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The Big Healeys Finale


54 years ago, this month, came the announcement of the final "Big Healey": The Austin-Healey 3000 Mark III BJ8. This new Austin-Healey had more power, a bigger carburetor and power brakes. The BJ8 continued to be a rally car hit, but sales never performed like the original 3000 Mark I. And as sales fell, so did the 3000. Production of the Mark III began in 1964 and ended only 3 years later so British Leyland Factory could start production of the MG MGC. Many future prototypes of the Austin-Healey 3000 were made to continue the name, but all failed to see production. A coupe version of the Mark III was developed by Geoff and Donald Healey with rave reviews but collapsed due to BMC (British Motor Corporation) expenses. Six other prototypes of an all new Austin-Healey 4000 using a Rolls-Royce FB60 engine were made, and later scheduled for 1968 production, but again cancelled due to BMC finances (though it is thought that after Jaguar merged with BMC, Jaguar vetoed the 4000 production because it didn't want BMC manufacturing an affordable vehicle that would be comparable to its E-Type.) While the 3000 didn't live on in production, it will always live in the sports car and racing world history.

For more reading, visit Ate Up with Motor's article, A Big Healey History: The Austin-Healey 100, 100-6, and 3000 https://ateupwithmotor.com/model-histories/austin-healey-100-100-6-3000/

Austin-Healey Mark III BJ8 with CocoMats #51 Black and Red

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