. The seat vinyl is in good shape, with the only imperfection being slight wear on the outer driver’s bolster from contact with the door. The door cards are excellent and offer ample storage. The early Mk1’s window-less doors have come into fashion due to the weight savings, lack of rattles, and extra storage. The rear seats are in excellent shape, but the seat bottoms are held in place with baling wire (seen in the lift shots). The spare tire is present in the trunk, and the carpet is good. The tonneau cover is in excellent shape; the top and windows are included and are in fair condition. A CD with the shop manual, pictures of the restoration, and receipts from the current owner dating back to the mid-2000s are included in the sale, along with the inspection from Ax and Allies.

Mechanical

 engine photo

The inspection from Ax and Allies has in-depth notes and is available via email and included with the records; it is worth a read. The engine starts on command and settles into a nice idle once it warms up. It pulls wonderfully strong with a throaty, deep exhaust note. You don’t drive this car without garnering attention, and it has the sounds to match. It blows a little smoke on startup but is nothing that needs immediate attention. It shifts crisply and smoothly with only the second gear synchros occasionally barking until you learn the car. The overdrive engages smoothly as well and makes highway speeds civilized. There are some typical oil leaks and seeps, with the worst being from underneath the gearbox area. The suspension is functional and compliant. The brakes are strong, but one of the front calipers can be a little sticky. Ted notes this in his inspection and recommends periodic cleaning. The battery should be kept on a tender or the kill switch activated for prolonged sits. As with any British car, it will have continued needs, but the big Healeys were some of the more reliable vehicles of the period.