The ‘Big Healey’ rally cars, prepared by the BMC Competition Department, had an impressive CV with a great breadth of international victories under their belt. As the historic rally scene has grown, and with original BMC built cars rising sharply in value, Works-style recreations have become the weapon of choice for many serious competitors.
Built in 1961, this BT7 MkII Austin Healey 3000 returned to the UK from the USA with the intention to build as faithful a replica of the famous works rally cars as possible.
Fitted with an all aluminium body the attention to detail is impressive, including correct ‘works’ style external jacking points and the modified boot lid that allows room for twin spare wheels. It also has the works-style long range aluminium fuel tank, an original hardtop with the works-style air vent and the correct grill and spotlights have been fitted for the year of the car.
The engine runs with triple SU HD8 carburettors and it was built using many Denis Welch parts, such as an alloy head and inlet manifolds, forged pistons and a fast road camshaft with modified cam followers and a lightened cam gear. Mated to the engine is a straight cut gearbox with the correct original works ‘Tulip Rally’ ratios.
Uprated suspension is fitted all round, with the use of larger BJ8 type shockers fitted on the rear. A tandem master cylinder system provides braking with adjustable AP brake biasing installed. Thicker front discs and larger calipers have been fitted along with a Denis Welch rear brake disc conversion.
The interior of the car has been kept as ‘period’ apart from the fitting of a roll cage. Bucket seats and full harness belts are also fitted, along with many other rally orientated enhancements, including a12v four socket outlet has also been built in for the intercom, interior light and GPS systems.
Since being rebuilt, it has competed in many prestigious rallies such as the Liege-Rome-Liege rally, Tours Des Alpes, the Coupes Des Alpes, and also the Morges British Classic Rally in Switzerland.
The history file shows much recent expenditure including a gearbox rebuild and an engine refresh by Denis Welsh Motorsport.