1961 695BYH AUSTIN HEALEY 3000 Mk1 BN7
Highly original; older restoration still in superb condition; owned by the vendor for 20 years and known by its previous owner since new; desirable two-seater BN7 with larger boot and leg room; investment quality
Launched in 1959 the new Austin-Healey 3000 (Mk I) introduced a number of improvements to the already successful 100/6. The change of model name heralded the more powerful (124bhp) 2,912cc BMC C-Series engine. The new engine improved the car’s performance, allowing a top speed of nearly 120mph. Other improvements included front disc brakes, wire wheels as standard, and a choice of either two-seater (BN7) or 2+2 (BT7) body styles. The 3000 Mk I remained in production until the arrival of the MkII in 1961.
This particular BN7 two-seater was first registered in June 1961 and was sold new by Charles Clark Ltd of Wolverhampton. The salesman who sold it kept track of the car over the years and finally managed to buy it for himself in 1979. He then subjected the car to a total strip down and rebuild which was to take until 1981 to complete. The workmanship was carried out to a very high standard and the car is still every bit as clean and shiny underneath as it is up top, being painted and polished to a high gloss finish all over. The interior is completely original and unrestored and has acquired a lovely patina over the years.
Once completed the car was barely driven and was mainly trailered from show to show, winning many awards along the way (old MOTs show that it covered less than 500 miles between 1984 and 2000). It has apparently never been used in the wet and has always been kept in a heated garage, hence the remarkable state of preservation considering that the restoration is now some 30 years old. When BMW took over the Rover Group in 1994, they apparently borrowed this car from the owner and took it to Germany for their design team to pore over while they were developing the Z3!
The current vendor acquired the car in 2000 and has also used it very sparingly and on dry days only and it is still only showing 58,840 miles on the clock - a figure which is understood to be correct - although there is insufficient paperwork to prove this outright. A four-speed non-overdrive model, it is said to drive beautifully and certainly fired up quickly and ran very smoothly on the occasion of our visit to take these pictures. Recently treated to four new tyres and two new batteries, it comes complete with hood, sidescreens and tonneau cover.
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