Austin-Healey 3000 Mk III BJ8, produced in 1967, is offered without reserve by RM Sotheby’s.
RM Sotheby’s very first online-only, single-lot collector car auction is live. While the platform is new way for enthusiasts to expand their collections, cars offered Online Only will be subject to RM Sotheby’s usual inspections and standards. The first lot to be offered via this exciting new format is this highly desirable Austin-Healey, numbers matching and presented in its original color combination. Beautifully restored, this wonderful example is perhaps the ideal driver’s car to be enjoyed in the coming summer months. Bidding will begin 10 May at 10:00 a.m. EST and will run through 23 May.
About the Austin-Healey history.
Rather curiously, Donald Healey’s early life revolved around aircraft, not automobiles. After serving in the Royal Flying Corps, he decided to stay on the ground and developed an interest in sports cars, first with Triumph and then, after World War II, at the helm of his own company. The Donald Healey Motor Company started with elegant, upmarket cars, but found its success with small, elegant sports cars, for which the brand continues to enjoy a superb reputation.
It was the fledgling company that debuted a 100-mph, open-top sports car at the Earls Court Motor Show in 1952. Healey’s car attracted the interest of Austin Motor Company managing director Leonard Lord. The two signed an agreement and the Austin-Healey Hundred was on the road within a year. A straight-six replaced the roadster’s four-cylinder engine in 1956, and in 1959 Austin-Healey reached into BMC’s line-up for the upsized 3.0-liter engine. The new car was badged Austin-Healey 3000 and it was aimed primarily at the American market, where its more powerful engine made the most of high-speed roads. Produced from 1959 through 1967, in three series, the Austin-Healey 3000 is arguably one of the most desirable of British sports cars and highly sought after by collectors. In many ways, it is nothing short of a motoring icon.
This Austin-Healey 3000 Mk III was built over the 14th and 15th of February in 1967. A left-hand drive example, it was destined for North America and left the factory finished in attractive Ivory White over a black interior and matching convertible top. Factory equipment included wire wheels, heater, adjustable steering column, overdrive, laminated windscreen, whitewall tires, and a black tonneau cover. The car was shipped to the U.S. on March 30, 1967.
Today the car presents beautifully, having benefitted from a frame-off restoration by Austin-Healey experts at Thomas M. Novacs’ Fourintune. The restoration was completed in the late 2000s at a cost of approximately $90,000. The car was refinished in its original shade of Ivory White and fitted with a black convertible top. Exterior features Lucas fog lights mounted to the front bumper, as well as dual Talbot sideview mirrors. A unique modification of note are the Works-style fender louvers, added during restoration. The BJ8 rides on Vredestein 195/70R15 Comtrac tires mounted on silver painted knock-off wire wheels; a full-size spare with a Michelin XZX tire is stored in the trunk.
During the restoration the straight six-cylinder engine was rebuilt. Twin S.U. carburetors fuel the powerplant, providing instant feedback when the gas is liberally applied. The engine is paired to a four-speed manual transmission with functional electronic overdrive. During the restoration the transmission was disassembled and overhauled; the overdrive unit was also cleaned and resealed. The Mark III is brought to a halt via disc brakes in the front and drums in the rear.
The interior is completed in the correct, black leather and features a luxurious cockpit with a refinished burlwood dash housing Smiths instrumentation. Minor wear is evident on the corner of the driver’s seat. Great attention to detail is evident throughout and the instrumentation and lights operated as expected during a recent inspection. During the restoration an XM satellite radio was installed. Weather protection is provided by a convertible top and roll-up windows. When the top is down a tonneau cover serves the same purpose, giving the car a very sporting appearance. The tonneau offers three configurations; fully covered, rear and passenger side covered, or just the rear seating covered. In any configuration, the beautiful lines of the Austin-Healey are preserved.
This Austin-Healey 3000 is accompanied by a binder with receipts and photo documentation of the restoration process. Also included is an Austin-Healey 3000 Mark III Driver’s Handbook and the car’s British Motor Industry Heritage Trust Certificate, the latter of which notes the cars original factory specifications and confirms it to be a matching numbers example, which is to say the engine and chassis are the very same ones that were built and “born” together.
True to the way it left the factory, save for a couple of tasteful modifications, this highly desirable 1967 Austin-Healey 3000 Mk III BJ8 is a wonderful example of the marque. Beautifully restored and fully sorted, this is perhaps the ideal driver’s car to be enjoyed in the coming summer months, whether on a spirited drive through winding mountain roads or a leisurely weekend jaunt to the shore.
Information and Image age shared from an Article by RM Sotheby’s about the Auction of this Lot. Image Credit: Sotheby’s, 2019.