Jensen

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    votren911
    votren911 updated the group cover
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    / #1965-Jensen-C-V8 / #1965 / #Jensen-C-V8 / #Jensen

    Beautiful! I realized that this car was missing in my garage.
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    Man & Machine - 35-year love affair Joel Mutton bought his Jensen Interceptor when he was 14

    Posted in Cars on Wednesday, 24 April 2019

    Man & Machine A 35-year love affair Joel Mutton bought his Interceptor when he was 14. Words and photography Paul Hardiman.

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    Jay Leno
    Jay Leno added a new video, Jensen CV8
    Some of my favourite cars are hybrids, I’ve realised, but they’re not the ones you’re probably thinking of right now. I come from an era when the word ‘hybrid’ meant something totally different. And last week I finally found one.

    I had my heart set on an Aston Martin DB5, but I just can’t bring myself to justify the price. It’s not that I don’t think it’s worth it, it’s just that I grew up in an era when used DB5s were just a few grand more than an #Jaguar-E-type . The car I’m talking about is much rarer than a #Aston-Martin-DB5 . I think they made fewer than 500 of them. It’s a car that has fascinated me for some time, probably because I never actually saw one in person. Then, about a year ago at a car show in Beverly Hills, I finally did see one. It was a deep royal blue with a tan interior, just the combination I would have ordered back in 1965 when it was new. But at the time I was 15 and working at McDonald’s.

    I did hear that Sean Connery, probably the biggest movie star in the world at the time, had one. Years later Sean was a guest on my talk show, I asked him about the car and he seemed pleased I knew what it was. Turns out he actually passed over a #Aston-Martin DB5 for a second-hand #Jensen-C-V8 / #Jensen . True enthusiast, or just a thrifty Scotsman? Well, that made me want one even more.

    Anyway, back to the Beverly Hills car show. Showing the Jensen was a German guy named Chris. I introduced myself and told him how much I liked his car. He smiled broadly and seemed thrilled that I knew what it was. Most people at the show had no idea. ‘What year Jensen-C-V8 ?’ I asked. ‘It’s a 1965 Mark III,’ he replied. To my mind the final Mark III was the most desirable version.

    Even though this was exactly what I was looking for, I never ask people at car shows if something is for sale or how much it costs. I hate when people do it to me because it just seems so incredibly rude. Chris and I chatted for a few more minutes, I complimented him on the restoration and wished him good luck.

    Not quite a year later, my next-door neighbour called me to tell me a friend of his had a car for sale, and was I interested? Normally when people call me with a car for sale, it’s something like an AMC Gremlin with a Levi jeans interior.

    ‘Do you remember meeting a German guy at the Beverly Hills car show last year?’ my neighbour asked. ‘You mean the guy with the C-V8?’ I replied. ‘Yeah, that’s him,’ he said.

    The car was less than five miles from my house. I ran out the door and bought it on the spot. No, I didn’t test drive it first. No, I didn’t put it up on a ramp and look it over like you’re supposed to do. Do you know why? Try and find another one! Luckily the car turned out to be just fine; a few small things but nothing major.

    The car is called a hybrid because, back in the ’60s, ‘hybrid’ meant putting American power plants into European cars. Think early Cadillac-powered Allards, or Carroll Shelby stuffing a 289 Ford into an #AC-Ace to create the Cobra. That started a trend of sticking very powerful American engines into English cars. Jensen used a #Chrysler-383ci-V8 , sending over 330bhp through a three-speed Torqueflite automatic transmission. I like to think of my Jensen as a #Dodge-Dart-GTS that went to Oxford.

    The reason I’m partial to English hybrids is that I love English styling, design and roadholding, and I understand American engines with their torque and durability. It seems the ideal combination to me. The Jensen is everything I wish my GTS could be. Four-wheel disc brakes instead of disc/drum. Classic British wood and leather interior, instead of plastic and vinyl. Sophisticated chassis with rails acting as a vacuum reservoir, to aid braking. It even has shock absorbers you can adjust from the driver’s seat. My GTS shares its body with the six-cylinder runabout model, but the Jensen has a fabulous (to my eyes) custom body made of fibreglass. Combine all this with a 130mph top speed, and you have to wonder why it’s a tenth the price of a DB5. I think there may be a snob factor involved because of the American power.

    I love this era of hybrids. I also have a Monteverdi, a Swiss car with a Chrysler 440, a four-speed manual and a two-door Frua body from Italy. It was bought new, right off the floor, at the Geneva show where it premiered in 1970. I bought it, years later, for less money than the Dodge Challenger with the same engine and transmission made at the Barrett-Jackson auction.

    Not all hybrids are bargains, as the Cobra proves. Yet a #Gordon-Keeble , a #TVR , a #Sunbeam-Tiger , a #Bristol-407 – if you ever see one of those for a reasonable amount of money, grab it! Because a lot of people read this magazine.

    ‘I LIKE TO THINK OF MY JENSEN AS A DODGE DART GTS THAT WENT TO OXFORD. IT’S THE IDEAL COMBINATION’
    • Mr. Leno: Welcome to the world of CV8 ownership, from an old lag, 39 years in this June! I alsofollow your deliberations on Jay Leno's Garage and in tMr. Leno:
      Welcome to the world of CV8 ownership, from an old lag, 39 years in this June! I alsofollow your deliberations on Jay Leno's Garage and in the Hagerty Magazine with considerable interest. Thank you for your stellar endorsement of these hugely underappreciated motor cars.

      I was interested in your comments about the, er, controversial front end styling of the car, which MOTOR notoriously called "a competent design masquerading as the ugliest car in the world. CV8s may have been at first intended to have covered headlamp nacelles, but Mark I and Mark II cars, while lacking covers, DO enjoy fully ducted nacelles that feed cold, high pressure air from slots under all four headlamps into the doubled walled inner front wings, whence they feed cold air to footwell vents in the interior, and to the transmission tunnel, since CV8s have something of a heat dissipation issue. That tranny tunnel air blows out into the low pressure at the back of the car via the slotted rear apron, which your Mark III retains. AFAIK, Mark III cars, having been revised to use four 5.25 inch headlamps instead of two with 2 seven-inch, no longer have this areo detail. In fact, the CV8 enjoys the same drag coefficient -so I'm told- as a Porsche 928S. Eric Neale was a downy bird, indeed!

      My own car (104/2308. also blue) is a truly venerable Mark II, having been road registered and used for all of its 54 years (39 with me). If you are curious, it somehow became a vehicle of record on Wikipedia, despite its many modifications and manifest patina. Check it out online by all means.

      Please feel free to post me directly at .......@gmail.com if you care to extend this correspondence. If you are ever in Nova Scotia, I offer free beer and tech support for any passing Jensen owners.
      Warm Regards,
      Ray Whitley
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      1 month ago
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    The Specialist. The increasingly collectible Jensen Interceptor has found a sympathetic home in Wiltshire. Words Martin Buckley. Photography James Mann.

    / #Jensen-Interceptor / #Jensen-FF / #Jensen / #West-Brom-Support / #Pale-Classics-Ltd

    Paul Lewis started #Pale-Classics in 2012, following a career in the RAF as a Flight Engineer on Hercules, 727s and Tristars. (The name ‘Pale’, in case you were wondering, is derived from the first two letters of the founder’s Christian and surnames.) The passion for old cars, however, came long before the aeroplanes. “I restored an MGB when I was 15,” says Lewis. “My dad had a sheet-metal business in Oldham and he let me use a corner of his workshop.”

    Today, as a former chairman of the Jensen Owners’ Club, Lewis is closely associated with Interceptors. At home, wife Lisa runs an Interceptor (and a Volvo Amazon), but Lewis sold his own III to focus on a rebuild of a MkI that, like the cobbler’s boots, has had to take a back seat to customer cars. There are seven or eight Jensens on site in the modern Chippenham workshop, including a four-wheel-drive FF, a ‘Six Pack’ SP and a glorious Interceptor III in Cerise, the end product of a £100,000 restoration that neatly illustrates the amount of detail work – and money – people are now willing to plough into these once-undervalued cars.

    While Lewis would have to accept that he is a Jensen specialist, in some ways he prefers to see Pale Classics, which is situated 10 mins from junction 17 of the M4, as a one-stop shop for all things 1960s and ’70s, but with an emphasis on big GT cars.

    The current seven-man team has worked on everything from Aston Martin DB7s (Pale offers an uprated rear subframe conversion) to Morris 8s and Facel Vegas, and they are as happy to change a light-bulb as they are to take on a full restoration.

    Dave Amor, Danny Williams and Pat Stuart tackle all things mechanical, while promising youngster Peter Griffin started with the firm as an apprentice and has recently been promoted to mechanic. Panel-beater/fabricator Dave Ward has his own purpose-built area set aside for welding and grinding an FF shell. As a general rule, bodywork and painting is farmed out (the choice of bodyshop depending on the customer’s budget) – although Ward can tackle the Interceptor’s notoriously rot-prone sills on site.

    Pale also has an in-house auto electrician who, when we visited, was retrofitting an 8-Track stereo unit upgraded to FM with a modern USB port. Lewis considers the big Jensens to be relatively easy to work on and the spares situation for them to be good, even the MkIs: “The only tricky panels are roofs – the tooling went missing years ago – and FF front wings. I could sell new FF wings for £5000 apiece.”

    Having taken voluntary redundancy from the RAF, Lewis took on the unit on Bumpers Farm Industrial Estate as a glorified ‘man cave’ at first, drifting into taking on jobs and hiring staff as a way of covering the rent. By then, Interceptors were already a way of life. When hunting for an E-type, Lewis rediscovered the Interceptor in one of its natural habitats – a Barons auction – and soon forgot about the Jaguar in favour of this quintessential Euro-American grand tourer, which had the rear seats he needed for his children.

    After that epiphany there was no turning back: before long, he and Lisa were both running IIIs as everyday cars.
    It sounds ruinous but, in a way, the logic is hard to fault: “I had recently bought a Lexus brand new and lost £16,000 on it after a couple of years’ motoring. I decided that it made more sense to run two 7-litre Jensens, on the basis that they were going to go up in value. Also, being collected from school in an Interceptor did wonders for the kids’ popularity.”

    Main: (l-r) Paul Lewis/Dave Amor with one Interceptor, while Peter Griffin polishes another and Andy Teare/ Danny Williams check SP’s wheel bearings. Below, l-r: Amor services V8; Griffin checks electrics; Dave Ward welds Jensen-FF inner wing.

    The knowledge
    Name Pale Classics Ltd
    Address Unit 9-10 Westpoint Business Park, Vincients Road, Bumpers Farm Industrial Estate, Chippenham, Wilts SN14 6RB
    Staff Seven Specialism All aspects of Jensen servicing, maintenance and restoration, with emphasis on the Interceptor and FF
    Price £50 per hour
    Tel 01249 657544
    Email info@paleclassics.co.uk
    Web www.paleclassics.co.uk
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    Car: #Jensen-Interceptor-III / #Jensen-Interceptor-MkIII / #Jensen-Interceptor / #Jensen / #1974-Jensen-Interceptor

    Year: of manufacture #1974
    Recorded mileage 6606
    Asking: price £74,950
    Vendor: Cropredy Bridge Cars Ltd, Oxfordshire; 01295 758444; www.cropredybridge.com

    WHEN IT WAS NEW
    Price £6744.06
    Max power 330bhp
    Max torque 350lb ft
    0-60mph 7.2 secs
    Top speed 135mph
    Mpg 12


    This Interceptor is well known to Cropredy Bridge throughout the firm’s many incarnations and ownerships – bills with Cropredy go back to 1983 – and it has had plenty of recent fettling work there, on top of what was likely a fuller restoration in the past. Around £15k was spent through 2015-2016, including a repaint, an engine rebuild and various troubleshooting.

    It’s solid underneath, with lots of grease around the wishbone joints, new rear springs and good exhausts, mostly stainless-steel. The repaint is still very presentable, smooth and shiny, with just one bubble now showing on the bonnet. The chrome is slightly bloomed in places, and there’s a small nick in the roof vinyl in one corner of the sunroof aperture.

    There are a few upgrades including new fans, plus Fosseway Performance brakes, Spax adjustable dampers and H4 headlights, plus 17in alloys shod with Westlake SV308s. The spare is the standard size, bearing an older Michelin. Inside, the leather – possibly original and recently cleaned – is only lightly creased, and the door cards are in good shape. The headlining is smart, the carpets slightly grubby. The eyeball vent nozzles still have their chrome and there’s a newish Moto-Lita wheel. The vast ‘goldfish-bowl’ hatch has good seals and operates easily, under which we find good boot carpet and tools.

    At the other end, the 7.2-litre Chrysler V8 shows no obvious leaks and the oil is fairly clean, though the transmission fluid is a bit old and discoloured. It starts easily and drives well, with a light touch to the steering making it feel younger and smaller than it really is. The gearchanges are smooth, it tracks and brakes straight, and it’s plenty fast enough if you tramp on it. The oil-pressure gauge shows a healthy 50psi at 3000rpm, with the temperature gauge registering in the middle of the dial, and the fans cut in readily when you stop.

    Inevitably, not quite everything works: the electric roof does, but the clock and left window don’t, and the air-con tries its best – you can hear the compressor engaging, at least. It’ll be sold with both windows working and a fresh MoT.

    SUMMARY EXTERIOR

    New paint; 17in alloys
    INTERIOR Decent leather and good headlining
    MECHANICALS Motor refreshed; new brakes and springs
    VALUE 7/10

    For Ongoing fettling; drives well
    Against Air-con not working

    SHOULD I BUY IT?
    Not cheap for an Interceptor, but still much more affordable than a DBS, and this example appears to have been well looked after.
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    Jensen intervention
    CAR: #1968-Jensen-Interceptor / #1968 / #Jensen-Interceptor / #Jensen

    OWNER: JAMES ELLIOTT

    It all started when we were preparing for the Octane Tour to the Concours of Elegance at Hampton Court last autumn. Mark Dixon announced that he would be doing it in a lovely new Bentley, not his Mustang because it wasn’t in good enough condition, this took me aback because Mark’s Mustang is a minter compared to either of my current classics.

    Maybe Mark was just saying that to warn me off using the Jensen - until then it had never crossed my mind not to - and potentially embarrassing us in front of our readers. Or maybe not, but either way it really made me aware of the depressing state of my cars and their unsuitability for ‘official’ occasions, those frilly-knicker arches and all the other bodily shortcomings were suddenly and hugely amplified in my mind.

    To be fair, the bodywork was last looked at eight years ago and I guess that in my mind it was just too soon to need to revisit it to this degree. So I had been ‘driving around’ the issues for years. Of course, much-used, all-season cars are always going to deteriorate more than classics tucked up in a garage and wrapped in blankets over winter, but there is only one thing worse than using your classic at will, that is not being able to use it, and I was damned if I was going to have a car that was mechanically sound, but which I felt compelled to leave at home for purely aesthetic reasons.

    So I started casting my net for someone I trusted to make the Jensen great again, there are loads of those, but when we added the filters of doing it on my terms and to my budget, the playing field thinned rather.

    Good pal Tom Cribb recommended Massimo Olimpis Autostilo (01707 658723), which had been looking after Tom’s many Alfas for years. We contrived a visit so they could check out the car and I could check them out, and we all got on like a house on fire. Of course they desperately wanted to do a proper body-off restoration, but I insisted that this time around the best I could stretch to was to make it solid and presentable. Of course there are degrees of presentable and, such is the work Autostilo carries out when broke Jensen owners aren’t forcing them to compromise, I sensed these guys would be near the top end.

    We arranged a second visit for a proper on-ramp inspection, and agreed an initial price exclusive of undiscovered nasties. I wish I could fund a full resto, but I can’t. Neither can I jettison the Jensen. So, watch this space...
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