Jensen introduced the Jensen GT Shooting Brake in 1975 hoping to see the same success that MG realized with the BGT. With more luxurious trim and more gentrified image, the car was to sell at a higher price and generate more profits to keep the struggling company afloat. Jensen was – reportedly – losing money (in the UK) and just breaking even (in the US) on every Jensen-Healey roadster produced and it was hoped that an upmarket car could stem the bleeding and transform the dim hopes of the company.
Economic exigencies required that the new model rush into production with the result that significant remediation was required to rectify assembly defects. The suspension was reinforced to cope with the extra bodyweight but the effect was that the crisp ride of the roadster was lost in the translation to coupe. The interior was more luxurious with a walnut dash and corduroy upholstery and a much quieter cabin at speed.
For all of its virtues, however, the Jensen GT was expensive compared to many of its rivals. The MGB GT and Alfa Romeo GTV were much cheaper and were known quantities while the reputation of the Jensen-Healey had tarnished the market for its GT sibling. As such, the Jensen GT failed to sustain traction in the marketplace and only 473 coupes were made – almost half stayed in the UK – before production ended with Jensen’s demise in 1976.