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 Posted: 10-18-2006 12:52 am
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Dan (Florida)
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Joined: 03-16-2005
Location: Ormond Beach, Florida USA
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19444 is in fair shape, good enough to show on Saturday nights at the local "run what you brought" shows.  Being relatively rare in Florida it gets it's share of  lookers who either never saw one or remember one from the past. I show the car along with a home built "steam engined mini bike" that really draws a crowd and a 4 lb. Chihuahua dog that draws in whatever is left.  I end up answering questions from all sides for hours and thoroughly enjoy the evening.  The only concern is that I can't seem to say enough about the car  without going into a drawn out conversation.  I'd like to be able to  explain the whole Jensen Healy  car story in a few sentences on a printed card.  Most people passing by won't read more than a few lines but would like to know more about the car without going into details.  The car deserves better billing than the dog but at the present isn't doing to well.  At present I'm thinking the card should read:


1973 Jensen Healey Roadster, a very sporty British  sports car built around
the high revving 907 Lotus 4 cyl engine and components from Chrysler, sunbeam, Triumph, and Vauxhaul.
 The Jensen Healey won SCCA National Championships
for three years in relatively stock configuration.
  High Cost, poor initial quality
control, and the American desire for higher horsepower caused it's downfall
in 1976.   
 The car retains a dedicated following, mostly on the west coast, and is considered to be  a true bargain for those that still have a flair for the exotic.


Can anyone add or detract from this????   I'm no author or poet, but It would be a nice  society project to develop  a useable and printable explanation and sales pitch
for the car.

watcha think??
Dan

 

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 Posted: 10-18-2006 03:13 am
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Mark Rosenbaum
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Good idea.  I'd change the text somewhat, though:

1973 Jensen Healey, a very sporty British roadster built around the high tech Lotus 907 four-cylinder engine and components from many major auto manufacturers.

Relatively stock Jensen Healeys won three SCCA National Championships.

High cost, poor initial quality control, and fallout from the fuel shortages of the early 1970s caused its downfall in 1976.

The car retains a dedicated following, mostly on the west coast, and is a true bargain for those with a flair for the exotic.

If you think my suggestions make sense, feel free to use or adapt them.

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 Posted: 10-18-2006 04:17 am
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Art DeKneef
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Wouldn't "the car retains a dedicated following throughout the United States, Britian, Europe, and Australia" better indicate the interest the JH really has?

Look at the locations people post messages from here and on the Jensen mailing list.

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 Posted: 10-18-2006 07:02 pm
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Greg Fletcher
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Stop with the "poor quality" already! When you look at the garbage being produced world wide at that time by major auto makers, it's a wonder the JH was as good as it was. Didn't any of you guys drive a Fiat or Lanica or Truimph or whatever from that era? Parts literally fell off these brand new cars from a test drive. The very first Lotus engines caused the bad press and continues to this day. Most of those early problems where quickly sorted out. The whole "poor quality" thing on this car is overblown and way out of proportion. I say forget parroting the press from 1973 and focus on what's good about the car.

I think unrealistic labor demands from the unions and out-of-control inflation had more to bankrupt Jensen Motors than anything else. Demand for the roadsters exceeded production toward the end (quality was very good at this time). The entire Jensen Healey project was a great vision to "mass market" cars by an extremely tiny company that was always undercapitalized and still assembled everything by hand. It's astonishing what Jensen Motors accomplished in a few short years.

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 Posted: 10-18-2006 07:49 pm
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Jim Sohl
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Hi all.  I feel that for those unfamiliar with the Jensen Healey 'reputation' for 'problems' of one kind or another, there really is no reason to re-state that an early seventies, low volume, english car was unreliable.  Nearly all cars of the era had issues.  Ask anyone with an MG or TR of the same time.

Regarding poor quality, I owned a 1973 Fiat 124 spider in the years before I purchased 11210.  The Fiat stopped running and I parked it.  Along about 1983 or 84, I received a letter from the U.S. District Court for Cook County, Illinois (Chicago) stating that as a settlement condition to a Federal lawsuit naming Fiat as a defendant, my car was included in a group of Fiat cars (mostly 124's from around '73) that were thought to be 'unsafe.'  It seems that rust was causing front shocks and/or rear trailing arms to tear away from the chassis while the car was in use.  A court mandated inspection at the Fiat dealer determined that my (non-running, I towed it in) car had such significant rust that it would be included in the suspect class.  I was paid a generous, fixed amount for my 124 which was literally chopped up at the dealer and the pieces, with VIN, photographed to prove to the Court that the offending car had been 'removed' from the U.S. fleet.  Now that is unreliability far, far worse than anything attributable to the Jensen company or the Jensen Healey. 

Just a thought.
Jim Sohl

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 Posted: 10-18-2006 09:52 pm
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colinw59
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I know we're drifting of the original point here, but I have a '74 JH, a '74 MBG GT and an '80 Fiat Spider. I repainted the later a month ago and will be reassembling it over the winter. I've restored the interior of the GT and the exterior will get done this winter, hopefully! I fully restored the JH, finishing it in May '06. Over the years I will become an unwitting long term tester of these vehicles "Classis" cars. They are all very different, and IMOP are all great looking cars with a character lacking in modern vehicles.

http://jhppg.com/gallery/JH-CO

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