1967 Austin Healey 3000 MK III

 
 

 
 

This 3000 was purchased in Wisconsin from an owner who had stored it for many, many years always intending to restore it. An accident that occurred early in the car’s life has kept this car in very original condition. This low mileage car still wore the original paint - including the black detail on the rear shroud lip. (#1) The chassis is stripped and ready to be blasted - very little rust but allot of brown glue from the original interior installation. (#2) When the armacord was removed from the trunk, much of the backside fibers stuck in the car (the brown fuzzy stuff). In over 30 years, we have seen only one other BJ8 that was this solid. It is standard procedure to replace the main trunk floor and usually the square forward floors as well – this needs neither.

 

 

Truly, an unmolested time capsule still sporting the original Old English White paint complete with black vinyl interior. The odometer reads only 32,179 miles from when the car was new! Even the rear seat area is in great shape with solid floors and door jambs! (#3) This area is usually very prone to rust due to the location of the wheels that turn up wet and dirt which sometimes even rust out the rear jump seats themselves. By being able to save the original door jambs and side sills, the panel alignment is much easier to fit up.

 

 

After the chassis was sandblasted, the typical rusty areas were still extremely solid. (#4)

 

 

All cross-members on this car are original and in excellent condition. These wheel well arches are perfect as well and do not need any patching. As we worked on this car, it became obvious that it had never been “modified” with extra holes in the firewall and dash. So many times owners or mechanics took the easy fix and just drilled and chopped to reach what they needed.

 

 

The trunk area needed no patching or floor replacement. (#5)

 

 

After sandblasting, the trunk looks almost new, the bracing is also nice and straight which indicates the car was never hit from the rear. Many times we actually need to do major body work to cover the patches for the wheel wells – this car will not be undercoated unless the owner desires. Wheel wells are perfect! In addition to the jump seat area, the rear floors are rust free and can be saved. (#6)

 

 

This BJ8 was built near the end of the production of the MK III cars. The factory changed the format of the car numbers in mid 1967 on approximately the last 1000 cars. The letter “U” for United States replaced the letter “L” which stood for left hand drive. Additionally, the car number has a suffix letter “G” that indicates the car was built at the MG factory at Abingdon (somewhat redundant as all big Healeys were built at Abingdon beginning in 1958).

 

 

A production chart shows the last chassis number built to be 43026 which puts this car about 500 from the end of manufacture. The BL Heritage Certificate confirms all numbers as matching – even the key! Built September 15-21, 1967, the car was dispatched on the 27th for personal export delivery to the USA. Factory fitted equipment includes: wire wheels, heater, adjustable steering column, black tonneau cover, OCTAGONAL wheel nuts, front number plate, overdrive, road speed tires and a laminated windscreen.

 

 

 

Restored to exacting standards, this Healey retains the original floors in both the cockpit and trunk. The painted chassis's underside - note condition of main frame rails with original sills and floors. (#7) The original brackets and mounting holes all remain as the car left the factory. Both passenger and driver main floors were saved; note the factory holes made for the seat tracks. (#8) Great care has been taken rebuild the mechanicals without modifications to this pristine example. Very few Healeys survive in this type of condition with so few original miles – odometer reads 32,179.

 

 

A true convertible, the later 3000 has a very attractive burled walnut dashboard and a locking glove box with a center console that allowed for a radio to be mounted. The console extends over the transmission tunnel to create a padded armrest. The rear “jump” seats were improved with a backrest that can be folded down over the seats to provide a “shelf” for luggage or parcels. With wind-up windows and the improved interior, this is the most luxurious of the big Healeys and being built in 1967 is considered the most desirable.

 

 

All mechanicals have been rebuilt including engine, transmission, overdrive, brakes, suspension and electrical systems. In photo #9 the rear axle has been checked and resealed prior being installed in the chassis. Note how straight the two main frame rails are. More than one chassis has had to be abandoned when the main rails have big holes. These rails can rust terribly when cars are stored in sheds with only a dirt floor. (#9)

 

 

Front suspension is rebuilt after the spindles were magnufluxed to check for damage. All parts are painted and then installed on the chassis while still on the rotisserie. (#10) We use a quality paint for the suspension parts rather than powder coating. A good process for some applications, but can chip easily if hit by a stone while driving.

 

 

A new wiring harness is installed before the engine using all the oem holes and fasteners. (#11) Very good reproduction wiring harnesses are available and we have saved all the old oem fitments to reuse on concours cars. This car has some of the same ends and connectors that came on the car. For the 3000 models, the wires were color coded and the plastic-insulated wires are covered with loomed black fabric and various colored tracers.

 

 

A close-up of the harness, fuse box and regulator, note the attention to detail. (#12) In this photo, the fuse box does not have its cover yet. Because this car is white you can barely see the white insulation board (made of asbestos originally) that is mounted to shield the interior from engine and exhaust heat.

 

 

After all the “plumbing” is installed, the engine room is ready for the rebuilt motor to be installed. (#13) On both sides you can see the cardboard ducting for the heating and fresh air systems. This is much easier to install properly with the front shroud and fenders off the car.

 

 

This six cylinder Healey has the four speed center shift gearbox with electric overdrive. The low mile engine (32,179) was completely rebuilt with new pistons sized .020 over bore after an inspection revealed slight rust in the cylinders. (#14)

 

 

Our engine machine work is done by a local shop and then we do the assembly work. This engine still has the aluminum plate with the engine serial number matching the BL Heritage Certificate. This plate is fastened to the engine before painting and is painted green along with the engine.

 

 

The overhauled engine has all new bearings and was balanced. Here assembled and ready for paint. (#15) The transmission was overhauled with new seals and gaskets. Due to the low mileage, the gears were very good condition and the gearbox did not need a major rebuild. The transmission and overdrive are mounted to the engine before the entire unit is painted.

 

 

The engine is installed and started - every chassis gets a test drive in the parking lot prior the body being final hung. (#16) Note the two inch HD8 carbs which were rebuilt but not overly polished. The fan guard is painted red which is proper for the BJ8. The radiator was re-cored prior installation.

 

 

The gas tank has been boiled clean and coated by RENU inside and out which eliminates rust and sediment issues under normal use. A new Lucas electronic fuel pump will be more reliable than the old type and is installed in the original location. (#17) Since this car was so original and did not have extra holes, we opted to mount a single fuel pump using the oem holes. On most street cars that we restore, owners opt for our dual fuel pump system which was used on all the factory race cars such as 56 FAC.

 

 

The exhaust is stainless steel and built as an exact replacement for the standard BJ8 exhaust which was mild steel. We have added extra insulation under the factory patterned heat shield kit to help limit the cockpit heat – barely detectable this increases driver comfort. (#18) A better view of the main frame rail shows it to be in perfect condition.

 

 

Even the horns were reconditioned and detailed prior installation. (#19) On the Mark IIIs, the horns were mounted together on the right shroud support. Earlier models such as the Mark II, had the horns mounted separately, one on each side.

 

 

Panel fit on this Healey is exceptional and the paint finish far beyond factory standards. The inside of all body panels and panel edges are painted prior being installed on the car. This helps eliminate the electrolysis issue caused by steel fenders mounted to an aluminum shroud. (#20)

 

 

In order to assure a good fit, some of the major chrome trim is trial fit for final adjustment before the body work begins. (#21) For this car an original grill surround, windshield and bumpers are all oem parts that were sent out to be re-chromed. Minor adjustments can still be made for a better fit before the car is painted.

 

During the body process the car is masked for protection. (#22) Our multi-step process includes several coats of hardened acrylic enamel paint that is wet-sanded by hand and buffed using several graduated compounds. The end result is a high-gloss, mirror finish that is a joy to wax and admire!

 

The interior has been upgraded and was redone in black leather, which was a factory option when the car was new. The seats and rear parcel shelf were done to order using patterns we have acquired over the past 33 years in the restoration business – sewn and fit by hand, not a purchased kit. Top, tonneau and top boot are a black everflex type material which is what the car had installed when new. Carpet will be black and styled after the original set which had the heel pad sewn on the driver’s side.

 

The original chrome trim pieces; bumpers, grill, handbrake, shifter and windshield have all been re-plated to a mirror finish. New windshield glass as well as side windows will be installed. Side-view mirrors will not be installed until the new owner determines type and position that suits him best.

The BJ8 is painted Old English White which is the color the car was new from the factory. (#23)

After wet sanding by hand, the car is buffed and then polished. (#24)

The front shroud wing emblem is always the very first thing to be installed – these are the original wings redone in the UK. (#25)

 

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The Finished Car!
Click to view a slideshow of the finished car.

 

 


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