The featured CAR OF THE MONTH is the 1965 Austin Healey BJ8, owned by Bruce Leslie and which, as the pictures show, was built up from scratch to being one of the most sought-after collectors’ items in the country.
Bruce bought the 'car' in April 2003 and completed the restoration in December 2005. It is painted in metallic golden beige, which was a factory colour used from January 1967 to March 1968. It is one of the last 800 cars built.
Some of the original factory specs :
Make and Model : Austin-Healey 3000 MK.III Convertible
Specification : RH Drive (Home Market)
Colour : Exterior - Black
Trim - Black (Hide)
Hood (top) - Black
Date of Build : 4-10 August 1967
Date of Despatch : 11th August 1967
Destination (Dealer) : Not recorded
Details of Factory fitted Equipment : Wire Wheels, Heater
Adjustable Steering Column, Overdrive
Laminated Windscreen, Black Tonneau Cover
The original "big" Healy was the Healey 100, first shown at the Earls Court show in 1952 and hastily adopted by BMC as the Austin Healey 100 with 2.6 litre four-cylinder engine from the Austin Atlantic.
In 1956 the six-cylinder BMC series C engine from the Austin Westminster was shoehorned into a stretched version of the car to make the 100/6.
However, this wasn't entirely successful : performance was down compared with the torquey old four. Redemption arrived in the form of the three-litre 3000 MK.I in 1959, outwardly the same pretty car but with 2912cc 124bhp.
For 1961 BMC upped the power to 132bhp with triple SU carburettors for the MK.II 3000, followed a year later by the MK.IIa with wind-up windows, a curved windscreen and a proper, fully convertible hood.
Last, and best of the line, was the 1964 MK.III with improved breathing for 148bhp, pushing the top speed to over 120mph (193kph). Brakes were improved by a servo and, inside, the car had a rather opulent wooden dashboard, somewhat at odds with its macho reputation as a rugged driver's car. .........
It remains one of the most sought-after British sports cars of the 1960's.