Project Car Hell, God Save The Queen Edition: Jensen GT or Lotus Elan?

After the total blowout in the Lambo-versus-Maser poll, we had a much closer race in yesterday's Choose Your Eternity poll, with the 1JZGTE-powered Volvo wagon just barely eking out a victory over the LS1-powered BMW 3 Series. Today we need to return to a theme we haven't seen since last year: two British sports cars striving for a place in your Garage Of Everlasting Punishment!


You're shopping for a British Malaise machine, yet want to avoid British Leyland products? How about a Jensen, from the period of the company's last gasp? We're not talking about an Interceptor here, because that Chrysler engine is just too reliable- no, we've found something much better for you. How would you like to own one of just 509 Jensen GTs ever built, for a mere pittance of $5,950? Can you believe it? You get the 16-valve Lotus 907 engine (also known as the "Torqueless Wonder"), only 55,000 miles on the clock, and enough Lucas Electric components to keep you busy for the rest of your life a few weeks. The seller says it "runs great," so you figure we're giving you an easy one. Right?

That Jensen is pretty cool, but if you're going to drive a car with a Lotus engine you might as well go all Lotus, right? And not some newfangled Esprit or Europa- no, it's got to be a featherweight 60s Elan. Say, like this '69 Lotus Elan Plus 2S, which has a Steal It Now price of only five grand. Like the Jensen, it has only 55,000 miles, though that's mostly because it's been sitting for 18 years. Don't let that scare you, though, because British cars are like fine wine, just getting better as they age in a damp cellar somewhere. Don't worry about the electrical connectors or fuel system needing 100% replacement; you'll have plenty of time to worry about those issues as you try to track down replacements for the missing hood and bashed-in windshield. You get an original engine block and some carburetors, which means you're more than halfway there in the powerplant department. What could go wrong?

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