An amazing barn-find Healey that's been painstakingly mechanically sorted with ’preservation’ in mind. The odometer reads 12,122 miles at the time of writing. Based on what we know about the car's history, the mechanical, interior and undercarriage condition and the opinions of several experienced restorers and avid Healey drivers (who've driven this car), we believe this mileage to be accurate and correct. This is a traffic stopper that runs and drives like it's a couple of years old. It's a ‘car-guy's"’dream with patina that has to be seen in person to appreciate.
This is a true barn find. When found in 2008, it had been last registered in 1971 and having been parked by the daughter of the original owner in 1972, not to see the light of day again until being wheeled out nearly forty years later. In 2008, Ned Gallaher of Gallaher Restorations, Landrum SC at a gas station in an old MG, when he was approached by Jeanne Millet. In Ned's words: "She asked if I knew someone local who worked on MG's. I told her that I did. She said that she had cars in her garage that had belonged to her dad which hadn't been driven in 30 years and that she might be interested in restoring them. I went to her place and found this Healey with a 1960 MGA and gave her an estimate to get them running again. I also told her that I'd be interested in buying them. I saw her a couple of times after that, but she neither wanted to sell or repair them. In 2010 she passed away with no known next of kin. I had a call from lawyers who were handling her estate and they asked if I'd be interested in purchasing the cars.” Ned spent two years restoring the car with preservation in mind. He subsequently sold them to a North Carolina collector. The car then went to a Massachusetts collector and was road registered for the first time in 45 years. That owner subsequently traded it back to the original North Carolina collector and current owner.
The Austin-Healey 100 debuted in 1953 to instant acclaim. The car filled the void between the entry level MG’s and the upper level Jaguars and Aston Martin’s available at the time. The basic 2-seater roadster powered by a 2,660 cc inline-4 provided sufficient power to reach a top speed just in excess of 100 mph. For 1956, Austin-Healey introduced a new model called the 100-6. The 100-6 used the same basic architecture of the 100 but on a slightly stretched wheelbase fitted with an inline-6 producing 102 hp. In the spring of 1959 the 100-6 was replaced with the 3000, an evolutionary change of the 100-6 styling and engineering now fitted with an inline-6 displacing 2912 cc and produced 112 hp and fitted with front disk brakes. The bigger engine was the reason for the car’s designation as the “Big Healey” especially against the company’s other offering at the time the diminutive Sprite. The final iteration of the Austin-Healey 3000 was the MkIII version of 1964. Power was up again, this time to 150 horsepower and the cockpit was extensively revised to make the 3000 MkIII the most luxurious of all big Healeys.
After finding the car in Jeanne Millet's garage, Ned Gallaher performed the following work: Replaced exhaust system with stainless steel; Rebuilt brakes, new rear cylinder, new pistons front, new hoses front and rear, new master cylinder, rebuild brake servo unit; Repaired handbrake; Rebuilt clutch master and slave cylinders, replace hose, flush system, replace metal h.p. Line; Replaced water pump and hoses, new antifreeze, new belt for water pump; Removed radiator and had it cleaned; Installed new fuel pump; Removed fuel tank and had it cleaned; Rebuilt carburetors, installed new floats and needle valves.; Replaced all fluids; Greased all fittings including front up-joints; Replaced angle drive on 5 speed, removed, cleaned and lubed the cable; Replaced spark plugs and points; Replaced overdrive switch, removed and cleaned the screen in transmission for overdrive unit and changed fluids; Installed tail lights; Installed over-riders on bumpers; Removed the seats and installed new carpet.; Repaired lights; New battery; Sent wheels to Hendrix Wire Wheel Repair in Greensboro SC for repair; New tires fitted and balanced; Original valve cover removed and refinished. It has subsequently had service at British Car R&R, where it was also inspected for ‘originality’ and the authenticity of the mileage by Bob Abbott.
For several years, the nicer Austin Healey BJ8's have consistently sold at auction from $80,000 to well over $100,000 and in recent years have even eclipsed that. Due to it's low mileage, drivability and originality, this car should be valued in the region of cars which have received comprehensive restorations.
This very unique low mile Healey should be seen as ‘investment quality’ and is sure to attract the avid Healey enthusiasts. Everyone who has driven it is thrilled by how tight this car is and how well it drives. The ‘patina’ is a car lovers dream and has evoked a lot of emotion from those who have been around this amazing BJ8.