Jensen Jensen-Healey and GT (1972 – 1976) Review

Jensen Jensen-Healey and GT (1972 – 1976) At A Glance


+Lotus twin-cam engine is a peach, as long as it's been sorted, steering and handling aren't bad, GT shooting brake is an interesting and practical Scimitar alternative

-Less than the sum of its parts, and obviously unreliable and less well-made than it should have been

The Jensen-Healey came about after British Leyland cancelled its contract with Donald and Geoffrey Healey. The appealing Austin-Healeys were dropped, leaving Jensen to step into the breach. Jensen and Healey came up with the body design for the 1972 convertible sports car simply known as the Jensen-Healey, using a mix of Lotus for the engine, Vauxhall Viva for the suspension and Sunbeam for the gearbox. It looked good, went well and should have been a huge success - but somehow it just didn't quite work.

Another variation with all the potential and none of the sales - the GT - was a final throw of the dice. Healey and Jensen went their separate ways, and the 1975 sporting estate that grew out of the Jensen-Healey convertible. It was known simply as the Jensen GT. It used the same mechanicals – a 1973cc Lotus twin-cam engine mated to a Getrag five-speed gearbox – that, by then, was reliable. But the addition of the fixed roof still failed to produce a great car. More's the pity.

Ask Honest John

How long should I keep my classic car?

"I am 65 years old and have owned my Jensen Healey since 1977. It is just starting to increase in value due to it's rarity.I am considering selling in the next couple of years and would like to replace the Jensen and my daily use car, a Volkswagen Golf, for a nice comfortable car which has good performance. I do like Jaguars to give you some idea of the type of car I have in mind. So, would you advise keeping my Jensen, how would you go about selling it and what replacement car would you recommend ? I do up to 8,000 miles p.a. and am not too concerned about running costs for the replacement vehicle which should be nearly new or up to two years old. It should have 4/5 seats. I suppose my budget would be up to £25,000. "
The Jensen Healey will fetch what it is worth at auction, but it's a bit late to get it into any summer auctions this year and best not to try to sell it at a winter auction. (Historics already has 150 entries for its August 20th auction and that means the sale will take all day from 10.30 to 17.30.) 4/5 seats excludes a Jaguar XK and restricts you to tin tops. £25k puts you in the ballpark for a used Jaguar XE 2.0 240 auto: Try to get it on 17-inch or 18-inch wheels rather than 19-inch.
Answered by Honest John
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