By on March 19, 2021

Rare Rides has featured exactly one Jensen vehicle previously, in a fairly fancy and exclusive Interceptor convertible made in left-hand drive for the US market.

Today’s GT was made the very same year as the Interceptor, just before Jensen went bust.

The GT was introduced in 1975, as the shooting brake variant of Jensen’s popular Jensen-Healey. The Healey was introduced in 1972, and quickly became Jensen’s best-selling model. Available only in two-seat convertible guise, Jensen wanted a little more flexibility (and volume production) of an extant platform. With minimal alterations, the GT was born!

Jensen created the GT by placing a long roof over the existing Healey roadster bodywork. The roof ended in a rear hatch and required the addition of rear and side windows where previously there was nothing but air. Now with a larger greenhouse, the GT added two very small rear seats and turned the shooting brake into a 2+2 affair.

The GT used the same Lotus 2.0-liter inline-four as the Healey, and the same five-speed manual built by Getrag. With the additional weight, the GT was slower than its slimmer brother, but was also sapped of power by additional emissions controls not implemented to the Healey. Both of these factors also reduced the top speed.

But the environment wasn’t the only thing holding Jensen down, the company’s funding was also a big problem. Already in a bad financial situation when the GT was introduced, the shooting brake would end up the company’s final model debut. In 1976 Jensen entered bankruptcy proceedings and all its production ground to a stop. The GT, Interceptor, and Healey all had their last model year in 1976. Jensen has resurrected itself here and there but has never again entered production of any scale.

Just 511 GTs were made before the company closed up shop, and in 2009 only around 200 remained in the UK. Today’s example is a nice soothing gray with black pinstriped seats. In excellent condition, it sold in 2018 at Silverstone for around $27,000.

[Images: Jensen]

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13 Comments on “Rare Rides: The 1975 Jensen GT, Stylish Performance in Shooting Brake Format...”

  • avatar
    Tele Vision

    This just reignited my desire for a BMW Clown Shoe.

  • avatar

    What was point of these cars, I mean why it is get resurrected again and again but never enters production? Is it hand made? Who will pay half million for that car? When you buy RR or Bentley?

  • avatar
    Arthur Dailey

    Does anyone else think that it looks like they took the front half of an Avante and welded it to the back half of a Corona liftback.

    I understand the appeal of an Interceptor. In the mid 1970s’ one of our auto shop teachers actually owned a Jensen. He would have it in the auto shop 2 to 3 days every week in the spring/fall so that he could drive it for one day on the weekend. Probably 3 hours of maintenance for every hour of road time.

  • avatar

    I am surprised that there was not more written about the motor. It was unique and exotic for its time.
    Copied from Wikipedia….
    Chapman of Lotus offered, and Jensen accepted, his company’s new 1973 cc Lotus 907 dual overhead cam, 16-valve all-alloy engine. This multi-valve engine was the first modern dual overhead cam 4 valve per cylinder engine to be mass-produced on an assembly line. This setup put out approximately 144 bhp (107 kW), topping out at 119 mph (192 km/h) and accelerating from zero to 60 mph in 7.8 seconds (8.1 seconds for the emission controlled U.S. version).

    • 0 avatar

      “In 1926, the Sunbeam 3 litre Super Sports became the first production car to use a DOHC engine. In the United States, Duesenberg added DOHC engines (alongside their existing SOHC engines) with the 1928 release of the Duesenberg Model J, which was powered by a DOHC straight-eight engine.

  • avatar

    I am pretty sure that Chinese invented DOHC engine 2000 years ago. And first jet engine too at the same period of time.

  • avatar

    Looks like the Vega wagon’s prettier sister.

  • avatar

    Missing from the article is the reason for Jensen’s demise: The Lotus engine turned out to be an unreliable maintenance nightmare, and warranty costs killed the company. Plus add in typical 1970’s British build quality.

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