In October 1952 the Healey Motor Company of Warwick had shown a glamorous 2.6-litre model at the Earl's Court Motor Show. So great was the new model's attraction that the small works was rapidly awash in a sea of orders.

Aware of the distress, and possibly sensing an opportunity, Austin Motors concern stepped in to help with production amenities, meaning that the new model eventually appeared as the Austin Healey 100.

The 100 developed through the Fifties to become the 3000, while Austin Healey grew to become one of the U.K.'s largest producers of sports cars was a very healthy export market.

Arguably the most famous large scale sports-tourer of the Sixties, the Austin Healey 3000 had all the attributes of a 'traditional' sports car.

Powered by a 2912-cc engine with twin SU HD6 carburettors, the 3000 was capable of producing a healthy 124 bhp, allowing the 3000 to reach a top speed of around 117 mph (190k/ph), while 0-50 mph acceleration took only 8.5 sec.

The 3000 was available as a pure two-seater or, with an enlarged cockpit area, as a two-/four-seater which was the nest selling variation, providing sufficient space in the rear for either two small children or one adult, as long as he, or she, was prepared to sit sideways.

The 3000's body shell was similar to the old 100-Six model, with a long bonnet, a sloping nose and handsomely kicked-up rear wings with a sloping tail.

Like the Sprite, the only minor flaw with the Austin Healey 3000 was its inclination to oversteer although the vehicle did corner particularly well.

In June that year, the pure two-seater 3000 was discontinued, with production concentrated on the two-/four-seat model as racing and rally successes continued to accumulate for all Austin-Healey variants.

In January of 1963 the 3000's rear cockpit moulding was redesigned to prevent damage to the folded hood, and in April a completely new hood assembly was standardised.

During the early to mid-Sixties, the 3000 continued to be very much in demand, both in the domestic market as well as in the US.

That particular bubble was to burst in 1966 with the introduction of the National Traffic and Motor Vehicle Safety Act designed to empower the federal government to set and administer new safety standards for motor vehicles.

U To meet the requirements of the new legislation, major changes would have been required to have been made to the 3000.

Changes that, when implemented, would price the car out of the US market.

Unable to justify the model's existence on domestic sales only, in 1968 BMC made the some say hasty decision to discontinue production on the 'big Healey' causing considerable consternation among the 3000's many aficionados.  

With the passing of the 3000 , production of the traditional, masculine and rugged Austin-Healey brand that the UK public had come to know and love came to an end.

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