Alleyside Classic: 1974 (?) Jensen-Healey – Parked, Now Trying To Run

As I was once again in Laramie, this time working on my other rental house that looks like it is finally rented after I spent way too much time refurbishing it over the last year and half, I took a look behind the house in the alley.  Lo and behold, just like I found a Supra languishing a few alleys away behind the other house, there was a treat here as well!

As opposed to the Supra, however, that was looking like it was waiting for someone to pay it some attention, the Jensen looks like it was further gone and and is now on its way back.  I’ve never driven one of these but have a soft spot for them (and all Jensens in fact) due one of my kids having the name as their middle one  All of my kids somewhat accidentally have a British motoring history name as part of their own names – it just kind of worked out that way.

The first thing I noticed were the 14″ BMW “bottlecap” wheels that this one is wearing.  That wheel design seems to physically fit on a number of cars but this is the first time I’ve seen them on a J-H.  It seems to actually complement the lines of the car somehow, and if anything makes it look a smidge more modern.

At first glance the inside seemed a little odd, then I realized there is currently only one seat, the steering wheel, the automatic transmission selector and…not much else.  Well, not much else such as a dashboard, but at least it has the one sunvisor that counts along with a crate of spares and a tire on a steel rim that may or may not fit this car.

The body on the passenger side looks a little better than the driver side but it clearly used to be red before someone preferred black.  Now it needs paint but I’m sure there are other priorities.  The trunk is ajar so let’s take a peek…

Ooh, I like that alloy wheel!  It seems to be one of the stock ones but perhaps refinished in just silver, I recall these always had black inserts.  It looks better this way (to me at least).  The real wire wheel below it looks a bit worse for wear but the extra fuel tank looks brand new.  Is that the right one for this car?  It looks huge but if it is for this the owner clearly is investing some coin here.  Let’s walk around front.

No hood, no lights but it does have the later blockier bumper.  Jensen-Healeys are interesting shapes, I can’t quite figure out if they are trying to be older style rounded or trying to be newer style rectangular given the era they were launched in.  We’ve covered them before here so I’ll add a link at the bottom for more detail.

Now I’m a little confused if this started life as a red or blue car given the color of the firewall and the rear bulkhead.  It’s starting to look a bit of a “bitsa” car.  But what’s the tarp covering, is it the original Lotus designed engine or nothing at all?

It’s a…V6 of some sort?!  I can’t identify it offhand, do you guys know?  It’s already bolted to the automatic transmission and is still missing a few pieces but looks clean enough.  I’ll tuck the tarp in tighter than it was to try to keep whatever out of it, but this is interesting and will bear watching!

Here’s the house BTW, looks like I will have three grad students moving in within the next couple of weeks so that’ll be good.  It took a lot of effort to get it looking good again, but I think the Jensen-Healey might take even more.  Now I need to get cracking on the really bad house in the back of this lot…

Here’s David Saunders’ excellent treatise on the Jensen-Healey