Austin Healey 3000 MKIII BJ8 1965
The Austin Healey is certainly one of the most impressive British classic sports car. Elegant and aggressive at the same time, agile yet with a powerful engine. A collaborative product of a small family business led by Healey’s father and son and the giant Austin who provided engines and other components.
This is the most powerful model with 150 HP, built in 1965, one out of 17,712 produced.
The car we have restored is one of the first projects we had the pleasure working on, with the commitment to restore it respecting its originality, but also making some hidden changes to make it safer and more manageable and even more enjoyable.
The car was purchased with the knowledge that it would soon undergo a complete restoration. The bodywork had been painted with not-original colours as well as interior. In addition, the engine was tired and the chassis showed signs of a tormented history of repairs and rust.
The starting point was to ask for the British factory production statement, the so-called “Heritage”, from which we obtained all the necessary data starting with the original colour: the classic Healey Blue.
The body was separated from the chassis been able to proceed with the restoration of all the body sheets, aluminium and steel, and with modern rust protection treatments. With the original codes, the bodywork was then painted using nitro-based products that gave it an unmatched appearance and colour depth.
The mechanics were completely revised starting with the engine that has been upgraded to burn unleaded gasoline. A fan with more blades was fitted and the cooling system was filled with Evans, a no-water liquid that improves cooling and has a very high boiling point.
The electrical system has been completely replaced as well as the components in unrepairable condition, but others have been restored or kept as original as possible to keep the car from appearing “too perfect” retaining a more realistic, experienced patina.
The improvements made to the old project were the adoption of a concealed alternator hidden in the original dynamo case, drilled discs with no-dust kevlar pads and braided brake lines, polyurethane suspension bushes. The shock absorbers were tuned up by an expert in Great Britain and we fitted a thicker anti-roll bar with slightly lowered and modified suspensions, to obtain a camber that is best suited to modern radial tires.
All the modifications listed, combined with the adoption of a modern 5-speed gearbox instead of the traditional four speed + overdrive, made the car much more enjoyable to drive and suitable to modern traffic.
However, we have not lost the originality so much that our Healey was brought to receive the ASI gold plate approval.
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