Lot 32 (Imperial War Museum Duxford, 26th July 2017)
Registration No: EFD772B
Chassis No: H-BJ8-L/26416
Mot Expiry: July 2018
- The original sales invoice shows this splendid looking Austin-Healey 3000 was sold new to a lady in Tucson, Arizona, in July 1964
- Appearing to remain with the original owner until being sold in August 1989 and promptly exported to England, converted to RHD, and registered in June 1990
- Only two UK owners who both invested significantly in the matching-numbers car with the right people to make it a fabulous example in looks, sound, and drivability
The original sales invoice and Arizona title documents on file for this fabulous looking Austin-Healey 3000 MKIII (Phase 1) show it was ordered on July 18th 1964 from Precision Motors in Tucson for delivery that Sunday at 1:00pm. It was titled to two ladies, and seeing as Nancy Lee Burks was just 25 years old at the time, it is presumed that Mary was her mother and perhaps the shiny Colorado Red British sports car was a very generous 25th birthday present. The car did not stray far during its life in America, as after being supplied by Precision Motors (a company that is still thriving today as Toyota dealership) for the sum of $4,254.65 including a radio and taxes, Nancy Lee lived just a few blocks away from Precision and retained the car until 1989 by which time she was fifty years old and her maiden name of Burks had become Thomas.
After selling the car in August 1989 it appears the car was promptly exported to England and converted to right hand drive, presumably by Barrie Richards of Barries Garage, Smethwick. Sold by Barries Garage (trading as Bellbrook Limited) in August 1990 to a Mr Grant Nowell-Mitchell of Pershore, its history since is well documented by its two enthusiastic UK owners.
Mr Nowell-Mitchell preceded to use the car sparingly over the summer months for the next few years, and upon extracting the car from the garage in 1999 it was apparent that a furry creature had enjoyed nibbling away at the original black vinyl interior. 1999 proved to be an expensive year as a new black leather interior was installed in August along with the fitment of Minilite style road wheels, and in November the engine was sent somewhere to be fitted with new pistons, camshafts, aluminium radiator, triple Weber 45 carburettors, and a stainless-steel exhaust manifold and system.
However, a mechanical failure resulted in Mr Nowell-Mitchell requesting the Austin-Healey experts Denis Welch Motorsport to build a Fast Road Engine for him. During 2001 and 2002 over £15,000 was spent on the car building the engine with steel crank and rods and performance inlet manifolds as well as many other engine works, plus thoroughly overhauling the suspension. The gearbox is reported to have received attention but no invoice is available, whereas the invoices from Denis Welch thoroughly detailing the works are in the file.
The vendor (an historic racing competitor aboard a Ford Mustang) purchased the car from Denis Welch Motorsport in September 2011 after Mr Nowell-Mitchel is believed to have passed away. After Denis Welch carried out a service the car was sent to world renowned historic racing experts Blakeney Motorsport for fast-road and light competition preparation. During the next two years over £22,000 were spent on the car on works such as fitting competition front and rear wheel hubs, larger front brake discs and callipers, uprated rear brake drums, fitting a superb sounding side-exit exhaust, modifying the driver's seat to offer extra side support, new rear suspension springs, a new steering box, and an overhauled rear axle with new LSD unit. To complete the works, the paint was refreshed in late 2012.
After taking part in events such as the 2012 VSCC Pomeroy Trophy at Silverstone, Goodwood Road Racing Club (GRRC) Spring Sprint at Goodwood, Aston Martin Owners Club Summer Sprint at Goodwood, and the 2013 VSCC Pomeroy Trophy and GRRC Spring Sprint, and car was retired from competitive work and has since been used as an extremely enjoyable road car.
This is a thoroughly sorted, super looking, and fabulous sounding Austin-Healey 3000 that has had an extraordinary amount of love and money lavished upon it by the best names in the historic car world. There can only be a few 3000 MkIII's out there that have their original supplying documents, are presented in their original colours, still have their original matching numbers engine, plus have had such significant recent expenditure. This is one of them.
Accompanying the car are the previously mentioned original sales invoice and Arizona title documents, plus a British Motor Industry Heritage Trust certificate (which states overdrive, wire wheels and a heater as the main extra equipment), the previous owners detailed account of his ownership dated October 2010, the front and rear bumpers, about fifteen previous MOT certificates, and a comprehensive number of invoices from Denis Welch Motorsport and Blakeney Motorsport detailing all the work carried out on the car.