The Austin-Healey 3000 was introduced in 1959, replacing the Austin-Healey 100-6. Despite its new name, the changes were minor compared to those between the original 100 and the 100-6. The wheelbase and body were unchanged, as were the models, a 2+2 and a two-seater.
Austin-Healey 3000 Mark I (1959) at the 39. AvD Oldtimer Grand Prix 2011 Nurburgring
The original 3000 was built from March 1959 to March 1961 as models BN7 Mark I (2-seater) and BT7 Mark I (2+2 version). It only became known as the Mark I after the Mark II was released, having no designator prior. It featured a 2912 cc I6 engine, with twin SU carburetors and Girling front disc brakes. Wire wheels, overdrive gearbox, laminated windscreen, heater, adjustable steering column, detachable hard top, and two-tone paint were available as options.
A total of 13,650 Mark Is were made (2,825 BN7, and 10,825 BT7).
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. A fuel consumption of 21.6 miles per imperial gallon (13.1 L/100 km; 18.0 mpg-US) was recorded. The test car cost £1326 including taxes.
Introduced in March 1961 as the BN7 Mark II (2-seat) and BT7 Mark II (2+2), the 3000 Mark II series came with three SU HS4 carburettors and an improved camshaft. However, the triple SUs proved difficult to balance and were replaced with two SU HS6 upon the introduction of the BJ7 (2+2) model in January 1962. With its debut the BN7 Mark II was discontinued in March 1962, and the BT7 Mark II in June 1962.
Other changes included a vertical barred front grille, wind-up windows instead of side curtains, an improved hood, and a wrap-around windscreen. Optional extras were similar to the Mark I, although the factory hardtop option was dropped with the BJ7's introduction. From August 1961 a brake servo was also available as an optional extra, which greatly improved braking performance. The BJ7 was discontinued in October 1963 with the introduction of the 3000 Mark III.
A 3000 Mark II BT7 with hardtop and overdrive tested by the British magazine The Motor in 1961 had a top speed of 112.9 mph (181.7 km/h) and could accelerate from 0–60 mph (97 km/h) in 10.9 seconds. A fuel consumption of 23.5 miles per imperial gallon (12.0 L/100 km; 19.6 mpg-US) was recorded. The test car cost £1362 including taxes.
A total of 11,564 were made: 355 BN7 Mark II, 5,096 BT7 Mark II, and 6,113 BJ7.
1966 Austin-Healey 3000 Mark III (North America)
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 carburettors, and a new 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 as an 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.
A total of 17,712 Mark IIIs were made.