The original Austin Healey 3000 Mark III was probably the last of the big, hairy-chested British sports cars, combining old-world craftsmanship with a (relatively) big engine. Today they're some of the most highly-sought collectables of the period, so if the big price tag gets you down, perhaps a replica like this is the right choice. It's got the look, the power, and the presence, all at a price that's 1/3 that of an original.
Yes, admittedly, this is a fiberglass replica, but like the Cobra replicas, sometimes the best car to own is one that doesn't have a bunch of history tied to it. The body is new, the running gear is new, the chassis is new, and, well, you get the picture. The shape is unmistakable, with the familiar Healey grille up front and weeping fender lines that aren't altogether unlike that of the Cobra. It's nicely finished in two-tone Wildfire Red and Silver, GM colors that look great together and add to the traditional image. The fenders are a bit more aggressively flared than the original, but it only seems to enhance the big Healey's look, and even though it was built a few years ago, it's still in great shape. Finish quality is quite good, with doors that fit well and a louvered hood that sits flush with the fenders, and they captured most of the original details, including the bright fender welting between the fenders and the body, the proper emblems on the trunk lid, and bright chrome bumpers that really sparkle.
Interiors are where British cars shine brightest, and this car pays homage to that hand-crafted look with tan leather buckets and a nicely stitched interior. The seats are comfortable but not confining and the leather is just now rounding into that well-loved condition that makes cars like this so appealing. Plush carpets, simple door panels, and a wooden dashboard are additional ties to the Healey process. VDO gauges look suitably old-school and you'll note that their labels are quite British: Petrol, Dynamo, and Water Temperature. A Kenwood AM/FM/CD stereo system isn't quite like the old systems, but it sounds a lot better and you'll appreciate it more when you're cruising with the top down. There's also a tilt steering column, an effective heater, and a nicely integrated shifter for the 3-speed automatic transmission. A roll bar behind the seats adds stiffness and doesn't interfere with the tan convertible top's operation and you get a decent-sized trunk that's upholstered to match the interior carpets.
A 350 cubic inch Chevy is a far cry from an original inline-six, but a comparison to the Cobra is inevitable when you pop the hood. It's a neat fit in the Healey's nose and offers things like an Edelbrock 4-barrel carburetor, a few chrome dress-up pieces, and niceties such as power steering and power front disc brakes. Rebuilt about 10,000 miles ago, it's plenty strong out on the road, especially with the light curb weight, and this is one British car where bulletproof reliability is part of the equation. The TH350 3-speed automatic transmission feeds a Ford 8-inch rear end and the suspension is Mustang: Mustang II up front and Fox platform in back. Dual exhaust rumbles in a most un-British way, but you'll love the sound, and those big, flashy American Racing wheels look awesome with fat performance radials wrapped around them.
Nothing but fun on wheels, this cool Healey roadster is a great way to get some open-air V8 fun for not a lot of cash. Call today!