Rare Rides: The 1975 Jensen GT, Stylish Performance in Shooting Brake Format

Corey Lewis
by Corey Lewis
rare rides the 1975 jensen gt stylish performance in shooting brake format

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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2 of 13 comments
  • Mackey Mackey on Mar 21, 2021

    Looks like the Vega wagon's prettier sister.

  • Syke Syke on Mar 21, 2021

    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.

  • Kat Laneaux Wonder if they will be able to be hacked into (the license plates) and then you get pulled over for invalid license plates or better yet, someone steal your car and transpose numbers to show that they are the owners. Just a food for thought.
  • Tassos Government cheese for millionaires, while idiot Joe biden adds trillions to the debt.What a country (IT ONCE WAS!)
  • Tassos screw the fat cat incompetents. Let them rot. No deal.
  • MaintenanceCosts I think if there's one thing we can be sure of given Toyota's recent decisions it's that the strongest version of the next Camry will be a hybrid. Sadly, the buttery V6 is toast.A Camry with the Highlander/Sienna PSD powertrain would be basically competitive in the sedan market, with the slow death of V6 and big-turbo options. But for whatever reason it seems like that powertrain is capacity challenged. Not sure why, as there's nothing exotic in it.A Camry with the Hybrid Max powertrain would be bonkers, easily the fastest thing in segment. It would likewise be easy to build; again, there's nothing exotic in the Hybrid Max powertrain. (And Hybrid Max products don't seem to be all that constrained, so far.)
  • Analoggrotto The readers of TTAC deserve better than a bunch of Kia shills posing as journalists.