Austin Healey 3000 MKIII BJ8 Works Rally car

Car producer : 

Austin Healey


3000 MKIII BJ8 Works Rally car





The 3000 Mark III was launched in October 1963, and remained in production until the end of 1967, when manufacture of Austin-Healeys ceased. Only one further car was built in March 1968. Designated the BJ8, the 2+2 Mark III was the most powerful and luxurious of the big Healeys, with a standard walnut-veneer dash, wind-up windows, and a 150 hp (112 kW) engine. Added power came from a new camshaft and valve springs, twin SU 2" HD8 carburetors, and new of exhaust system design. Servo-assisted brakes were also standard. Options remained otherwise the same, except that the standard interior trim was downgraded to Ambla vinyl, with leather extra.

In May 1964 the Phase II version of the Mark III was released, which gained ground clearance through a modified rear chassis. In March 1965 the car received separate indicators.

Development was facilitated by the transfer of Austin-Healey production to MG's Abingdon factory in 1957 and the decision to base the works' rally programme at the Competitions Department there under Marcus Chambers. Benefiting from the attention of MG's experienced engineers, the 3000 was progressively developed over the course of the next six years before a change in the FIA's Appendix J regulations at the end of 1965 outlawed many of the special parts that had been homologated for competition use.

Although the Big Healey retained a separate chassis and body in traditional sports car fashion, these two components were welded together to form a structure of greatly increased strength and rigidity. Wherever possible, body panels - wings, doors, and bonnet included - were fabricated in aluminium rather than steel to save weight, the boot lid was also made of aluminium and gained a distinctive upward extension to accommodate twin spare wheels. To protect the low-slung under-body, 'bash' plates were invariably employed. This lack of ground clearance was the car's greatest weakness, explaining the works' policy of running them 'nose up' to avoid grounding the sump. Lack of rear suspension travel was another disadvantage, not addressed until the introduction of dipped rear chassis rails from 1961, a modification that later found its way onto the 3000 MkIII Phase II production model. Other essential competition modifications included four-wheel disc brakes, close-ratio gears, and a limited-slip differential.

Early works 3000s used engines that retained the production version's cast-iron cylinder head and triple SU carburettors developing around 160bhp. The adoption of a short side-exit exhaust system was one of the earliest modifications, followed by fabricated tubular exhaust manifolds, aluminium cylinder heads, and triple Weber carburettors. These latter two modifications arrived in 1962, and in this ultimate specification the maximum power output had risen to around 210bhp.

Sold for: 230000 GBP
Go to restoration
See other models

You may also like these cars

to top