Hidden Treasure – 1973 Jensen Healey

It’s pretty interesting that, if you’re willing to be flexible in your choice of car, you can still find some pretty decent deals. Generally speaking, Jensen Healeys fall into that category, together with various Fiat products and perhaps Triumph TR7s. Only the Jensen Healey gives you a double-overhead cam, sixteen valve engine developed by Lotus, though. That said, the J-H is also the only car to share quite a few parts with some low-rent Vauxhall products, so set your expectations accordingly. Nonetheless, it was supposed to be pretty decent to drive, and its public image suffered because it was released before it was fully developed. Check out this 1973 Jensen Healey for sale for $2800 in Cave Junction, OR.

1973 Jensen Healey right front

It’s not clear whether this is an original color for the car, though the underhood shot shows a matching engine compartment. The car is said to be in good condition for its age, to run very well, and to have new hoses, belts, timing belt, battery, and top. Styling is generic 60s-70s sports car – not offensive, but not jaw-droppingly gorgeous either. That said, you won’t see the outside when you’re winding out the 144hp Lotus twincam and hitting sixty in 8.1 seconds.

1973 Jensen Healey left rear

The car is said to be in good condition for its age, and perhaps one of the weak spots is the paint failure on the trunk lid. Overall, the paint has a nice gloss, and it’s nice this car has the smaller 1973 bumpers with the embossed Jensen Healey script. The top is definitely new-looking, and seems to fit reasonably well. The center-mounted fuel filler cap and dual exhausts are nice sporting touches to remind you what you’re driving.

1973 Jensen Healey interior

The interior looks in decent shape, though it’s said to need a new driver’s door panel. Fortunately, the fabric pattern looks simple enough that you should be able to take this in to any competent shop, assuming the seller has kept all the hardware (armrest, handles, etc.). Note the nice Personal shift knob – the steering wheel really deserves a suitable upgrade too. For some reason, Jensen steering wheels were not the most attractive – see the Interceptor as another example of this.

1973 Jensen Healey engine

The engine bay could use a little detailing if you’re so inclined, or you could just enjoy the knowledge that the seller has done a fair amount of work. No mention is made of a carburetor service, so you’ll want to ask about that, along with oil consumption. Jensen-Healey seems to have provided a decent amount of space to maintain the car, so combined with parts available from a handful of vendors, this classic sports car should be easy to live with. Had one? Let everyone know what it’s like in the comments.

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2 Responses to “Hidden Treasure – 1973 Jensen Healey”

  1. Cyberluddite Says:

    I had one back in the day (around 1979-1980 or so), the same model and year as this one. Excellent handling car, good acceleration and performance for the era, fun to drive–or, at least, it was fun to drove in the 20% or so of the time the damn thing was actually running. It was, by far, the least reliable car I’ve ever owned in my life, and that’s really saying something considering some of the turds I owned over the years. Things would break constantly, including, for example, the driveshaft falling off the car and dropping on the ground just because I drove (slowly) over a small speed bump in a parking lot! The carbs required nonstop fiddling in a mostly vain effort to keep them properly adjusted/syched. Engine parts were generally available in those days from the local Lotus dealer (at the eye-popping prices you would expect), but everything else was pretty much unobtanium even 35 years ago, and it’s gotta be worse now. I got rid of it when the engine suddenly and without warning started sounding like an industrial hay bailer–probably the rod bearings giving out.

    In short, a fun car on the rare occasions it was actually running right, but I wouldn’t wish this thing on my worst enemy.

  2. Chris Keen Says:

    One of my early sports car experiences was in one of these – a colleague of my father’s had one which was his baby. I don’t remember much, except enjoying riding in a convertible. Not only that, his other car was a late Scout with plaid seats. I think that explains my fascination with both….

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