3000 1959- 67
The Healey MkI 3000 was launched in 1959 sporting a new, 2912cc six-cylinder engine and front disc brakes. Two-seat cars were still available, now designated the BN7 series, while two-plus-two versions became the BT7. Power output from the larger engine had been increased to 130bhp at 4700rpm and torque was up again, this time to 167lbf.ft at 2700rpm. A stronger gearbox handled the increase in power and although top speed was up to 116 mph, the 0- 60 time remained firmly stuck at 11 seconds.
1961 saw the launch of the MkII 3000 and despite a third SU carburettor and a re-profiled camshaft hiking the six-pot’s power output up to 132bhp, big Healey sales took a hefty tumble due to a significant worldwide downturn in trade. The fitting of the troublesome third SU carb was for marketing and homologation purposes and only lasted a year. Two-seat BN7 production came to an end in March 1962, while the BN7 two-plus-two cars soldiered on to June. To help boost sales, August 1962 saw the launch of the Austin-Healey 3000 Sports Convertible, the first big Healey with wind-up windows and front quarter lights – the hairy chested beast was being tamed.
The BJ7 series, often unofficially referred to as the MkIIA , had reverted back to twin SU carbs and power was maintained at 130bhp by a camshaft change. Although this model only had an 18-month lifespan, the camshaft was changed again in an attempt to pep up performance. MkII production came to an end in late October 1963 when the Austin Healey 3000 MkIII BJ8 series was unveiled for the 1964 model year.
Interior improvements now included a central tunnel linked to a redesigned walnut-veneered facia complete with a lockable glove box. Under the bonnet another camshaft change and a pair of 2-inch SU HD8 carburettors boosted power to 148bhp at 5250rpm and in 1965 the BJ8 Healey received separate amber rear indicator lenses, one of the 3000’s final changes.
Impending US Federal legislation proved the death knell for the Austin Healey 3000 and production finally came to an end in December 1967. However, this wasn’t the end of the story, as there were plans to produce a revised fixed head version and the Healey family even built a slightly wider prototype Healey 4000 fitted with a 3909cc engine from a BMC Princess R, but sadly neither was put into production.