Austin-Healey 3000 Mark III

Austin-Healey 3000 Mark III

In 1961 the Mark II version of the 3000 with vertical barred radiator, reminiscent of the old 100 model, appeared. Mechanical changes were minimal but power was increased from 92 kW to 98.5 kW through the use of three SU carburettors which replaced the two used previously and minor modifications to the camshaft. The Mark II had a relatively short life but in late 1961 a revised gearbox was fitted to the car as occurred with all other BMC cars using the C Series engine.

By the middle of 1962 the 3000 experienced its only styling facelift during its eight-year production life. No changes were made to the actual body shape but wind-up windows replaced the sidescreens which were previously fitted and the hood was modified so that it could be stowed away when not in use. By introducing these changes the 3000 became more like a drop-head coupe rather than the austere roadster it had been and these changes certainly broadened the car’s appeal. Later in its life the engine was returned to the two carburettor layout and a revised camshaft design was employed.

The 3000’s C Series engine was a six-cylinder model with a 9:1 compression ratio and a displacement of 2912 ccs. It had a box frame chassis with independent wishbone and coil suspension at the front and half elliptic springs at the rear. Hydraulic brakes were employed with discs at the front.

By 1967 demand had begun to fall away. Around that same time American safety regulations were about to be introduced and to meet them would have required considerable redesign and rebuilding of the 3000. The effect of these occurrences meant that the Austin Healey 3000 came to the end of its very distinguished line and the model ceased production at the end of 1967. In total 42,924 models of the Big Healey were built from 1959 to 1967.

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