As of Saturday, this 1967 Austin Healey 3000 Mark III roadster has the highest across-the-block price, selling for $110,000 with the buyer’s premium included. The big Healey was probably the finest I’ve ever seen, and was fresh out of Kurt Tanner Restoration’s shop. This particular car was one of only 553 sprayed in Metallic Golden Beige, and the overdrive plus factory wires made it the big Healey to buy.
The 3000 Mark III was introduced in 1963 and built until Austin-Healey ceased production in 1967. The Mark IIIs featured a 150 horsepower 3.0 liter inline six with dual carbs, a hotter cam and a reworked exhaust compared to the Mark IIs. Servo assisted brakes gave the car exceptional braking ability for its day. To maintain their high end feel, Mark IIIs came standard with a walnut dash, and buyers could opt for leather seats in place of the standard vinyl.
Nearly 18,000 Mark IIIs were manufactured during their five year production run. They remain popular among collectors and vintage racers, a testiment to both their styling and their durability. This was a high price for a Healey, but this car was exceptional in every way. Whether or not it will appreciate in value, it’s certain that the new owner will enjoy his ride.
The Sunbeam Tiger was produced at the same time as the big Healeys, from 1964 until 1967. Considered the muscle car of the Sunbeam line, the Tiger was essentially a Sunbeam Alpine with a 289 Ford shoehorned in the engine bay. Only 7,085 were manufactured during the car’s four year production run, and few unmolested examples remain today. The Subeam Tiger that sold at Barrett-Jackson on Friday featured a complete restoration for vintage racing, an updated 289 motor with aluminum heads, a four speed transmission and four wheel disc brakes from Wilwood. It runs on period correct Torque Thrust wheels and was signed by Carrol Shelby; despite this, the selling price was a bargain at $37,400. Why the huge gap between the two roadsters? First, Sunbeam Tigers have always been more of an acquired taste than Austin Healeys, whose styling remains timeless. Tigers have a reputation as being troublesome, both to drive and to maintain. The big Healey was restored to factory condition, while the Tiger was built for vintage racing and features non-original components. Even the link to Carroll Shelby, who developed the initial prototype Tiger for Sunbeam, wasn’t enough to drive the price of the car up any higher. At $37,400, this car was well bought and should continue to appreciate in value.