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1973 Jensen Interceptor

Story and History

1973 Jensen Interceptor Convertible - First purpose built version & the first RHD

This is the earliest known Interceptor convertible

First registered in December 1973 and having been used for testing prior to launch to the public

Our chassis number is 2340/PP001 and she was first specified with White paintwork

Restored in the late 1980's when the paintwork was changed to Red complimented with Tan interior & hood

Subsequently the paintwork was last changed to Light Blue in 2002 (see below)

The factory first displayed the convertible version to the Press and public during the annual Geneva Motor Show in 1974

Normal stuff nowadays - it was a bit of razamataz affair then, often giving the manufacturer, and the model, the plaudits of the Press

More over, to have launched a new model when there were political and press suggestions that convertible cars were to be banned shortly and that all 'gas guzzlers' were also for the chop, because of the Oil Crisis, still affecting sales of expensive cars with large engines (the Jensen has 7.2 litre V8 - so one of the biggest available) due credit had to be passed to the Board of Jensen going forwards in the face of adversity

Hand built in Birmingham, with Italian designed bodywork, powered with the Chrysler drive train the Jensen was a very expensive motorcar

Hence only 87 were destined to be sold on the home market and ours, as stated above, is the very earliest made, most production having been sent over to the States (376 were destined to be sold there)

We have a copy of the original log book confirming the ownership by Jensen Motors and registered on the 21st December 1973

The Jensen was next registered in April 1976 to Mr James Cairns in Tunbridge Wells

It would seem that, as the Company was either about to be in Administration, or were already, the sale of assets seems highly likely, and hence the sale of Convertible number 001 at that time

The Factory was closed and in August 1976 the Administrators Sale took place - very sad really

The Labour Government was asked to help out, to the tune of only £1.000.000, and refused..........

Having been restored to its' former glory in by Markdanes Classics, of Shepton Mallet, it is clear that the works were carried out between 1986 - 1988

Not much is known between 1976 - 1983 when a run of MoT's thereafter picks up the story

Mileage listed in 1983 was 43.776 and continues until the full restoration was undertaken

The mileage in 1986 had crepted up to 55.000 and a fresh MoT was issued, when the milometer had been reset, in March 1988 at 1.375 miles

Clearly this was carried out after the running-in period had passed

The restoration was to Concours standard and the final cost was £40.000 (a new Rolls-Royce was £85.000 so this was a heap of money at the time) and it was subsequently purchased by a well known author

One of his novels had been turned into a film in the 1970's and the star uses a sports car finished in a beautiful light blue colour

He couldn't help himself and had the Jensen painted the same colour as the car in the film - we love it

He chose specialist Jensen repairers Cropredy Bridge Garage to undertake the works and the bare metal repaint was charged out at £32.000 in 2002 (even in todays' money this is rather a lot for the works..........)

He also changed the standard Jensen steering wheel to a Moto-Lita version at this time

We have a letter from him confirming his ownership

With various invoices and lots of MoT's we can show that the mileage since the restoration is now only 13.000

Still in rather nice condition, a testament to the quality of the original restoration over 25 years ago and the expense now justified, the Jensen drives as well as she looks and must be the most important Jensen Interceptor Convertible extant


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