11 June 2013

A Divided Austin-Healey Market

For years, the discussion of the Austin-Healey market has been dominated by high-profile sales of 3000 MKIII BJ8s restored by a limited number of well-known shops. Now it's shaping up to be a bit of a bookended/bifurcated market with increased interest in the 100/4.

There are several reasons for this as the cars literally represent the alpha and omega of the big Healey world. The 100 is elemental and pure with its two seats, side curtains and rakish folding windscreen. The 3000 is easier to live with and more luxurious with a folding top, roll-up windows and a polished walnut dash.

They both have enormous appeal (as do the 100/6 and earlier marks of the 3000). But what it comes down to is a desire on the collector's part to have the first and last. 100/4s had been the red-headed stepchild for too long until 100M prices shot past six figures. Those priced out of that market have now set their sights on ordinary 100/4s. Fans of the earlier car point out the myriad events that the 100 is eligible for and the 3000 isn't. And in today's usability-driven market, that's a factor that shouldn't be underestimated in predicting future values.

To learn more about Austin-Healeys, and to connect with fellow owners and enthusiasts, visit the Austin Healey Club USA website at http://healey.org/.

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