1976 Jensen GT Shooting Brake

Guide Price: £17,000 - £23,000


∙1 of 11 Left on the UK roads
∙Just 511 ever made
∙Lotus 1,973cc engine
∙Original interior

The Background 

When you hear the name Jensen, most people think of the interceptor, but in 1975 Jensen produced a GT Shooting Brake version of the popular Jensen-Healey. The car went into production as a last resort to save Jensen, after Jensen Motors had to shelve the "F type" Interceptor replacement and "G type". When the GT did enter production, it followed quite quickly that Jensen were forced to declare bankruptcy. Just 511 examples were built, 269 for North America, 230 for the U.K. and the remainder for Europe, Australia and New Zealand. They left Jensen's plant while the business was being wound down, before the official government receiver sadly locked the gates on Friday 21st May 1976.

The 2+2 Grand tourer is hand built and finished to the same standard as the flagship Interceptor, with all the deluxe touches and high level equipment found throughout. Powering the GT along, Jensen sourced the Lotus 907 engine which was 1973cc and produced 140 bhp at 6,500 rpm and 130 lb-ft of torque. The weighty GT produced 0-60 in a shade under 10 seconds and went on to a top speed of 114 mph. 

The Jensen GT Shooting Brake was unveiled to the American public at the San Francisco Auto Show. The sales team were prepped on how to market the GT. “The Jensen GT can best be described as a 2+2 that combines the elegance of Jensen’s Interceptor with the performance and handling of the Jensen Healey.” They were told to call the Jensen GT “The Econo Jensen”, a car that has grand luxury on a small scale, with sports car performance and handling. The GT was received just as well at the London motor Show and gained lots of attention despite its quite high price tag, with a launch price of £4,563. 

The History 

This lovely 1976 Jensen GT Shooting Brake is just one of only 511 cars made and 1 of 11 cars left on the road in the UK today. It is believed to be the only one in the Aruba Red colour.  
The GT has been owned by the seller for approximately 18 months who was having great fun using the car on a daily basis during the summer months and it doesn't fail to grab the attention of passers by. Since owning the car he has had both the inner and outer sills replaced and also the floor pan, taking care of a couple of areas that needed attention. Some service and maintenance work has also been carried out.

The car has been resprayed at some point in its life and it is in generally good condition for the age. There are a couple of areas on the edge of the bonnet and roof edge that have a few blisters under the paint and this is one of the reasons the seller is departing with the Jensen. He has nowhere to store the car and feels it will only get worse left out fighting the elements.  

The Paperwork

The V5 is present and showing 11 former keepers. 

Looking back through the MOT history the Jensen has only covered approximately 5,000 miles since 2008. The GT is now MOT and Tax exempt.

Any invoices for work carried out on the car have unfortunately been lost at some point. Included with the sale is a Jensen workshop manual and also a useful parts manual. 

The Interior

Inside the Jensen, the cream leather seats all appear to be original  and have worn extremely well over the years. There is a small split in the driver’s seat squab which would no doubt be an easy repair for an interior trimmer. The carpets again are in tidy condition apart from the driver's side which was missing on viewing the car, but the seller did mention that it does have some wear to it. The door cards have had some aftermarket speakers fitted to them. In the rear seat area, the backseat is in excellent condition and doesn't look like it has had much use over the years. Into the boot area, the carpet is clean and tidy and under the floor reveals the original tool kit.     

The dashboard on the GT is free from cracks and the burr walnut trim is in a good condition, with some patina. The steering wheel is original and in generally good condition but does have a slight amount of stitching that has come undone. The odometer is showing 81,268, and all the gauges are working as they should. There was some condensation behind the glass on the instruments, but this does clear (one of the joys of a 70’s car outside when it's cold). The switchgear has some signs of general age related wear (the text is slightly worn on some buttons), but all are working as they should. The car also has electric windows which are in working order. 

The headlining of the car has unfortunately started to drop down around the sunroof. The seller will be getting this re-attached as soon as the Covid restrictions are lifted and his local trimmer is back open. 

The Exterior

Finished in Aruba Red, research by the seller shows this GT is believed to be the only one on the UK roads in this particular colour. There is evidence that the car has been resprayed and at some point and as mentioned earlier, the inner, outer sill and floor pan have been replaced whilst in the seller's ownership. He reports that the panels were treated with underseal prior to fitting and the outer sills have been left in primer ready to paint.

The Shooting brake is showing signs of some paint blistering around the bonnet edge and by the roof gutter, and there is some rust on the top edge of the near side inner wing. The sunroof is removable, but the seller has never had this out. In general the car is in a nice tidy condition with a few age related marks as you would expect. 

Starting at the front the car is fitted with some aftermarket Hella spot lights which are free from any cracks. The bumper is in good condition with no cracks in the indicators or headlights. Moving around the car, the panel gaps for the bonnet and wings are straight and uniform as are the panel gaps for the doors. The bright work is in excellent condition with no real signs of pitting or corrosion. Some of the rubbers around the windows have started to split which is just an age issue. The windows are free from any noticeable scratches that we could see. Finishing at the rear, the window opens from the lever just inside the driver's side quarter as it should. Again, the rear window rubber has started to split. The lights are crack free and the bumper is in tidy condition and still holds the Jensen GT badge. 

The Jensen’s wheels are all original and do have some minimal age related corrosion on them. The centre caps are all present with some just slightly faded. The Goodyear GT 70 tyres have plenty of tread left and will be good for many miles. 

The Mechanics

Jensen fitted the 1973 cc Lotus 907 engine to the GT to which the seller has fitted new head gasket, rocker gaskets, timing belt, spark plugs and oil and filter change. This work was carried out within the last 12 months to ensure smooth running of the GT as it was in daily use. 

The car starts up and runs perfectly, and shows good oil pressure on the gauge. The seller reports that the car changes gear easily, with no knocks or unwanted noises coming from the transmission. It also stops as it should. The engine bay could do with a little fettling here and there to make it a little more aesthetically pleasing, but mechanically it is in good order. 

The Appeal 

This is a rare chance to own one of 511 hand made cars and 1 of 11 left on the roads in the UK.  I think it's safe to say that you would be getting something quite unique and special, with the quality of the interceptor. It runs and drives as it should, and really the next owner could quite easily take the car up to the next level in value, which should be a solid investment, if they wish. Or you could do as the current seller has and enjoy a bit of 70’s classic on a daily basis.   

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Vehicle specification
  • Year 1976
  • Make Jensen
  • Model GT Shooting Brake
  • Colour Red
  • Odometer 81,268 Miles
  • Engine size 1973
Auction Details
  • Seller Type Private
  • Location West Midlands
  • Country United Kingdom
Bidding history
23 bids
  • volupta•••• £16,750 11/03/21
  • dolorem•••• £16,500 11/03/21
  • volupta•••• £16,000 11/03/21
  • dolorem•••• £15,500 11/03/21
  • volupta•••• £15,000 11/03/21
  • dolorem•••• £14,500 11/03/21
  • volupta•••• £14,000 11/03/21
  • dolorem•••• £13,500 11/03/21
  • volupta•••• £13,000 11/03/21
  • dolorem•••• £12,500 11/03/21

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