Lot 292 - 1973 Jensen Healey Mk. I
|Odometer reading||46,845 miles|
|Estimate||£5,500 - £7,500|
Following the demise of the Austin-Healey 3000, Kjell Qvale, the largest Austin-Healey dealer in the US, was keen to find a replacement sports car to market in America. As a major shareholder in Jensen Motors who had built the bodies of the Austin-Healeys, Qvale was instrumental in opening discussions with Donald Healey regarding collaboration with Jensen Motors for his next project. Healey was appointed Chairman of Jensen Motors in 1970 and work started on the design of what was to be the last car to bear the famous Healey name. The Jensen-Healey was designed as a joint venture by Donald Healey, his son Geoffrey, and Jensen Motors. It was the hope that Healey would contribute the sense of style that made the Austin-Healey so successful. Colin Chapman of Lotus offered to help and Jensen accepted his company's new 1,973cc Lotus 907 engine, a 2.0 litre, DOHC, 16-valve all-alloy powerplant. This multi-valve engine was the first to be mass produced on an assembly line and produced a power output of approximately 144bhp, sufficient for a top speed of 119mph and acceleration from 0-60mph in 8.1seconds.
Cars built for sale in Europe were fitted with two side-draft twin-throat Dell'Orto carburettors while those exported to the United States had dual side-draft single throat Zenith Strombergs in order to meet emission requirements. An oil cooler was fitted soon into the production run. Suspension was simple but effective with double wishbone and coil springs at the front, and a live rear axle with trailing arms and coils at the rear, all adapted from the Vauxhall Firenza. Disc brakes were fitted at the front while drums sufficed for the rear. This 1973 Jensen-Healey was resprayed in 1999 but is otherwise understood to be in original condition and comes with a substantial history file. We are informed by the vendor that the car will be serviced and the Dell'Orto 40mm carburettors balanced prior to the auction. Recently repatriated from France, the car comes with a V5C registration certificate, French registration documents and a fresh MoT test certificate. The example offered here would no doubt benefit from some cosmetic attention but nevertheless is ready to drive now and will provide enjoyable summer motoring.
Previous lotLot 291 - 1991 Jaguar XJS HE V12 Coupé
Interested parties should satisfy themselves as to the description and condition of each lot prior to the sale. Buyers are advised to inspect the car in person or use a professional to carry out this service.