Jensen

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    Metal gurus at work

    CAR: #1968-Jensen-Interceptor / #1968 / #Jensen-Interceptor / #Jensen

    OWNER: JAMES ELLIOTT

    My Jensen had been with the chaps at Autostilo (www.autostilo. co.uk) for a couple of months when I received that call. It might be a good time to pop up to Potters Bar and have a look, they said. Being a glass-half-full kind of guy, my natural reaction to this was fear and the thought that it could prove very expensive. On the way up there, however, I started to rationalise this a bit and found two positive needles in the haystack of uncertainty.

    The first was that a fair bit of progress must have been made, otherwise why bother getting me up there? The second was that it probably meant the car was going to be at its absolute worst because, if I were a bodywork guy, that s when I would want the owner to see it, the better to appreciate the work done thereafter. Hence, things can only get better.
    On my arrival, I was kind of impressed to see the Jensen up in the air on a two-post ramp, because it meant that the sills must be rather stronger than I had previously suspected.

    It turns out I was right on both fronts. Some good progress had been made, but some grisly discoveries had been unearthed, too, horrors which, to be fair, Massimos and Paolos initial inspection and the suspect bubbling on both A-pillars had led them to expect.

    First, the progress. I had sourced most of the panels that were needed from Jason Lawrence down at Rejen, specifically the front and rear lower valances and both rear wheelarch repair sections. Actually, Jason only had one of the arch sections in stock, but I know that Andy Brooks at Richard Appleyard Jensen has an offside item that I will try and prise out of his grasp. Apart from both lower doorskins, these are precisely the same panels that were repaired or replaced when I briefly last had the funds for bodywork, nearly nine years ago.

    The front valance is on and the rear is off awaiting the new item, plus the rear nearside arch is done. Apart from the offside arch, there remains some general tidying and some less visible welding to be done - plus those A-pillars and a proper sill inspection - before we can even think about paint.

    So completion is a long way off, but I have to say that I am delighted with the quality of work I have seen so far and I can hardly wait to get the Jensen back. I’ll just have to be patient; right now the front valance is probably the strongest part of the car!

    Clockwise from right: Tiny Fiat has needed even more metal than hefty Jensen; new front valance; old offside rear arch not so good; new nearside one ready for rubbing-down.
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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
        More ...
      5 months 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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