1961 Austin-Healey 3000
Year of manufacture1961
Engine numberAEC 1489 RS 19699
Number of seats2
Extremely rare and continuous history from new
1961 Austin-Healey 3000 MkII BN7 Roadster
Registration no. 8000 CD
Chassis no. HBN7/16554
Engine no. AEC 1489 RS 19699
The car offered here is one of the rarest of all Healeys, being the two-seater MkII BN7 variant of the Austin-Healey 3000, the '2+2' BT7 version being much more numerous. The MkII BN7 was produced over a two-year period (1961-62) during which time 355 were produced. Of this production run, only 34 were built for the home market in right-hand drive configuration, this car being one of 25 completed during 1961. In comparison, 5,096 BT7 2+2s were built during the same two-year period.
'8000 CD' was built in late November '61 and registered in December of that same year. In November 1961, the gearbox was redesigned with a central rather than side gear change mechanism. Bearing in mind that the total RHD home market production of the BN7 in 1962 was a mere nine cars, it is likely that only 10 or so had the central gear change. '8000 CD' being one of these is therefore one of the rarest variants of the 'Big Healey' ever built. The car features in Bill Piggott's latest book on the marque: Factory-Original Austin-Healey 100/6 & 3000: The originality guide to six-cylinder Austin-Healeys, 1956-1968.
Its accompanying BMIHT certificate states that the car was despatched on 4th December 1961 to Dreadnought Garages of Brighton equipped with Road Speed tyres, laminated windscreen, mph speedometer, heater, disc wheels and servo assisted brakes. The Healey was first registered on 14th December 1961 to Mr Stanley Yates of Arreton, Isle of Wight, passing to a Mr Underwood of Newport, IoW and then to the present owner's family in 1974. The car was evidently cherished because when, in 1995, the car was sold to a Mr Golding of Gosport, it was on the understanding that the family would have first refusal should Mr Golding wish to sell the car. That duly happened in 2012 and the family, proprietors of an IoW car dealership and service station, continued to look after the Healey in-house. Sadly, the patriarch of the family passed away shortly thereafter and it is the only reason the Healey is being sold. '8000 CD' has covered minimal mileage over the years (the current odometer reading is 27,999 miles) and is presented in fully operational condition, MoT'd to September 2105 and currently taxed.
The car is attractively finished in black over red with black-piped red interior featuring re-covered seats. Apart from the bonnet and frontal area, the paint appears to be original, showing the customary cosmetic blemishes expected of such an original car. The chrome, including the bumpers and front grille, is generally very good with only some minor pitting evident. Other features include a modern cooling fan, twin fog lamps, wing-mounted mirrors. luggage rack, hood and hood irons, tonneau and side screens, and a badge bar carrying Austin-Healey Club and RAC badges. It should be noted that the engine currently fitted is a replacement unit numbered 'AEC 1489 RS 19699'. This prefix is not seen on production cars with C-Series engines but interestingly, the last occasion Bonhams encountered this prefix was on the ex-Rauno Aaltonen, Spa-Sofia-Liège Rally-winning works Austin-Healey 3000 'BMO 93B' (Goodwood 'Festival of Speed' Sale, June 2005, Lot 618). The exact number of miles covered using this engine is not known.
The accompanying file contains a workshop manual; driver's handbook; original old-style logbook; many old tax discs; V5 registration document; servicing records (February 1971 at 22,800 miles); and a quantity of MoT certificates (22 in all) the earliest issued March 1978 at 25,643 miles.
An ultra-rare Big Healey boasting known history from new, '8000 CD' appears never to have been restored and is in lovely condition, just oozing patina.