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Tim Murphy
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I was surprised to see an Austin Healey sell for $110,000 at a collectable car auction on TV. Link: http://www.barrett-jackson.com/application/onlinesubmission/lotdetails.aspx?ln=641.1&aid=284&pop=1#

If link doesn’t work, try goggle: Barrett-Jackson Lot: 641.1 - 1960 AUSTIN-HEALEY 3000 BN7 ROADSTER

For years I have seen AHs sell in th $15-20K range. So it got me to thinking (usually a dicey proposition) about the future collectable value of JHs.

First, I do think JHs will increase in value due to inflation as they have over the last 20 years. But will they increase in value because of increased JHs popularity with collectors?

I discussed this several years ago with a collector who restored a JH with the intent of selling later for a profit.

My belief is that the JH will not become highly collectable and experience an big jump in resale value. I base this on several observations:

Cars become collectable when people who were 15 when the car was new become 40 and finally have the money to buy their dream car.

Cars that are popular, admired and unusual when new become collectable . The JH was underdeveloped when new because the Jensen company was in bankruptcy. It was also way overpriced because of English government policies at the time.

If the JH hasn’t broken into the A list yet, it never will.

Of course there are advantages to not being a sought after collectable: parts are more plentiful and cheaper, owners are unique personalities and don’t have to be wealthy, there is not much to lose in a collectable market crash.

The arguments made for the JH include rarity, the Donald Healey heritage and its good drivability and performance.

So whadayathink?


Brett Gibson JH5 20497
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When I bought my JH back in 87 I was offered a AH at the same time for 5K more than I paid for the JH. I dont regret not getting it, when you have a A list car I tend not to drive it much just in case something should happen, when you park it I would keep checking up to see it was save blah blah blah.............

With the JH I drive it and have fun doing what was intended...... I wont get rich with it but what price would you pay for all the fun and great people you meet with it.

And the previous A list car was a V-12 E-type garage queen.

Brett

JodyKerr
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So I like to look at these sorts of things periodically. It also suprises me when I realize how long I've owned some of these cars. :) I bought my first Jensen Healey in 2004. Back then I paid a whopping $2500.00 for a low-end daily driver (and I probably paid too much. :)

At that point in time a Restored/Nicely sorted stock JH would sell in the 7-8K range, and a nicely upgraded JH (2.2 liter upgrade, suspension, air scoop, etc) could sell for as much as 12K. I remember thinking that was fairly impressive for the car. Comparably, at the same time, I could have purchased an MGB of a TR6 for a similar price (with the TR6 being a hair more on the expensive side).

Fast forward 6 years. Those MGBs and TR6s are now in the 20-23K range (more for concours). Finding restoration candidates is like finding hens teeth. What used to be something one tripped over is now a gem of a find. (To the point where I won't even turn my nose up at a rubber bumper MG anymore. :).

What's more interesting, though, is that the Jensen Healey prices have actually kept pace with the MGs and Triumphs. I checked the NADA Guides site (it's where I go for just about any car price check) and they list the 1974 Jensen Healey with a value of 17K (more for the 5speed, AC and factory HT). Now I watch a lot of car values in an attempt to figure out what's going to be the next Chevy Belair/Austin Healey 3000/etc. As I've been watching for the past 6-ish years I've seen the 60's car prices spike and then remain constant. At a less highly visible level I've watched the 70's cars, and now the 80's ones progressively rise in value.

As a side note, I'm now officially pissed. The kinda tired Porsche 944 that I sold for 2K a couple years back has had it's high retail value double since I sold it. :) Well, looks like I missed on that one. :)

I think one of the major issues/items in the Jensen Healey world is the number of full restorations. I can count on my fingers (and would be pressed to use all of them) the number of Jensen Healey restorations in the past 5 years. Alternatively I know of over 20 cars in the Austin Healey, MGB and TR6 categories respectively. And, in going to car shows I've only ever seen 3 JH's (none of them complete restorations). Interestingly enough, even as "drivers" or "rolling restorations" those few JHs have had a crows around them the entire time they've been on display.

Will the Jensen Healey ever command six figure price tags like the Austin Healey? I doubt it. It simply never truly penetrated the public gestalt. But that being said, oddballs sometimes flourish. Look at the prices in recent years for Kaiser Darrins or Amphicars. The first a car very few people even knew about, the second one of those wacky failures. I remember a time when you couldn't get someone to buy an Amphicar, now they sell for 80K at auction. :)

As was said earlier. I'm happy to drive my JH when it lets me. At the same time I look at the Austin Healey 3000 I have sitting in the garage as the "pay off the mortgage" car. If I had both cars in a fully restored state in my garage the AH would go to fancy shows, the JH would get driven, and by that I mean driven hard. ;).

I mean heck, if people are suddenly learning to appreciate Triumph's "Wedge" why wouldn't they love the Jensen Healey..... if they started seeing them.

 

philharmonic
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Hey lets face it the JH is the most under appreciated car in history. They are very fast they handle great they have great historic styling. Hey I remember when Porsche speedsters where under appreciated now look at them. I think the story will be the same. A sophisticated power plant generating 145 bhp. and equally sophisticated styling. In line with the AH but there is no AH so light and powerful. No MG can keep up(OK Granted the elusive MGC) Beats any 2 liter Porsche so someday I firmly believe the numbers will go through the roof and all JH fans(like me) will be sad when there is no parts and everybody dealing them is a shark(like the 356). I am glad you can go out and get a great car for under $3k. MGB's and VW convertibles cost more and are not half the fun Yes FUN!

Lash Russell
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    Shoulda bought gold insteadof the JH's,  if investment was the only thing important to me.  I love everything about the car.  Actually, one of the main things I love about the car is one of the things that keeps the value lower on the open market and that is its relative obscurity to the average person, even novice car guys.  How many times do we drive our car and people don't have a clue what it is!!

     I've had five of them, I still have two.  I've put plenty of time and money into them and likely wouldn't get back half of what I spent and don't care.  Personally I think they'll never get to A status.  Cannot believe MGB's are getting as valuable as Jody mentioned but ease of simple restoration and general knowledge base of the car is the reason why.

    All of us are unique, like minded individuals who love the car for what it is, financially we put in more than we will likely ever get out.  If my running JH ever suddenly jumped to 20K value I still wouldn't sell it anyway.  mtc.



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