BIG BAD HEALEY

$112 ,950

WORDS & PHOTOS GUY ALLEN

FORGET YOUR preconceptions – that’s pretty much what this Healey said the minute we clapped eyes on it. More so once we had a good chance to crawl over the thing.

A combination of the rare factory hardtop (one of just 200 said to be have been produced) plus the various alterations to the body pretty well announce the intent.

You’ll see the guards have been flared, while a host of rally-style features added, including venting, additional lights and boot lid. It adds up to compact and muscularlooking package.

The story goes the car was brought into Australia in 2008 and stripped back to bare metal. As anyone who has seen this process in action, rebuilding one of these things is not a cheap exercise.

There was no skimping – some $150k was spent.

It seems whoever played ringmaster on this project wasn’t afraid of a little mix and matching.

The instrument panel is a Sebring style, festooned with Smiths gauges, while air-conditioning has been thrown into the mix.

Under the bonnet, the first thing you see is an impressive intake manifold set-up with three 45mm DCOE Weber carbs hanging off it. Seeing that lot is enough to keep most petrolheads amused for an afternoon. Presentation of the engine bay is neat and purposeful, and

out of sight is the more modern five-speed manual transmission.

Its chassis has also come in for a pretty comprehensive upgrade, with Ferrari Daytona-style knock-on wheels being the most obvious touch. Up front it’s sitting on Koni shock absorbers, with Bilsteins out back.

These sixes, or ‘the big Healeys’ as they’re known, have an incredibly long and successful competition history, with Sebring, Le Mans and Mount Panorama on the honours list. These days, you’re more likely to see a pack of them going at it tooth and nail around Goodwood, or being driven a little more conservatively on the odd classic rally.

They remain in big demand and a surprising percentage seem to still be out there, battling their way to a chequered flag.

As for this example, clearly it’s been set up to go, but the addition of air-con suggests the previous owners weren’t masochists. Maybe they were on to something…

“THESE SIXES HAVE AN INCREDIBLY LONG AND SUCCESSFUL COMPETITION HISTORY”

1965 AUSTIN-HEALEY 3000 SPECIAL

ENGINE 3.0lt, inline six Triple Weber POWER 110kW @ 5250rpm (stock) TORQUE 224Nm @ 3500rpm (stock) TRANSMISSION 5-speed manual WEIGHT 1180kg dry PRICE $112,950 ON SALE at Brooklands Classic Cars