This is a request that we frequently receive from new members who have joined the club to learn more before purchasing their first Austin-Healey. First of all, that's a wise move, to join the club and learn as much as possible before spending many thousands of dollars on a recreational car. Congratulations, you are already on the right track!
At this point, more than anything else you need information, and providing information is probably the most important thing that this club does. We want to give you information, and steer you towards more, in your efforts to learn before making the purchase decision.
Selecting a recreational car can be a joy and pleasure, but it can also be a source of doubt and stress. The good news is, whichever model of big Healey you choose, you will own a classic and handsome car that can give you tremendous satisfaction and enjoyment.
The information presented here represents knowledge that has been gained only after much research and many years of experience. It can save you much time and much money, and it can help to insure enjoyable ownership of these classic British sports cars.
In the broadest terms, big Healeys come in three varieties:
- The four-cylinder roadsters, built 1953-56 - the 100.
- The six-cylinder roadsters, built 1956-62 - comprising the 100-6, 3000, and the early 3000 Mark II with three carburetors.
- The six-cylinder convertibles, built 1962-67 - comprising the later 3000 Mark II with two carburetors, and the 3000 Mark III.
So perhaps your first question to yourself might be, Do I want a convertible or a roadster? In the big Healey world, a convertible is defined as a car with a permanently attached folding top and roll-up windows, and which therefore offers good weather protection. A roadster is defined as a car with a relatively easily detachable folding top and "side curtains." Side curtains are plastic side windows in a metal frame that are mounted on top of the doors and stowed in the "boot" (British for trunk) when not in use. Roadsters obviously offer less weather protection. The following links lead to more detailed descriptions of the individual models.
- Austin-Healey 100
- Austin-Healey 100-6
- Austin-Healey 3000
- Austin-Healey 3000 Mark II
- Austin-Healey 3000 Mark III
Whichever model of Austin-Healey you do decide to purchase, you will own a very satisfying and enjoyable car that gives pride of owning an important part of automotive history, and opens doors to camaraderie among fellow enthusiasts and club members from around the world. The Austin-Healey Club USA is dedicated to helping you to become a member of the community of Austin-Healey enthusiasts, and to helping you keep your Healey on the road for a very long time to come. The staff of the Austin-Healey Club USA remains available and anxious to assist members in every possible way throughout your ownership. Please call on us.
Model Overview Conclusion
This brief overview should be only one part of your learning process. Here are some more suggestions for adding to your knowledge before making the purchase decision:
Join clubs. The Austin-Healey Club USA is, first and foremost, an "information resource." If you have not already joined we encourage you to do so. You can join online using your Visa or MasterCard, or you can print an application and mail it to us with your check. We also recommend that you join a local club if there is one in your area, and don't overlook multi-marque clubs that include more than one British marque. Your small membership fees will be some of the best investments you can make on the road to Healey ownership.
Attend British car events. In addition to the clubs, British car events offer additional opportunities to meet people who are already owners, some of whom will probably have just recently gone through the buying process themselves. Many owners are happy to talk about ownership and will gladly go over their car with someone who is interested in becoming an Austin-Healey owner. Additionally, talking to the owner of a car that is not for sale will help to guarantee that you get honest opinions about the car in general, local mechanics, local clubs, etc.
Read. The Austin-Healey Club USA offers a wide variety of books on Austin-Healeys at discount prices for Club members. You can save more than the amount of your club dues as you build your Healey library. A list of available books is included in the New Member Packet sent to each new member, and a copy is also included with the September-October issue of Austin-Healey Magazine each year. You may also obtain a list by contacting the Membership Information Officer (his contact information is in each issue of Austin-Healey Magazine).
Whichever model of Austin-Healey you do decide to purchase, you will own a very satisfying and enjoyable car that gives pride of owning an important part of automotive history, and opens doors to camaraderie among fellow enthusiasts and Club members from around the world. The Austin-Healey Club USA is dedicated to helping you to become a member of the community of Austin-Healey enthusiasts, and to helping you keep your Healey on the road for a very long time to come. The staff of the Austin-Healey Club USA remains available and anxious to assist members in every possible way throughout your ownership. Please call on us.