Adam Newman - Jensen Healey

Adam Newman - Jensen Healey
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KaranMK2
Posts: 507
Joined: Fri Apr 21, 2017 7:51 am
Location: Milton Keynes

Adam Newman - Jensen Healey

Post by KaranMK2 »

My thanks to Adam Newman for the write up of his Jensen Healey pursuits, love of the marque and photographs of his current car. I hope you enjoy reading this article and looking at the great photographs, he has sent in.

Adam’s submission:

I bought the car via eBay in April 2016 whilst sunning myself in Lanzarote. It was described as an ex-concours winning car with a boot full of trophies and some photos of the previous owner meeting some dignitaries at a few shows in the late 80’s early 90’s. Someone in the club might recognise the people and hopefully the car that may help to fill in some of the previous car’s history?

This is my 5th Jensen Healey. I bought my first one when I was 21 (59 now) RWJ777L and have always been smitten by the rarity and unusual combination of TR6 back and unique front. I like the 907 engines although it’s a bit coarse. I used to drive my early ones all the way up to an indicated 120mph on the speedo whilst scaring the wits out of my college friends. I drive a lot slower these days.



I picked my current one up unseen (apart from eBay pictures) from a gentleman in Southampton who owed a vineyard in France and was going to take it with him when he retired over there full time but realising the combination of the wheel being on the wrong side and that no one in France would have probably ever seen a Jensen Healey he thought better of it and put it up for sale. I inspected the car and could see that it had indeed been completely refurbished many years ago and was now in a nice “older restoration” state, it needed a few bits fettling but I thought a good T-Cut and a bit of attention to the trim and dial bezels (they always look lumpy with rust under the black paint) and it would make a passable “driver” and a car I could happily reminisce my early years in.

I drove it back from Southampton and it drove very well although a bit “lumpy” with the carbs definitely out of balance. I brought the car to the Dealership I own, with a Subaru Franchise (Newman & Reidy Subaru), which coincidently are imported into the UK by International Motors Ltd (who started life as Jensen Spares when Sir Bob Edmiston bought the remains of Jensen Motors following bankruptcy in 1976) I asked one of my (older) technicians to give her a quick tune up and we had to go out and buy a timing strobe! The younger technicians had never seen anything like it……. After a few hours on the ramp, it was definitely running a lot better.

Unfortunately, one Sunday afternoon after a long hot day at work I decided it would be nice to take the Jensen out for a drive down to the local, I pulled out my drive and thought the car was smelling a bit rich, I drove round the corner and thought someone was having a BBQ (not unusual on a hot day like that) then I thought someone was burning old tyres and then about 5 seconds later I realised it was me, when smoke started pouring out the dash…….) I quickly turned the car off and jumped out. Aware that you shouldn’t open a bonnet when an engine catches fire I am standing at the front of the car to assess the situation (having pulled the bonnet release already) A young man in a Subaru Impreza asked if he could help and a few neighbours came out to see what the commotion was. We then all stood round the car with buckets of water, I flipped the bonnet, and they all threw the water into the engine bay at the same time. The fire was out, some melted fuel lines and a scorched power bulge on the bonnet was the only damage. I was only about 150 yards from home, so I ran back and got 2 more buckets of water and dripped it down the back of the engine and over the smoking gearbox. Satisfied that I had sorted it I jumped in my Subaru Outback and went down the pub to re-join my friends continuing with how my newly acquired Jensen caught fire. I had a pleasant couple of hours there and then drove back with the breakdown services on my mind to recover my car on Monday. As I came round the corner all I could see was a fire engine and 5 blokes with a hose pipe poking through my smashed passenger window and a very black and soggy looking Jensen…… I guess I hadn’t done such a good job of putting it out! It turns out that the sound proofing above the gear box smouldered away quietly and it allowed heat through the air to destroy the dash, cracking the windscreen and melting the sun visors. It looked a lot worse than it actually was and had I left the car unlocked (like I usually do) then the Fire Brigade wouldn’t have smashed my window either!

I now had the perfect excuse for a proper project and to do car up properly as I had always intended this one to be a “keeper” ( I always instantly regretted selling the other 4) so we dragged it back to my garage and completely stripped the interior, removed the doors, boot and bonnet and sent it to NVR in Earls Barton for a complete respray, inside and out and underneath (I wish now I had removed the engine to detail it but that can always be done later) It sat at the Bodyshop for around for a while as I asked them to fit it in when they could but eventually work started around August 2017. They found the bodywork very sound with only a couple of holes at the base of the door apertures. I was keen to get the car back to its original colour (if it wasn’t white) and when we removed the windscreen and brake assembly from the bulkhead, we could see a creamier version of white before the original 80’s rebuild. I researched Jensen colours but none of the paint factors had any information. I looked at a few Jensen specialist sites to see if I could get a code. I even spoke to the last remaining Jensen employee who still worked at International Motors to see if he could remember a code or even a name? (a big ask for 45 years ago!) Anyway, we eventually scanned the original paint and the nearest we could come up with was Leyland White and the car was subsequently resprayed, and I think she looks good with a slightly less “white” white……. Once the body was painted, (the doors and bonnet and boot would be done later at Christmas) we set about rebuilding the car. I wanted her to be as original as possible, so I sourced new (old stock) original vinyl seat covers and a new (old stock) windscreen. Over the next few months, the parts list became ever longer as we got into the rebuild, new carpets (very nice but unfortunately not the same Berber type twist of the original but I couldn’t source it. New door cards and vinyl trim kit, boot trim kit, sun visors etc. I also purchased a dashboard which they cover in stretch leatherette and although not strictly original it looks and feels so much better than the brittle and very roughly made original. I also purchased a windscreen header rail with the same covering. Having never been a fan of the Mk 1 centre consul I upgraded to a Mk 2 which is far more pleasing to the eye (and elbow) and I sourced the ashtray and cigarette lighter as well.

My car has overdrive fitted and it works on 2nd 3rd & 4th and was operated via a flimsy flick switch on the dash so we sourced a Triumph gear knob with the overdrive button on the top, I was just about to hit the “order” button off eBay when my mechanic said, “you have got reverse in the right place?” so I quickly swapped to a Stag gear knob rather than a TR6 gear knob and we were in business. A new gear leaver gaiter was sourced and the whole set up looks nice, but I do miss the feel of the lovely little Bakelite gear knob of the Mk1 and the rubber CV gaiter type seal.
Whilst waiting for the other panels to come back, I took the opportunity to change the cam belt and tensioner, the water pump was weeping slightly so we replaced that as well along with the thermostat the cam cover gaskets and the cam carrier gaskets as it had sprung a fairly major oil leak from the upper carrier. I again sourced parts along with a new clutch. I have also replaced the cables and wiring harness in the engine bay due to heat damage along with the water bottle. The radiator has been re soldered and is now watertight. The car now runs an electronic distributor for cleaner running but the first one leaked oil as I didn’t realise it’s a modified dizzy that normally sits vertically and if you lie them on their side as per the set up underneath the manifold’s it chucks the oil out at an alarming rate. Sourcing a unit with an oil seal was difficult but eventually found. I just need to fit a resistor to the circuit now as the rev counter reads very high. I replaced the painted door aperture panels with stainless steel items and would like to cover the sills with stainless steel as well (my first Jensen had these, but I am not sure if it was original or an option?) likewise I do not have repeater indicators on my wings and haven’t put them on along with the l thick stick-on body line that one or two of my predecessors had.

I refurbished the hood frame and finally replaced the hood with a new vinyl item (again trying to keep the look as original as possible). I still have the original half tonneau for when the roof is down which I might replace but am in two minds at the moment? I fitted a Motolita steering wheel because they look so nice, but I have to say the original Jensen Healey steering wheel is a much nicer thing to use

I managed to take her out for a couple of trips late 2019 and promptly replaced the tyres as they were so old despite still having the rubber injection bits on them and completely unworn, it was like driving on glass! I was looking forward to taking her to the Classic meeting in Laon (France) in May last year but then Covid hit and she has been sitting in my garage ever since where customers look at her and ask “what is it” and then I am off….. boring them all senseless about the rarity, how the connection between Subaru and Jensen is so interesting. A lot of people have never seen a Jensen Healey and that’s why I like them and then you have the “my boyfriend had one when I was young” or “my Dad had one of those in Yellow”

I am hoping that after this protracted and unexpected 3 + year rebuild that I can get some good use out of her this summer / autumn and that she will be good for another 20 years or more and when everyone is driving around in Electric cars years from now a young enthusiast will proudly rock up in this classic Jensen Healey and get even more incredulous comments like “what is that?”

1st & 2nd in Class 1990 & 1993
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1st & 2nd Prise 1990 to 1994
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1st Prize JOC International 1994
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As purchased from eBay
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Kelmarch June 2019
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My first Jensen
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David Devine
Posts: 1382
Joined: Mon Jan 02, 2006 2:22 pm
Location: Northolt Middx

Re: Adam Newman - Jensen Healey

Post by David Devine »

Lovely job nice to see one brought back to life from what could have quiet easily had it written off. It must have been one of the last Mk1 with an M reg .

And interestingly the last picture is an L reg with Mk2 front wings .

Well done Adam hope to see you out at meeting somewhere.

Dave
zacmarshall
Posts: 4938
Joined: Mon Oct 17, 2005 4:22 pm
Location: Bristol, UK

Re: Adam Newman - Jensen Healey

Post by zacmarshall »

David Devine wrote: Sun Mar 14, 2021 7:46 am And interestingly the last picture is an L reg with Mk2 front wings .
Dave
That last photo is of Adam's first Jensen
C-V8 II 104/2146 CHJ 948B
ex FF II, Interceptor I, II and III, SP, GTs and Healeys. You might say I got the bug....
JOC Member No. 5061
Mark1Stu
Posts: 1827
Joined: Sat Jan 14, 2006 1:30 pm

Re: Adam Newman - Jensen Healey

Post by Mark1Stu »

What a sharp looking Healey. Many congratulations.
JHV8
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Joined: Thu Nov 17, 2005 8:42 pm
Location: Croydon Surrey
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Re: Adam Newman - Jensen Healey

Post by JHV8 »

Great job lovely looking car now. Out of interest do you have a later engine fitted? I notice you don't have the oil separater/filler can mounted on the bulkhead and the later cam cover with filler.
16 valves but 4 extra pistons.

Rob d'Eca
JH-V8 - 13296
JOC No. 8081


https://www.printwell.london/deca/

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VFK44
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Re: Adam Newman - Jensen Healey

Post by VFK44 »

Absolutely gorgeous. A quality restoration. Only thing left is to polish or zinc plate that bulkhead relay!

I presume you know that the older gentleman in the indoor pictures is the former JOC president Lord Strathcarron, (David Macpherson).
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/David_Mac ... rathcarron
"It is a mistake to try to look too far ahead. The chain of destiny can only be grasped one link at a time."
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