The car responds quickly to every light touch with a positive reaction. Accelerating onto a motorway- taming a twisting side road- braking for the unexpected- even dawdling along in heavy traffic. Everywhere you take a Jensen-Healey, you rediscover pleasures you thought had left behind.
Handling and ride: Sure-footed comfort everywhere
Gone are the days of struggling with a sports car to make the most of its performance. Even though power outputs are greater, suspension technology has kept pace.
So, in the Jensen-Healey, there's enough sophistication to give a feeling of security all the time. Which in turn allows you to use all the performance you want, with confidence.
From wide, low-profile radials on specially-cast 5 1/2" section alloy wheels, to its sure-footed suspension, the Jensen-Healey promises good road holding.
Add the stopping power of a servo-assisted dual line braking system, the precision of rack and pinion steering- and you have a car that can comfortably cover all kinds of ground deceptively fast.
Heart of the matter: The brilliant Lotus Powerplant
A modern British sports car as special as the Jensen-Healey demands something much more sophisticated than the usual adapted family saloon powerplant.
The Lotus developed 2 liter OHC engine is a perfect choice. Light alloy, with 4 valves per cylinder. Retaining all the mechanical niceties of its racing engine forebears but giving a wide, usable band of power from tickover to a peak of 140 BHP at 6500 RPM.
While it can pass present U.S. emissions standards without air pumps or exhaust recirculation, this engine is still capable of producing outstanding acceleration figures. Like 0-60 MPH in 7.8 seconds, and 0-110 MPH in 36 seconds.**(Autocar, August 1972)
The power is transmitted through a four speed, all synchromesh gearbox. And torque characteristics are such that the car will pull solidly and smoothly from under 2000 RPM in any gear- unusual flexibility for such exhilarating performance. Add to that a miserly thirst for fuel- around 25 MPG- and you begin to appreciate what a remarkable powerplant the Jensen-Healey has.
Assembly to testing: Jensen quality all the way:
Attention to detail is the key. That's what maintains high standards, and makes the Jensen-Healey a superior sports car.
Once the engine and completely-trimmed body have been carefully united, every car is thoroughly road tested. Then, it has to pass a high pressure water test against leaks. These are just some of the many quality control checks throughout the assembly process.
Interior design: accent on comfort:
The lack of body roll, rattles and bumps puts a Jensen-Healey driver at ease from the first turn of the wheel. But even before the car moves, you'll notice the comfort. With more legroom than a six footer could ask for, ample headroom, and space to move your elbows without hitting obstructions.
The fully adjustable, reclining seats are ergonomically designed to hold you in place, and soft enough to it gently. For safety's sake, seats have adjustable head restraints, while the inertia reel lap and diagonal seat belts incorporate a reminder warning system. Ahead of the fully padded steering wheel, the oval instrument panel is set in a foam filled facia.
The driving position itself is excellent- the steering wheel providing a secure, comfortable grip exactly where you want. Easily-read speedometer and tachometer dials are directly in front. These are flanked by other instruments, including voltmeter, oil pressure, water temperature, fuel and battery condition indicators.
All switches are within easy reach, as are the heater controls. Heating and ventilation are taken care of by an integral unit with outlets to the footwells and adjustable fresh air face vents, which can be boosted with the heater fan if required. Separate ram vents provide additional ventilation to the footwells. Combined, these systems provide an ideal 'climate' in all weather conditions.
Contrary to sports car tradition, there's plenty of storage space in the cockpit, too: in a lockable glove compartment on the facia, covered cubby box in the full-length central console, and a large carpeted luggage area behind the seats. Like the rest of the interior, it reflects the designer's thoughtfulness.
Exterior details: the finishing touches:
The Jensen-Healey can be two great sports cars in one: With the standard hood, it's a wind-in-the-hair summer car or a draught and waterproof long-distance tourer. With the optional Hardtop, you have extras like a heated rear window, and through-flow ventilation to add to you comfort.
You'll notice that the boot is unusually large for a sports car at 6 cu. ft. The space is created by carrying the spare wheel beneath the boot floor, while inside the counterbalanced lid, all luggage travels safely-protected by full carpeting. These are the finishing touches that help make the Jensen-Healey surprisingly good value for money. It's a sports car that's every inch a Jensen, except for the price tag.