If you’re looking for a super-original, low mileage Austin Healey, then look away now. If you’re looking for a Healey with a great history, ready to – quite literally – take on the world, then have we got the perfect car for you.
BSL 621, affectionally known as ‘Basil’, is almost certainly the world’s most developed and widely travelled Austin Healey 3000 Rally Car. It was purchased by its previous owners in the 1990s with the aim of building a long distance rally car. As the extent of travel would be global, a conscious decision was made to source a left-hand drive car from the USA. This was then subjected to a ground-up restoration in 1998/ 99 by noted Healey specialists Orchard Restorations, and since then has been continually maintained and developed.
This wasn’t just any old ground up restoration, nor even one to Works specification – oh no! – it was a 15 year project costing more than £200,000 (that’s £400,000+ in today’s money) researching, developing and upgrading every nut and bolt on the car to the greatest degree.
The specification list is exhaustive, so here are a few notable points:
- Rally spec. 3.4 ltr long stroke engine built for reliability, producing around 200 bhp with huge torque, breathing through twin 2” SU carburettors fitted with altitude mixture compensator and a bespoke filtration system.
- Bespoke rally spec. exhaust fitted into the door.
- Chassis modifications to give 4.5” to 5” ground clearance, without effecting the handling.
- Chassis massively strengthened, including all suspension mountings.
- Straight cut, close ratio gearbox with competition overdrive.
- Limited Slip Differential.
- Full underbody duralumin guarding.
- Uprated shock absorbers with remote reservoirs.
- All electrical circuits separately wired & fused.
- All alloy bodywork, with original works hard top.
- Four wheel, dual circuit disc brakes.
- Modern, super comfortable seats and inertia seat belts.
- Original dashboard with every additional piece of rally equipment you can think of.
- 80 litre fuel tank.
- Extensive set of tools in the boot to undertake any work required on the car
- Hidden storage compartments, capable of carrying all spares necessary for an 8-12 week journey.
- Rear shelf modified to be capable of carrying two people’s personal effects for a 2 to 3 month tour.
All this (and more) makes for a strong, effortlessly powerful and reliable long-distance tourer. Don’t take our word for it however as its amazing track records speaks for itself; having been driven across the globe – at least twice – with over 100,000 miles in gruelling events, ‘Basil’ always finished with no break downs, save for having a steering arm replaced in Argentina in 2001.
Besides extensive European travel and events such as the Rallye des Alpes, London – Lisbon etc, the car has successfully completed the following:-
- “Around the World in 80 Days” 2000 – 30,559 kms
- Inca Trail 2001 – 21,600 kms
- London – Sydney Friendship Rally 2005 – 27,560 kms
- Panama – Alaska Friendship Rally 2008 – 17,800 kms
- Rallye Med Friendship Rally 2010 (right round the Mediterranean) – 19,100 kms
- La Gira Andina Friendship Rally 2012 ( top to bottom of South America ) – 15,825 kms
- Pan-American Friendship Rally 2016 – 16,533 kms
The current owner bought ‘Basil’ about 5 years ago with a view to continue its impressive career. However, between Covid, work and living between Milan and London, ‘Basil’ has been left yearning for the rally roads. That’s not to say he hasn’t been used, regularly enjoying trouble-free commutes between London and Milan.
In his ownership ‘Basil’ has been maintained by renowned Healey specialists Woolmer Classic Engineering and has been recently serviced by them.
Presented with a comprehensive history file detailing the build & development, this represents an opportunity to acquire probably the best big Healey in existence in terms of reliability, versatility and usability, at a fraction of build & development costs.