Austin Healey 3000 Review from North America

1966 Austin Healey 3000 Mk3 BJ8 3.0

Model year1966
Year of manufacture1966
First year of ownership1988
Most recent year of ownership1995
Engine and transmission 3.0 Manual
Performance marks 8 / 10
Reliability marks 6 / 10
Comfort marks 5 / 10
Running Costs (higher is cheaper) 5 / 10
Overall marks (average of all marks)
6.0 / 10
Distance when acquired50000 miles
Most recent distance60000 miles
Previous carTriumph TR250

Summary:

The most charismatic of all the British sports cars

Faults:

Obviously, this is a vintage car and was already over 20 years old when I acquired it, but I would say that gave good service.

Overall, the main problem was with oil leaks, oil burning and some electrical problems.

General Comments:

What a fantastic car! It had more character than any car I've ever driven! It was a very "hairy chested" kind of car. All very brutal and primitive by modern standards, but truly entertaining to drive.

The first thing you notice when getting in the car is the unusual driving position. Your legs are totally straight to reach the pedals, yet the steering wheel is almost touching your chest. You do get used to it, but it feels bizarre at first.

The huge engine in this tiny car gives a great torquey feeling and it sounds fantastic. The biggest let down is the gearbox. The spacing of the gears is TERRIBLE. 1st and 2nd are almost the same, and there's a huge gap to 3rd. This must be because the gearbox and engine were originally for a truck. The electric overdrive gave 2 extra ratios, so that was a big help.

The handling was surprisingly good, but did tend a bit too much to understeer. It's the monstrously heavy engine up front. But oh, what fun!

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Don't Know

Review Date: 31st July, 2006

20th Jul 2008, 15:53

Under steer was not something I ever remember with my 1966 mkIII. This car was used for rallying in Europe, and its all about getting it "Set Up" for the corner and using Over Steer to get round.

I DO however remember driving it through London, on the day I bought it and it had just started to rain very lightly. I vividly recall the startled look in the faces of the people in the bus queue as I headed straight at them, after shifting up into second gear and using a little too much accelerator. Fortunately a bit of judicious opposite lock and a few wobbles straightened her out... Taught me respect very quickly, which for a 21 year old was a lesson well learnt.

Average review marks: 6.0 / 10, based on 1 review