Sunday, December 20, 2015

289 V8 Powered: 1959 Austin-Healey 3000

The Austin-Healey 3000 was an inline-6 powered sportscar built in Britain and known as the last of the line for the Big Healeys.  Bodywork was custom fabricated by Jensen Motors and final assembly was done by craftsmen at the Abingdon Works, and today they are worth quite a bit when in good shape.  Find this 1959 Austin-Healey 3000 with Ford V8 offered for $16,548 located in Tucson, AZ via craigslist.  Tip from JAS.

The Austin-Healey joint venture was formed in 1952 when Donald Healey decided he wanted to produce something more affordable and accessible that the one off specials he built out of an old RAF hanger in Warwick.  The 3000 can probably be called the 3rd generation of the original Austin-Healey 100, but these big inline-6 powered machines are famous for racing wins by the factory and at the hands of privateers.


Today's Big Healey is powered by a Ford 289 cubic inch V8...which draws instant comparisons to the Shelby Cobra and Sunbeam Tiger.  Despite the ragged condition of the exterior, the seller claims that the engine has been rebuilt and runs excellent.

 Here is where we could take stock and figure out if it would be worth the time/effort to restore and repaint this classic...but...BUT..imagine what a sweet ugly duckling this car would make -- leave the exterior alone, tune up the engine and just drive it...everyday. 

See another V8 powered rusty sleeper for cheap?


  1. The rust and unfinished appearance of the car make it look so bad. But in reality paint and minimal interior work would make a (Trump voice) HUGE difference. Although rewiring to avoid the Lucas problems would be a good idea:

    1. (Trump voice) All my friends are calling me and they agree.

  2. Nice to see one thats drivable priced under $20,000. The Ford small block isnt as charming as the original inline 6 but with the 4 speed I'm sure it's plenty of fun to drive. Seems as though its been taken care of with recent work noted in the ad. I wouldnt be bothered by the scruffy looks one bit. The seller notes a few minor items that need some attention but nothing too scary. I would gladly work out the few bugs and get the limited rust under control and enjoy as it is. I have owned a small Healey before and with the fun driver it was I would sure like to spend some time behind the wheel of this one. I doubt one could be had for any less money that could be driven and enjoyed right off.

    1. The original inline six was about as charming as a 200ci Ford Maverick. It sucked. But...hey, the car had character.

      There've been good V8 swaps in these things. Inspect carefully. The little Ford should fit fine, but with a car that looks like this assume the worst until confirmed otherwise.

  3. I love cars that look like this. If this was at a show with a bunch of perfect stuff, I would probably pay more attention to it. It has character.

    1. Your wallet + local bodyshop = character

    2. I agree - I would put a Satin Clear over it and leave the Outside as-is.

      with the outside looking this way, the Frame would worry me though!

  4. I am thinking for 16.5 K a better toy with less work is it out there !

  5. Invest your heart, soul and 401K and it will still be a Bitsa. The dough in these is with the straw hat guys who park them in the garage, then on grass at a show, and then.....

    The value on these has obviously skyrocketed. They are cool cars, but who will pay top dollar for one with a 289 in it? Keeping it ugly keeps the cost down. If this guy owned this for 5 years I bet he didn't pay much over $5K for it.

    Not my cuppa. Too precious to thrash and too bastardized to restore.


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