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2011 Archive

April - Jensen GT - the Good Thinking car

Cars of the Month for 2011

by zacmarshall » Tue Apr 12, 2011 7:33 am

The GT is the penultimate model launched by Jensen (the last model is the Coupe which was a convertible with a hard top designed and fitted by Panther).

It feels a bit odd making my own car car of the month but when I spoke to other folks about suggestions they said why not use the GTs.....

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Kjell Qvale, the owner of Jensen thought that Jensen needed a car which combined the performance, fun and frugality of the Healey with the luxury and refinement of the Interceptor. This became even more important given the 70s fuel crisis. The GT followed the trend started with the Scimitar GTE and Volvo P1800Es for sporting estates. It?s surprising how much you can fit in a GT, I used to carry a club marquee and lots of regalia in my old GT when I ran regalia for the club.

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The prototype GTs were fitted with modified Vauxhall 2.3 engines (see the Jensen Special Projects post on the forum), however Jensen were unable to reliably get enough power from the engine so stuck with the now reliable Lotus 907 unit.

Jensen ceased production of the Healey as the GT came on line. The GT was based on the Healey but with a modified bulkhead to allow for the fitting of air con and a much more elegant interior with a burr walnut dashboard and a choice of a corduroy, leather or very seventies blue paisley print seat facings. Electric windows were fitted as standard.

Jensen?s public relations consultants Good Relations came up with a good strap line for the car which is even more appropriate given given today?s fuel prices ? the Good Thinking car.

Only 511 GTs were built of which 218 were right hand drive. Jensen were in receivership while the GT was being produced, so the GTs were fitted with engines left over from Healey production, so some UK cars were fitted with the US spec Stromberg carb equipped cars. Given that the last Dellorto equipped cars had a problem with a flat spot (which was commented on in road tests of the first GTs) this wasn?t such a bad move.

My first exposure to a GT was in my early 20s being overtaken by one when driving my GT6. The car looked good and left my poor old GT6 for dead.

I owned one a few years ago which I sold when I bought my FF (which several years later is now off the road having the bodywork and chassis tubes done). What with fuel prices increasing I decided that it would be ?good thinking? to get another GT. What I hadn?t intended to do was to end up with two of them!

A pair of GTs were for sale on ebay, having just sold my Interceptor I decided to go and have a look. The blue one didn?t need much for the MOT which was included in the deal, and was much better than some other cars I?ve seen on ebay (all cars seem to look better in the photos), but the green one was if anything worse than I expected with the inner sills gone and lots of other issues, although much to my surprise the floor pan seems OK.

I will keep the blue car and am selling the green one as a project ? it is restorable but does need a lot of work. I am selling the car for ?1000 but will give the new owner ?500 cash back when the car is MOTd.

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The blue GT will be on the JOC stand at this weekends Bristol Classic Car Show (nowhere near Bristol - it's at Shepton Mallet :lol: )

Click here for the Classics Monthly GT Buyers Guide

Click here for more information about the GT from Richard Calver

and click here for the brochures from Tony Bailey's brochure pages on the british-steel website
Last edited by zacmarshall on Tue Jan 03, 2012 1:28 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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by Mark1Stu » Tue Apr 12, 2011 9:09 am

Very interesting history of the GT, Zac.

By the way, losing the beard makes you look younger!

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by soggykitkat » Wed Apr 13, 2011 1:52 pm

By the way, losing the beard makes you look younger!


And shorter!!!


Seriously, I think it makes a very wise decision but it looks like Luke is holding out for Dad to give him the car and xxx£500
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