This Austin Healey was raced by motorsport royalty

16th March 2022
Ethan Jupp

There are cars on the historic racing scene that are a part of the furniture. Recognisable registrations and friendly faces that are always there, fortifying a respectable grid. This Austin-Healey 3000, an original works car plated DD 300, is just such a car, with a near-enough uninterrupted racing history going back over 60 years, with period history at Le Mans and Sebring. The density of this car’s career and journey these past six decades is such that it has an entire Porter Profile book dedicated to it.


Whoever has this car in their care is therefore not just the owner of a car but the custodian of a piece of history, and the guardian of a legacy. That man is Christiaen van Lanschot. We caught up with him at the 78th Members’ Meeting presented by Audrain Motorsport, where he was racing the car in the Moss Trophy.

“Originally it was registered as UJB 143 in Sebring. In 1963, a man called David Dixon bought it and changed it to DD 300,” he says, explaining the famous plate. 

“I bought it quite a while ago – 20 years or so – from a guy called John Chatham, who owned it from the mid-‘60s, sold it and bought it back. Besides its Le Mans history, John raced it for 35-plus years. He made it famous. We believe it raced continuously, from 1960 until now. That’s what makes this special. It’s a race car.”


Which is where the dilemma comes in. This is a car with an inimitable history. The world’s most famous sportscar races, it’s had Moss, Sears, and Clark at the wheel. It’s one of a handful of works Healeys that raced at Le Mans and the only one that did so that remains in action to this day. So as an owner, do you keep racing it? Or do you retire it, preserve it and tell its story the best you can, rather than add to it? Happily for Christiaen, he had no such dilemma, when Chatham made racing the car a condition of its sale.

“John made us promise that we’d race it when we bought it. We’re not as talented as he is – he’s an old school racer – but we promised. So we bought it, took it home, spruced it up, made it a bit safer and it took a while for me to get to grips with it. It’s a piece of history. You can have a piece of history in a museum, or you can add to the history.”


Happily, Christiaen loves driving it too, in spite of a period of acclimatisation and dialling in that was required to get both car and driver on song. A token grid filler there for the sake of variety, with the perfect view of the usual big hitters as they run away with the lead? Not a bit of it. This Healey, as it always was, is a competitive car.

“It’s just an absolutely amazing car. It slides, it brakes fantastically well,” Lanschot continues. 

“We just came back from qualifying and came P8, against E-types, some Morgans, DB4s, the Cobra. It’s such a privilege to drive it here. It’s still very competitive.”


It’s no exaggeration to say this car really is a part of the furniture. It can’t go to a meeting without someone recognising it, or someone from its past collaring Lanschot to talk about their experience with it.

“Stirling Moss raced it in the ‘90s, at Zandvoort. When I’m walking around here, there’s always someone that comes up and says “oh, I raced that car”. At Donington an old guy comes up and says “nice to see the car”. I asked how he knew it. He says “ahh, I was the reserve driver at Le Mans in 1961,” and I just think, ‘I’m not worthy’.”


Lanschot co-owns the car with Goodwood regular Karsten Le Blanc. They’ve shared ownership of a number of cars, and had cars of their own, but the Healey is special, near-irreplaceable, to them.

“Every time I drive, I have a smile on my face. I co-own it with Karsten LeBlanc. We had a few cars together – a DB4, a Mustang – but this is the last we’d ever sell. Until we retire. It’s eligible for a lot of things, there’s a you can do with it, and of course, it’s competitive and it’s unique. There are plenty of E-types. This is the only 3000 that raced at Le Mans that still races today.”

Knowing this car’s history, there’s a curious mix of feelings as you stand before it and watch it race. On the one hand, you feel so lucky to be in its midst. On the other, luck doesn’t come into it. It’s been everywhere, done everything and by decree, will continue to do so. It was built to be driven, built to be raced, and so it is. It’s not had a year off in 60 years and may it never. About as appropriate a car for the Moss Trophy grid, and for Goodwood, as it’s possible to be.

Photography by Joe Harding.


  • 78MM

  • Members Meeting

  • Austin-Healey

  • Moss Trophy

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