Austin Healey 3000 Big Healey
The Austin-Healey 3000 Big Healey is a British sports car built from 1959-1967, and is the most famous of the Big Healey models. The bodywork was made by Jensen Motors and the vehicles were assembled at the BMC Abingdon factory.
The 3000 Big Healey was a successful car winning its class in many European rallies in its heyday and is still used in competition by enthusiasts.
The Austin-Healey 3000 Big Healey was introduced in 1959, replacing the Austin-Healey 100-6. Despite the name change, the changes were relatively minor compared to the original 100 and 100-6. The wheelbase and body remained the same and there were two models, a 2+2 and a two-seater.
The original Austin Healey 3000 Big Healey features a 2912cc I6 engine with twin SU carburettors and Girling front disc brakes. Wire wheels, overdrive gearbox, a laminated windshield, a heater, an adjustable steering column, a detachable hardtop and two-tone paint were all available options.
The original 3000 was built from March 1959 to March 1961 and has model designation BT7 Mark I and BN7 Mark I.
13,650 were made (2,825 BN7 Mark I, and 10,825 BT7 Mark I).
A BT7 3000 with hardtop and overdrive (tested by The Motor magazine in 1960) had a top speed of 115 mph and could go from 0 to 60 mph (97 km/h) in 11.7 seconds. The car had a fuel economy of 21.6 miles per gallon (13.1 L/100 km, 18.0 mpg US).
The 3000 Mark II (1961) came with three SU HS4 carburettors and an improved camshaft, designated BT7 Mark II and BN7 Mark II. However, with the introduction of the BJ7 (2+2 seats) in January 1962, the number of carburettors was reduced to two, (SU-type HS6) due to the balance problems of three carburettors. Due to the introduction of the BJ7, development of the BN7 Mark II was halted in March 1962, followed by the BT7 Mark II in June 1962. The main changes with the BJ7 were a vertical barred grille, wind-up windows instead of side curtains, an improved hood, and a wrap-around windshield. Optional extras were similar to the Mark I, although the option of a factory hardtop was not available with the BJ7's introduction. From August 1961, a brake servo with greatly improved braking performance was also available as an optional extra. The BJ7 was discontinued in October 1963 with the introduction of the 3000 Mark III.
The 3000 Mark II BT7 with hardtop and overdrive was tested by British magazine The Motor in 1961 and had a top speed of 112.9 mph (181.7 km/h) and could go from 0 to 60 mph (97 km/h) in 10.9 seconds . This car had a fuel economy of 23.5 miles per gallon. The test car costs £1362 including taxes.
11,564 were made (355 BN7 Mark II, 5096 BT7 Mark II, and 6,113 BJ7).
The 3000 Mark III was launched in October 1963, and remained in production until the end of 1967, when Austin-Healeys ceased production. The BJ8, the new model, is the most powerful and luxurious of the large Healeys, with a walnut-veneer dashboard, wind-up windows, and a 150 hp (112 kW) engine. Some improvements to the engine; a new camshaft and valve springs, twin SU 2" HD8 carburettors along with a new exhaust system design. Servo-assisted brakes were now fitted as standard. Only 2+2 seat versions were made. Additional options were similar to those offered for the Mark II The main change was the standard Ambla vinyl interior, with leather seats as an extra option.
In May 1964, the Phase II version of the Mark III was released.
17,712 were made.
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