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The Yellow Peril - 1974 Jensen Healey


#1

Truth be told, I hadn’t even heard of a Jensen Healey when I found her on Craigslist in 2016 - I was idly looking for a Jensen Interceptor to replace one I really should have bought back in 2012.

(Un)fortunately, my wife was away the weekend after I found her, and I arranged for a test drive. Having previously owned a '75 Triumph Spitfire 1500 in the UK, I had thought I knew what to expect. Boy was I wrong.

Weighing just 2,200lbs, and powered by a 140bhp Lotus 907 all aluminum 4 cylinder twin cam engine (can you say troublesome?), with twin Dellorto 45 carburetors with K&N Filters it was a flying machine. The howl from the twin-cam was intoxicating, and so unlike the Spitfire.

(By comparison, a '97 BMW Z3 put out only 138bhp in stock form.)

The current owner was the second owner, and had basically brought her back to life after the original owner passed away. There is a history of sorts going back to 1988 in the form of invoices totaling ~$32,000. She has lived in CA, CO, FL, NY and NJ, and is unrestored, save for respray in the original buttercup yellow in 2006.

Needless to say I bought her the next weekend. And then I read up a little about them.

She is one of 10,503 built (including 500 or so estate versions) and there are probably around 1,500 left in existence. Of those, around 50% are probably roadworthy. Despite their rarity, you can till get a good example for ~$7,000.

I have not had to do much to her, but did replace the awful early 90’s Alpine Stereo + Power Amp with a more period looking, $25 Bluetooth enabled radio head unit. I also replaced the Pep-Boys Boy Racer special muffler with a decent magnaflow unit to improve the engine note.

Without A/C and with a black vinyl interior, summer driving in 90F+ NJ heat is not a bunch of fun, but I still try and get her out at least once a week.


#2

Looks like a great car, glad you get to enjoy it!