Among the most memorable of the classic cars to have come from Britain in the mid-20th century were the Austin Healey models. The quaint look of these models fit perfectly into the idea of cruising through the English countryside, watching miles of stone fences and greenery slide by as the wind gently laps against a hand that is casually waving from the window. Less inclined to be concerned with regulations in the auto industry, the British carmaker which was responsible for the Austin Healey, British Motor Corporation (BMC), would come to suffer from the tightening regulations in the United States. This would put a harsh limit on the model’s international market.
The Austin Healey 3000 MK III (also called the BJ8) was a classic car that was first sold in the United States in 1964. The 177.7 cid engine produced 148 horsepower, giving the model the ability to reach a top speed of 121 miles per hour. For a sharp-looking vehicle from overseas, it was surprisingly affordable. The sticker prices began at $3535 in the United States. Today, that price is equal to about $26,125. Production numbers for the Austin Healy 3000 in the North American market reached around 18,000 units.
After a few years of relative consistency in the model’s make up, British Motor Corporation decided to pull the Austin Healey because of the concern over whether it would be able to meet the standards that came hand in hand with the new auto regulations in the United States. The final year for the model was 1967. Love for the model would endure, though, and many of them still survive today. Their owners enjoy many of the same quality that made the model exciting in its prime.