Years of manufacture: 1959-1968 
Price when new: £1,257
Price now: £20,000-£70,000
Engine: 2,912cc 6cyl petrol, 124bhp
Top speed: 113mph

In the late fifties, sports cars were big business. It wasn’t only in this country where they were popular, either; in that era, American buyers were lapping up British-built roadsters and providing us with vital export dollars.

The ‘big Healey’ was introduced in 1959, and used a body built by Jensen and a 3.0-litre straight-six powerplant borrowed from some staid saloons.

It looked gorgeous – except during wet weather, when the very basic rain protection had to be used. However, most Americans don’t get nearly as much rain as we do here in the UK, and as a consequence more than 85 per cent of all Austin-Healey 3000 cars were exported across the Atlantic.

Judge’s verdict: “Arguably the original hairy-chested British sports car, the 3000 started out as a rakish and swift brute. Over the years it became more refined and powerful.” - Tom Barnard, Creative director, Auto Express

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