RUSTY HEAPS

A Mostly British Obsession

Tri-Carb Healey

1962 Austin Healey 3000

This was my second Healey, and in theory what I had always wanted…a “Healey Blue” tri-carb 3000. I enjoyed the car, but it constantly needed attention, which just didn’t mesh with the 70 hour weeks I was working.


I found it down in Steilacoom, an older gentleman owned it and was getting out of the classic cars. It was $10,000, as I recall (big money for me), and it must have been about 1994. It had a pinstripe “lace job” on the bonnet and boot, which I quickly took care of (fortunately it was tape), but otherwise wasn’t in bad condition–not great, but not a wreck, either.

Except, of course, that it constantly needed or wanted something. The clutch pressure plate failed one day just down the hill from my flat, and that necessitated removing the tranny in the parking garage of my apartment complex, always a pleasure (especially at the Healey tranny weighs about a million pounds). Various electrical devices failed, and the interior was never up to much, nor the seals. I can remember being caught in the rain and having water spraying over me from under the windshield.

It made nice noises, and was fun to own, but the money it represented was better used as a down payment on my first house. Some cars, crappy as they are, are the basis for a genuine bond between the owner and the machine. Others never click. This one, for whatever reason, fell into the latter category.

1 Comment

  1. A car you didn’t want to keep? I am amazed. ;)

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