Buy­ing Clas­sics Abroad

Austin-Healey 3000

Classic Car Weekly (UK) - - This Week -

1 CHAS­SIS AND BODY­WORK

Check along the full length of the chas­sis rails for cor­ro­sion or mis­align­ment. The sills and chas­sis out­rig­gers are also weakspots for rust, as is the lower sec­tion of the body.

2 EN­GINES 2

The sig­na­ture six­cylin­der is po­ten­tially long-lived and re­li­able if fre­quently ser­viced and treated with care, so scru­ti­nise the ser­vice his­tory to see if this has been the case. The oil pres­sure should be about 50psi while driv­ing.

3 GEAR­BOX

An elec­tri­cally-en­gaged over­drive was added to the four­speed man­ual gear­box as an op­tional ex­tra. Make sure it en­gages on de­mand; if not, fix­ing could be sim­ple electrics or some­thing more ex­pen­sive. The trans­mis­sion is oth­er­wise un­prob­lem­atic.

4 TRIM AND IN­TE­RIOR

Make sure any right­hand drive con­ver­sions have been done thor­oughly, and try to as­cer­tain the age of the parts used. Most mod­ern re­trims will be in leather, and the orig­i­nal vinyl roof ma­te­rial is of­ten re­placed with mo­hair.

5RUNNING GEAR

Vague steer­ing could be due to weak­ness in the steer­ing box or worn king­pins, which need fre­quent greas­ing if they’re to last. When you’re on your test drive, lis­ten out for any clunks and check all the bushes. There’s a leaf-sprung live axle at the rear, where ra­dius arms re­placed a Pan­hard rod from Phase II on­wards.

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