Think 1970s sports cars and likely MGs, Alfas, Datsuns, and Triumphs come to mind. Maybe a Jag or a Porsche. Or maybe a Ferrari, if you’re feeling fancy. The Jensen-Healey, meanwhile, remains an obscure choice among classic two-seaters even though it married three of the most famous names in the fun car business—Jensen Motors, Donald Healey, and Lotus. A flawed but fun car, the Jensen-Healey offers performance and rarity over its British roadster brethren, but even very nice examples are still surprisingly cheap.
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i owned a TR-6;
when it ran, it leaked oil like a Type-VI German sub and rusted twice as fast;
any sustained amount of hard driving would see the rear suspension produce a permanent sag drawing the rear wheels in like on so many BMWs, with same disastrous handling effects if the cracks in where the upper suspension mounts were affixed didn’t rust them entirely free;
GIs in WWII pitched better tents than the top you will try—and ultimately fail—to pull over your head and seal to the flexing windscreen frame;
one good thing about it..it wasn’t anywhere near powerful enough to eat a clutch so one could miss a gear on occasion;
say British Leyland and i start to laugh uncontrollably;
Too bad you got a crappy TR6. I've had mine for over 31 years and it has 175,000 mostly trouble-free miles on it. It's more reliable than some newer American cars I've owned. They can be great cars when well cared for.
It continues to surprise me that no one has apparently made a stronger more durable shaft for the oil pump. That used to snap regularly in the cold months, when the oils used at the time became more viscous, because J-H owners were just too damned cheap to switch to a lighter oil for the winter. So the cars got parked in Nov-Dec, and by the time Spring came around no one was going to bother to fix them because they'd already sourced a different car, so a lot of them just sat there and deteriorated. As for the oil leaks, it's British ferpete'ssakes! What did anyone expect?
Was a dealer in Iowa when they were new . Raced them since 1974.
many customers drove them year round. Never broke a oil pump shaft.
Very early cars would jump a tooth on the intake cam during extremely cold weather but that was fixed .
Worked in dealers and never saw that shaft break or even z jetway ho bad but saw tons of them go bad on Mazda’s and other Japanese cars Main oil leaks were dizzy shaft and cam covers
I sold the black one in the article and I have another exceptional example on Bring a Trailer ending on the 28th. Get a good one and you will be enjoying a fast, comfortable, easy to maintain 70s classic.
I remember I was really looking forward to the Jensen-Healey when announcements said it was coming. I had left word at the dealership on Woodward Avenue north of Detroit to call me when the first one came in. What an utter disappointment. Could it be any more bland looking. I never gave it a seconds thought after first seeing it. Instead I bought a used MGA which I restored and drove 32 years. Still have one. Also, made another mistake in the early 1970s by buying a Triumph Stag – what a dog, warped heads and all. Only kept it one year and bought a Honda!
Back in the day, I was at my local import dealer picking up parts for my aging e-type and saw a brand spanking new light metallic blue Jensen Healey on the showroom floor, top down. It was beautiful with it's throwback British styling and I thought to inquire on the price, however, being a college kid, I knew it was out of my range...
Then I walked up toward the front and squeezed against the glass showroom windows to get a peek at the front end. I came away somewhat disappointed and thought maybe they were just trying to hide it a bit...?
I still think the JH had a great looking rear in that light metallic blue, but ended up keeping that old $2500 Jag through all the years of college, a marriage, divorce, two kids and 4 different jobs. Today I can say I made some pretty good choices along the way and just glad the Jag was just another old car sitting in the garage at the time of the divorce!
I owned a white one, '74 1/2, in the late '70's. Factory hard top, tan seats, 5 speed and no air pump. It was fun to drive, and gave a few "sports car" drivers a lesson in handling. by the time I sold it, about '80, I was still able to get my $5K out of it.
"Fun, but Flawed....." "Surprisingly Cheap". I just love love love love those expressions! Kind of like finding a "buy" on an used BMW or one of the exotics! Repairs will make your 'steal' and expensive proposition! What was that old TV commerciall??? You can pay me now, or pay me later! LOL
Now, my unsolicited advice...... You want to end up with a small fortune in classic old cars? Start with a big fortune!
Whoever wins the Bring a Trailer one that is up right now will get an excellent example of the marque. Well prepared and cared for. Wish that I had room for it, but with room for only three cars, one being a BJ7 Healey, and the other two that will not be disposed of to make room, just not possible to add another fun car! Someone elses gain.