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Overpriced Mystery: 1973 Jenson Healey

right rear

The Jensen Healey has a 145 horsepower 2 litre Lotus engine, a Sunbeam gearbox, Triumph brakes and rack-and-pinion steering. It was way ahead of other sports cars of the day but it was expensive. This Jensen Healey is listed on craigslist for too much money and with too little information. The seller couldn’t even spell the name correctly. Could it be worth anything close to the $10,500 if it really has only 25,000 miles on it? There is no information on how long it was stored and what work has been done to revive it.


Do I hear someone yelling “focus focus”? In this dark off color fuzzy picture the interior does look nice. It would be nice to know what the seats are like under those red covers.

right front

The selective photography does make this car look nice. If it is really nice and has only 25,000 how much could it be worth? It would be interesting to have more information and pictures of this Jensen Healey.


  1. Kevin

    Those aren’t red covers, those are ridiculous red racing seats which not only look completely out of place on this car but also lower the value IMO. An original car with 25,000 may be worth $10,000 to the right person but if the current owner was distasteful enough to put those seats in there it makes me curious to know what other things they did.

    • Bruce Best

      The steering wheel is wrong also. These are not bad cars but they are not great looking from either the front or the back. Bland is as about as good a description as I can think of to describe them.

  2. Howard A Member

    Sheesh, aren’t we the picky types. C’mon, the seller is using the most basic for sale system, and clearly knows nothing about the car ( 5 cylinder, FWD) and I’ve spelled Healey without a 2nd e. I don’t think it’s really TOO overpriced, it is a nice car, even though, I heard nothing but bad about them, not to mention that awful color. Probably get half that, if they’re lucky. Anyone that knows British cars knows to stay away from these. Someone will buy it, and find out what everybody is talking about. ( when the cam belt comes flying off and the valves get wasted)

    • Jamie Palmer Jamie Staff

      Howard, got to disagree politely here. J-Hs are actually pretty nice cars and the timing belt issues have been solved (by Lotus Esprit owners, I believe). Now this might be a bit high, but not much. However, the seats are awful—agreed completely there Kevin.

  3. Marco

    My friend had one of these, new, back in the day. He liked it at first- then, not at all. Constant problems. It had what he called “the self oiling engine”! As in oil leaking out all over the place. I had an Alfa at the time and for all the bad rap older Alfa’s got I never had a problem. Made him mad.

    • Tirefriar

      Marco, I’d venture a guess your Alfa didn’t have a problem because it was maintained. That’s all that an AR needs to be a very dependable car. None of the 9 Alfas I owned ever left me stranded! They are a better car!

  4. Jubjub

    Gaudy seats but looks nice otherwise. I’ve heard most of the troubles these suffer can be managed or remedied. Heck, the color isn’t the end of the world either. It was the 70s. Ten grand is optimistic.

  5. Mimo

    Seems like a good deal if it’s only got 25k…I saw on Hagerty it’s valued a 9k and have seen there value is increasing in some of the UK classified.

  6. Ross W. Lovell

    Greetings All,

    These cars suffered from rust issues, this one looks pretty good.

    They had a ton of engine issues early on, minor and solvable but by the time they had those fixed the market had moved on to others with less issues.

  7. bcavileer

    Oh those ugly fed bumpers, and that color combo. Shame. It might be a decent car in hideous trim.

  8. Old geezer

    Rust free examples are hard to find. The engines are pretty cool when running correctly. Interiors are decent considering other British cars of the era. I had a 72 with rocker rust issues which I could live with. However, mine snapped a belt at 3k rpm and bent 8 valves. only one mechanic in the area that could fix the valves (difficult and labor intensive to shim them). Had to wait 2 months for him to finish them. Sold the Cara’s soon as I got it back.

    They don’t bring the money they should.

  9. Nick Member

    Goofy seats. Values have been climbing fast on these. Red car is where it’s at.

  10. Tirefriar


  11. sdwarf36

    25k is just when the speedo cable broke.

  12. Tirefriar

    Reading this ad, this looks like something an amatur flipper may post or a guy that got into something he wasn’t ready for. Either way, it is overpriced, but could be worth substantial portion of the asking price to someone looking for a JH. However, for the much scratch I’d be looking at a clean pre-’75 Series 2 Alfa Romeo Spider.

  13. Pete

    As consecutive SCCA wins in the day proved these are fast well handling cars while still comfortable. I particular in 5 speed version they are a hoot to drive . As said above the very earliest cars had some engine issues. However these were fixed under warranty. Like any car which is not totally sledgehammer technology they demand that you follow maintenance schedules rigorously. I certainly had no problem with mine.

  14. david

    I’ve had 2 ’73s. Both required serious maintaining but were a blast to drive in the day. This one has points dizzy. I would not touch one without electronic ignition. I dare someone with less patience to replace the points. It makes adjusting the valves every 10K miles seem easy. This one will require thorough attention before even starting it to be dependable. Replacing the belt is #1 to avoid destroying the interference engine

    • Pete

      Fit Pertronix which is a 10 minute fix and be done with it. Easiest way is to remove dizzy, reinstall with timing approximately right and finally adjust according to spec with the vernier screw on the dizzy.

    • Pete

      Use high quality fully synthetic oil and change annually even if few miles are driven. No need for valve adjustment every 10k miles unless you go racing.

  15. ron tyrrell

    Engine is a Vauxhall with a Lotus head, Lotus to my knowledge has all ways used somebody else block and crank with there own designed head.

    • Pete

      Head was originally developed using the Vauxhall block. The production engine is Lotus in every way. No Vauxhall or any other third party bits left in it.

  16. Pete

    I always liked looking at these. the shape. like an attractive English girl (quirky but cute) .. you can tell by looking at her that she’s gonna handle alright, roll bar fits the design perfectly, which is saying something actually.. racing mustard yellow doesn’t bother me at all, fact I dig it & think it’s perfect for the shape coz it’s Brit & that works out somehow. ,reminds me of my old MG Midget, tho she was maroon, bought new in ’77., but she did require extra maintenance especially out here in So Cal during the summer.. you could feel her pining for a cold wet cloudy day in London.. had to hose her down with cold water after every run to keep her cooled off & happy.. I personally wouldn’t give about an original engine on this old baby.. swap a Chevy in there (ha!) & change the seats out for something decent & bring the price down a grand or two & it’s a deal. not that this seller is anywhere near doing all that

  17. Howard A Member

    So, seems everybody sez, engine issues early on, can we assume with 25K miles ( cable broke, good one) the next owner will have all this ahead of them? Don’t get me wrong, I love all British roadsters, it’s just some are better than others. This ain’t no TR-6!

  18. Pete

    When I said engine problems early on I referred to early engines like the first year of production or so. The only thing I would do on this one is replace cam belt tensioner if the first type, cannot remember when the changeover happened.

  19. RedRacer

    True that more detail for what’s been done would be helpful, but having followed these cars for years, their value has been going up the last couple of years. Most of the problems this car was originally beset with have long been corrected(mostly by field engineers) and I’ve seen many “nice” cars going for in excess of 15k. As was pointed out, the “seller” obviously does not know what he has or should show/explain; this could very well be a very good deal(yes, the “race” seatsw can be changed easily-not a huge expense)

  20. rob pearcey

    Very unpopular when they made them. Looks in good condition but no more, a1000 or so overpriced. Ugly bumpers , Ugly Seats out of SW Florida , full experts on clocking cars. It’s not even a 1973 not built until 74 so it could have a 75 registration.

  21. Jim S

    Had one of these for the last couple of years fixing it up. Can’t see that the issues that dog it weren’t just down to seventies factory workers, most have been rebuilt since then by enthusiasts and are well sorted. Nice ones in the right colors can look stunning, poor ones look bland. The engine is a peach when tuned.

  22. Ross W. Lovell

    Greetings All,

    The biggest issue was lack of corrosion protection which by the 70’s manufacturers were starting to adopt.

    The engine was plagued by developmental problems which is to be avoided when you are such a small company. They had other choices that were more conservative but they went for new improved and were bit with warranty issues.

    Dealerships were already on life support with BL.

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