By the end of May 3,356 of the Jensen-Healey had been manufactured.
Just 18 months after the introduction of the West Bromwich-built open sports car, detail improvements are announced which enhance the appearance and comfort. The front bumper of the 120 m.p.h. two-seater has been restyled, as have the headlamp cowls which now have matt black recesses. The body-sides have bright mouldings and flashers, and the front wing is in one piece. Within the car there is wood grain treatment to heater/radio panel, switch panel, and glovebox. The boot is fully carpeted. The Jensen-Healey is powered by the 16-valve twin overhead camshaft Lotus engine.
JENSEN INTERCEPTOR III £6,981
No change to the powerful eight-cylinder Jensens for 1974, but both the Interceptor III and the SP models continue to be amongst the world's fastest, most luxurious saloons. Both cars use the 7.2-litre Chrysler V8 motor, but whereas the Interceptor has a low-compression version which operates happily on the lower-grade petrols, the SP has a high-compression engine which needs 100 octane fuel to supply the 140 m.p.h. performance. Automatic transmission is standard on these handsome American-engined two-door saloons, and the interior trim and equipment is in the limousine class.
London show review
Interceptor Mk III
||wb: 105 in. (267 cm)
||V8 cyl, 7212 cc, 280 bhp DIN
||wb: 92 in. (2337 mm)
||R4 cyl, 1973 cc, 140 bhp
The making of a classic
The history of car making sparkles with famous pairings, since the days of Rolls and Royce.
The success of such marques has often stemmed from a unique fusion of diverse talents, in cars that reflect the best of both.
So it is with Jensen and Healey.
Two names that had earned their reputations for engineering and design long before the Jensen brothers first built bodies for the Healey 100 of two decades ago.
The relationship continued until the demise of the Healey 3000 in 1967. And its success can be measured in the strong admiration which the car still commands six years later.
Now, the two names are joined in one uncompromising car. The Jensen-Healey.
It combines the blue-blooded heritage of British sports car design with the very latest technological developments in automotive engineering.
The result is a car that's made to be best in its class for years. And years to come.
Handling and ride:
Sure-footed comfort everywhere
Gone are the days of struggling with a sports car to make the most of its performance. Even though power outputs are greater, suspension technology has kept pace.
So, in the Jensen-Healey, there's enough sophistication to give a feeling of security all the time. Which in turn allows you to use all the performance you want, with confidence.
From wide, low-profile radials on specially-cast 5½" section alloy wheels, to its sure-footed suspension, the Jensen-Healey promises good roadholding.
Add the stopping power of a servo-assisted dual line braking system, the precision of rack and pinion steering-and you have a car that can comfortably cover all kinds of ground deceptively fast.
Heart of the matter:
The brilliant Lotus Powerplant
A modem British sports car as special as the Jensen-Healey demands something much more sophisticated than the usual adapted family saloon powerplant.
The Lotus developed 2 litre OHC engine is a perfect choice. Light alloy, with 4 valves per cylinder. Retaining all the mechanical niceties of its racing engine forebears but giving a wide, usable band of power from tickover to a peak of 140 BHP at 6500 RPM.
While it can pass present U.S. emissions standards without air pumps or exhaust recirculation, this engine is still capable of producing outstanding acceleration figures. Like 0-60 MPH in 7.8 seconds, and 0-110
MPH in 36 seconds.*
The power is transmitted through a four speed, all synchromesh gearbox. And torque characteristics are such that the car will pull solidly and smoothly from under 2000 RPM in any gear-unusual flexibility for such exhilerating performance.
Add to that a miserly thirst for fuel around 25 MPG-and you begin to
appreciate what a remarkable powerplant the Jensen-Healey has.
*(Autocar, August 1972)
Interior design: accent on comfort
The lack of body roll, rattles and bumps puts a Jensen-Healey driver at ease from the first turn of the wheel.
But even before the car moves, you'll notice the comfort. With more legroom than a six footer could ask for, ample headroom, and space to move your elbows without hitting obstructions.
The fully adjustable, reclining seats are ergonomically designed to hold you in place, and soft enough to do it gently.
For safety's sake, seats have adjustable head restraints, while the inertia reel lap and diagonal seat belts incorporate a reminderr warning system. Ahead of the fully padded steering wheel, the oval instrument panel is set in a foam filled facia.
The driving position itself is excellent the steering wheel providing a secure, comfortable grip exactly where you want. Easily-read speedometer and tachometer dials are directly in front. These are flanked by other instruments, including voltmeter, oil pressure, water temperature, fuel and battery condition indicators.
All switches are within easy reach, as are the heater controls. Heating and ventilation are taken care of by an integral unit with outlets to the footwells and adjustable fresh air face vents, which can be boosted with the heater fan if required.
Separate ram air vents provide additional ventilation to the footwells. Combined, these systems provide an ideal 'climate' in all weather conditions.
Contrary to sports car tradition, there's plenty of storage space in the cockpit, too: in a lockable glove compartment on the facia, covered cubby box in the full-length central console, and a large carpeted luggage area behind the seats. Like the rest of the interior, it reflects the designers thoughtfulness.
Exterior details: the finishing touches
The Jensen-Healey can be two great sports cars in one: With the Standard hood, it's a wind-in-the-hair summer car or a draught and waterproof long-distance tourer. With the optional Hardtop, you have extras like a heated rear window, and through-flow ventilation to add to your comfort.
You'll notice that the boot is unusually large for a sports car at 6 cu.ft. The space is created by carrying the spare wheel beneath the boot floor, while inside the counterbalanced lid, all luggage travels safely-protected by full carpeting.
These are the finishing touches that help make the Jensen-Healey surprisingly good value for money. It's a sports car that's every inch a Jensen, except for the price tag.