The Austin-Healey 3000 Mk1 was announced on 1 July 1959 with a 3-litre BMC C-Series engine to replace the smaller 2.6-litre engine of the 100-6 and disc brakes for its front wheels. The manufacturers claimed it would reach 60 mph in 11 seconds and 100 mph in 31 seconds. A BT7 3000 with hardtop and overdrive tested by The Motor magazine in 1960 had a top speed of 115 mph (185 km/h) and could accelerate from 0–60 mph (97 km/h) in 11.7 seconds.
Our example was exported to the West Coast of America in August 1959 and was delivered in Primrose Yellow with black trim and hood. The car was imported to the UK in April 2003 and later acquired by the business where it underwent a full restoration.
Having spent its life in dry, warm conditions, the body panels were found to be in good condition. After complete strip and detailed inspection, they were ‘dry fitted’ with the car sitting on its suspension and weighted to its correct position with the engine in place so that the panel gaps could be correctly adjusted.
The panels were fitted and gapped to metal by use of the English wheel and careful beating, always being careful not to remove too much metal and future life from the panels. The aluminium had not gone hard and brittle from over work and repair in the past and hadn’t suffered very much ‘diode’ corrosion at the junction with steel. The steel panels hadn’t suffered too badly with rust since this was a West Coast of America car.
The engine was stripped and carefully inspected and measured for signs of wear. The engine block was line bored and the crankshaft was machined and balanced to eliminate engine vibration, new bearings and pistons installed and the cylinder head was ported to improve air flow while the manifolds were aligned to the cylinder head to eliminate disruption to air flow. The gearbox was fully stripped, inspected and renovated with all new synchros, lay shaft and bearings.
The car was completed by painting in its original Primrose Yellow colour that is documented on its Heritage Certificate.