Strangely Appealing: 1976 Jensen GT

Modern cars are mostly boring SUVs, crossovers, and electric self-driving things with as much soul as a set of worn New Balance grandpa kicks. As you get into classic cars you’ll find a variety of everyday classics such as Mustangs, Corvettes, Beetles, and the sort of cars that’ll be fun and easy to own. But as you get farther, you get away from boring without increasing the amount of cash you find some oddballs that combine excitement with affordability at the expense of easy-of-use. Does that make sense? If so, you might be something who would own the shooting brake GT version of the Jensen. Find this 1976 Jensen GT bidding for $2,500 reserve-not-met with a few hours to go located in Plymouth, MN via hemmings auctions.

From the seller:

Undeniably stylish with its “shooting brake” profile, the Jensen GT—based on the Jensen-Healey roadster—was a great concept hampered by the company’s financial woes. Production began in September 1975 and ended seven months later, in May 1976, with only 511 examples produced. This 1976 Jensen GT, a project vehicle for sale at no reserve, was reportedly purchased by a U.S. serviceman stationed in Britain and shipped back to the United States. There are only 28,425 miles on the odometer and the seller says it remains mostly original, apart from some repairs to get it running and a replacement headliner. It is said to have a very solid body tub, with only some surface corrosion.

The Jensen GT was powered by the Lotus 907 engine, an all-aluminum, 16-valve, 2.0-liter DOHC inline-four that produced 140 horsepower and 130 lb-ft of torque. It was backed by a Getrag five-speed manual transmission. The powertrain in this example is said to be original and to run well, but it admittedly takes a little time to get it fired. The seller also reports there’s no smoke from the engine, but the exhaust manifold has a fair amount of oil on it as the result of a cam cover gasket replacement, so that oil generates some smoke as it burns off the manifold. There are no other known powertrain leaks and the transmission is said to shift well. The seller notes that the original Lucas battery is installed but not connected, and the original carburetors and cam covers are in the trunk.

Per the seller, the exterior of this Jensen is in original condition, from the blue paintwork to the trim, glass, and seals. All are in good overall condition, but show their age. There are numerous paint chips, minor dings, and other blemishes on the body, but the seller asserts there are no rust issues. There are no reported cracks or chips in the glass. All the exterior lights ae said to work.

As with the exterior, this GT’s cockpit is in largely original condition, apart from a replacement headliner. And like the exterior, it appears in good overall condition, but showing its age in the worn carpet, soiled tan cloth seat covers, and other signs of wear. Some of the interior trim remains uninstalled after the headliner was replaced, but all pieces are said to be included. The heater is said to be functional and while all the gauges are said to be in place, the clock has been removed. The seller has it. The same goes for the radio. The functionality of the instruments is not confirmed. 


This Jensen’s chassis, suspension, and brakes are said to be in good condition, including a reconditioned brake system featuring a replacement master cylinder, but there has been no recent service on the suspension or steering system. An inspection is recommended prior to highway driving. The car also wears its original aluminum wheels and very old BFGoodrich Radial T/A tires. They still show the “nubs” from being new, but they’ve sat on the car in storage for years. They will need replacement before the car is driven on the highway.

See a better way to drive something strange?