Monterey | Lot 136

1961 Austin-Healey 3000 Mk II BN7 Roadster

$170,500 USD | Sold

United States | Monterey, California

15 August 2014

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  • The rarest production model, with just 355 built
  • Matching-numbers example; finished in stunning grey metallic and red
  • Only test miles since frame-off restoration
  • British Motor Industry Heritage Trust Certificate

132 hp, 2,912 cc OHV inline six-cylinder engine with triple 1¾-inch SU carburetors, four-speed manual transmission with Laycock de Normanville overdrive, independent front suspension with coil springs, live rear axle suspension, and Girling front disc brakes and rear drum brakes. Wheelbase: 92 in.

Austin-Healeys occupy a unique niche in the automotive universe. Their beautiful “Healey Hundred,” conceived by a small team of talented and inspired men working in an atmosphere of post-war shortages, might have been merely a footnote in automotive history if fate had not intervened in Donald Healey’s favor. The Hundred created such a sensation at the 1952 London Motor Show that Leonard Lord, the managing director of Austin, immediately made an agreement with Healey to build his new car in quantities far greater than could ever have been managed at Healey’s tiny Midlands workshop.

The newly minted hyphenated marque name, Austin-Healey, quickly developed a devoted following, particularly in the U.S., where the vast majority of the cars were sent. In the years subsequent to that fateful meeting at the motor show, a happy collaboration between Healey’s tiny company and the giant Austin, as part of the fledgling British Motor Corporation, continued the marque’s development, and Austin-Healeys became formidable competition cars that inspired the motoring public.

By 1961, the 3000 Mark II, series BN7 and BT7, represented the highest development of the 3000 Roadster, with subsequent models becoming known as the 3000 “Convertible,” as they took on a softened character with roll-up windows, wraparound windscreens, and more luxurious interiors. The 3000 Mark II Roadster came in two variants, the series BT7, with its 2+2 seating, and the series BN7, with its strict two-seater design. While BMC made 5,096 of the 2+2 version, they made just 355 of the series BN7, making it quite simply the most rare production model of Austin-Healey.

The car offered here is an outstanding example of the pinnacle of the Austin-Healey brand. This model, the 3000 Mk II Roadster, boasts triple SU carburetors and 132 horsepower, making it the most powerful Austin-Healey from the roadster period. It was built to North American specifications and dispatched from the factory on June 16, 1961, for personal export to the United States. It was finished in Colorado Red with red trim, it was equipped with a radio, heater, electric overdrive, and adjustable steering column, and it had wire wheels that were mounted with Dunlop Roadspeed tires.

This very rare Austin-Healey has since received a nut-and-bolt restoration by Healey Lane Restorations, of Riverside, California. All of the sheet metal was shot-blasted to bare metal and then finished in DuPont two-stage urethane. It has been repainted in dramatic gunmetal grey, with the side coves being painted in the original Colorado Red, highlighting the muscular curves of the Big Healey as few color combinations can. The new interior was fitted with red seats with matching piping and matching wool carpets and panels. The engine, transmission, and all of its mechanical systems were rebuilt with the same attention to detail, and a new fuel tank and fuel and brake lines were fitted.

This very rare and very striking Big Healey, driven just a few test miles since completion, is ready to continue to cause a sensation wherever it is driven and enjoyed, just as the first off the line did in 1952.

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