Monday 25th March 2019,
Inopian

Jensen GT 1975 – 1976

In 1975, with Jensen Motors staring closure in the face, they launched what would be the final model. The Jensen GT Estate car. Although it was obviously a Jensen-Healey variant Donald Healey`s name was not on it. The GT had a much improved interior with walnut facings and optional leather upholstery. It`s length was slightly increased due to the US spec rubber bumpers. It was a three-door, five seater estate car (station-wagon or combi).

Necessarily it was rushed into production because of the financial pressures bearing down on Jensen Motors. All the earlier teething troubles suffered by the Jensen-Healey had, by 1975, been ironed out. The Jensen GT was mechanically identical to the Jensen-Healey and therefore left the factory as a desirable and attractive car. Unfortunately time was not on it`s side and the factory closed in 1976.

Chassis and body:
Steel unitary construction with bolt-on panels. The Jensen GT was a five-seat, three-door sporting estate car. It was beautifully styled, almost like the Lotus Elite 75 and many thought it was better looking than the Jensen-Healey. The GT had a laminated windscreen and the interior was very much improved by walnut facings. Standard upholstery was ventilated vinyl, usually black and leather finish was an option. The instrumentation was excellent.

Rubber bumpers were fitted to satisfy US regulations. The running-gear of the Jensen GT was all sourced from the Vauxhall Firenza. The front suspension was coil and wishbones, the rear had a live axle with coil-springs and trailing arms. Rack and pinion steering was employed with Girling disc brakes on the front and drums on the rear. The system was self-adjusting, servo-assisted and dual circuit.

Engine:
Colin Chapman’s excellent Lotus 907 engine was still there. The twin overhead camshaft 1973 cc 4-cylinder unit had a 5 main-bearing crankshaft. The Lotus had an alloy cylinder block with alloy head. The head had 16 valves and an 8.4:1 compression ratio.

Twin Dell`Orto twin-choke side-draught carburettors were fitted for the European market. Due to US emission regulations twin single-choke Stromberg carburettors were fitted to US export cars. The transmission was sourced from Getrag, an excellent all-synchromesh, close-ratio 5-speed manual. The Lotus`s output specs were 144 bhp with 134 ft/lbs of torque and a power to weight ratio of 144 bhp per ton.

Performance:
The Jensen GT had a top speed of 120 mph with a 0-60 time of 8.7 seconds. The car had excellent handling and braking characteristics. It drove like a sports-car while being very practical for a family. Most estate cars of the period looked and handled like vans but the Jensen GT was very special. A great British classic car indeed. The Jensen GT continued until Jensen Motors closed in 1976. Only 511 units were made.

Jensen GT 1975-1976 Specs
 
 
Body Type5 seater 3 door Estate
Engine PlacementFront
Drive TypeRear wheel drive
Brakes
FrontDiscs
RearDrum
Dimensionsmminches
Length4216166
Width160563.2
Height121948
Wheelbase233792
Cargo Volume481 L17 cu. Ft.
Engine2.0 Lotus 907 12V DOHC (European)
Cylindersstraight 4
Displacement1973 cc120.4 cui
Power107 Kw144 bhp6500 RPM
Torque182 Nm134 ft. lb5000 RPM
Power/weight131 bhp/t
FuelPetrol
Top Speed193 km/h120 mph
Acceleration0-100 km/h - 0-60 mph8.7 s
Fuel consumptionl/100 kmImperial mpg
Urban13.820.5
Extra-urban835.3
Combined10.726.4
Gearbox5 speed manual
Weight1097 kg2418 lb
Engine2.0 Lotus 907 12V DOHC (US)
Cylindersstraight 4
Displacement1973 cc120.4 cui
Power104 Kw140 bhp6500 RPM
Torque176 Nm130 ft. lb5000 RPM
Power/weight128 bhp/t
FuelPetrol
Top Speed187 km/h116 mph
Acceleration0-100 km/h - 0-60 mph9.7 s
Fuel consumptionl/100 kmImperial mpg
Urban13.421.1
Extra-urban7.537.7
Combined10.227.7
Gearbox5 speed manual
Weight1097 kg2418 lb
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About Bev Roberts

Speed, the smell of hot oil, the roar of a straight-through exhaust and the scream of an engine at max revolutions. They have all been a large part of my life for almost 50 years. It is time to share my experiences with you, dear reader. Do you want to know more? Read on through my `Full Bio` and many articles.

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I was born in Hereford UK in 1948 and brought up in Gloucester UK. I played Rugby football internationally as a schoolboy. At the age of 17, a new and wet driving license in my paw, I entered motor racing. I was supported and financed by my parents and so my journey began.

In 1965 I bought a 1293cc Mini-Cooper `S` and campaigned it for a season. Having quickly made some good friends in the racing fraternity, several interesting opportunities came my way. I joined a sports-car team and raced in the Le Mans 24 hours in 1968 and 1969 in a Lola T70. Mechanical failure defeated both efforts. During that period I owned and raced a `D type` Jaguar and an AC Cobra. In those days cars like that were available and not too expensive, now they reside in museums and private collections. I had a chain of interesting cars through my youth including Jaguars, Minis, Mustangs and Lotus-Cortinas.

As a young driver I had my share of accidents too. Often the car would only be worth scrap-metal value by the time I got it home! I worked for an Aston-Martin/Jaguar dealership for a while, which enhanced my experience and gave me the opportunity to sample some very exotic machines, Ferrari, Facel-Vega, Iso and Maserati to recall a few of them.

At the end of 1969 I moved to South Africa to work on my uncle`s farm but the S.A. government had other ideas and drafted me into the army. After five years had passed I was thanked and released from the service. While I was there I bought a beige Cadillac Eldorado, previously the property of Marilyn Monroe. While I was away on a patrol my girlfriend had it re-sprayed pink! I was unimpressed by both the joke and the bill for the work!

When I returned to UK in 1974 I left it behind. On my return I found that the once-mighty British motor industry was in decline and was headed for oblivion. Motor racing was now very expensive so I turned to commercial transport. Driving large trucks gave me freedom and a chance to see some of the world. I don`t remember ever making a career choice but for the next thirty years a truck was my home. For about ten years in that period I owned two trucks of my own.

I also owned a famous MGB-GT, known as `Lucky`. If you`d like to read `The Story of Lucky` there is an article in Inopian`s archive. I finally retired, due to ill-health, in 2008. Since I had varied knowledge and many experiences on our subject I decided to share the stories of the cars I enjoyed (and hated) with the new generation.

Enjoy Inopian… it is constructed and written for you.

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