Sunday, June 12, 2016

Twin-Cam Drop Top: 1974 Jensen-Healey Mk II

by Adam -- Summertime is here and convertibles are finally enjoying their time in the sun, if you are lucky you could have a nice British classic for your weekend fun. Take for example this 1974 Jensen-Healey Mk II  two seat convertible located in Lenoir North Carolina offered for sale for $9500. With only 7,142 produced between August 1973 in August 1975 this fun car might actually be worth more after you enjoy it than when you first buy it. What a novel concept. The two door front engine, rear wheel drive ended up the best-selling Jensen of all time selling more copies than the V8 Interceptor Mad Max was so mad about.

Needing a replacement for the Austin Healey 3000, Donald Healey made arrangements with Jensen Motors to produce the Jensen-Healey convertible as a joint venture. Hugo Pool’s body styling designs were later changed by William Townes. The convertible still has its original topic in very good condition as well as the optional factory hardtop, clock, and radio. Of course, no cool car would be found dead in a garage and this one is no different. Like all the cool cars the car was discovered in a barn.

Faced with finding a suitable power plant, multiple designs were auditioned. BMW could not, at the time, supply enough engines to meet demand. Ford’s German V6 met the requirements, but strikes at production facilities at the time could have led to delays in receiving engines; delays the smaller company could not afford. A 2.3 liter Vauxhall did not meet the horsepower requirements of 130 hp. In steps Colin Chapman with the new Lotus 907 engine. The 1973 cc dual overhead cam, 16 valve all alloy engine produced approximately 144 bhp and was all top end power. The engine earned the nickname “Torqueless Wonder” but also went on to power the Lotus Esprit and Lotus Elite. After all who doesn't enjoy a high revving engine? Power is sent through a Getrag 5 speed manual in this example although a 4 speed gearbox was available. A re-cored radiator, new hoses and belts should keep your ride cool, but no mention of air conditioning for the passenger compartment. Oh well, al fresco it is.

The interior looks to be in good nick. Seats appear to have no tears or upgrades. The dash and original equipment look to be in place with no prior owner modifications or upgrades which will need to be removed. A Jensen stereo is present so get ready to rock out and party on. All in all a comfortable, stock showing for the car. 

Jensen Motors even ran a factory racing campaign. One of the first cars/teams to win in their first year out the Jensen-Healey captured the Sports Car Club of America D Production Championship in 1973 and 1974 according to the best sources that I can find. In 2013 the 1972 Jensen-Healey driven by Joe Huffaker won the Rolex Monterey Motorsports Reunion Group 7B GT Cars under 2500 cc. 

See another Lotus 907 powered classic for cheap?

A refugee from the frozen north who loves running and water sports, Adam can be found looking for the next slow car to drive fast when he has access to electronics he hasn't immersed in liquids. He's and analog kid not a digital man.  


  1. I'll bet that suitcase never traveled very far.

  2. Why does this guy have a garage door on his kitchen. I guess you can work on the car and not break for dinner.

  3. Never buy an English car from a guy who places shoes on the driver's seat for a photo. Not sure of the symbolism. Missing driver? Bad luck? Disrespectful of Lucas?

  4. Never understood why these never really took off. Nice looking clean lines, well appointed interior. Lotus power. Seems like there should be a lot more interest! This is a particularly nice one!

    1. rust, rust, rust, and big bumpers, and no torque. Anyone who really wanted that engine just bought it in an Esprit Turbo.

  5. This has been around for a while so need to recycle them Brit's,I better shut up just picked up a
    04 Triumph Thunderbird Sport with a ton of extras including a Melon Saver !


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