1972 Jensen Interceptor MkIII
From a private collection; current owner 32 years; never used in the wet; kept in heated storage; engineer's report; Heritage Certificate; stunning condition throughout
Hand-built by men in overalls, the Jensen Interceptor is one of those magical cars that has always had the power to make people stop and stare. A fabulous amalgam of Italian style, American muscle and British craftsmanship, only 6,408 were made in total and it is still an occasion to see one of the 600 or so that survive on the UK’s roads pass by.
Styled by Touring of Milan with some subtle tweaks by Vignale (who also made the first bodies), it was small wonder that the Interceptor attracted the glitterati of '60s society when new. Frank Sinatra, Clark Gable, Tony Curtis, Keith Richards, Dusty Springfield, Lord Carrington – the list of famous owners goes on and on, making it all the more amazing that these superb machines are so under-valued today. As rare as any DB Aston, better made and far more potent to boot, they are perhaps the classic car bargain of the modern age.
As the Heritage Certificate confirms, this Interceptor MkIII was built in March 1972 and was originally Mustard with a black roof and a black interior. Copies of the factory build sheets document all the quality control hoops it had to jump through before being passed good to go, the finished car being despatched to Jensen distributors Rossleigh Ltd of Fife.
The first owner was a Mr T Christie of Kirkcaldy who kept it for one year before ownership transferred to a Mr A Hamilton of Dorset, the car going back to the factory on at least three occasions for warranty work including attention to micro-blistering on the paintwork; fixing a glove box rattle; rectifying a carburettor fault; replacing a cracked exhaust manifold and replacing all four wheels due to corrosion.
Nothing is known of the car’s subsequent history until our vendor acquired it in 1989 to join his collection of fine cars. Although the Jensen was still in very good condition, it was not up to the standard that our vendor required so it was completely dismantled and rebuilt from the ground up, some of the process being documented in photos on file.
This included a bare metal repaint in metallic red and a full interior retrim in cream leather piped in red with matching red carpets. Although there are no invoices to detail the exact extent of the work, the car speaks for itself – it looks gorgeous and is among the best we have seen in 16 years of hosting these sales.
Throughout our vendor’s 32-year ownership the Jensen has been kept in heated storage and has barely been used on the road, just the odd trip out on special occasions to keep everything free. In June 2021 it was treated to a thorough check-over and recommissioning by a professional IMI Level 3 Vehicle Technician to prepare it for more regular use, as detailed in a report on file.
This included all new fluids (oil, coolant, brakes, power steering); new oil, air and fuel filters; new PAS and alternator belts; new core plugs; new battery; new set of tyres and a general tune-up. The car was then run for 20 minutes and left overnight with cardboard underneath to check for leaks, of which there were none.
It was then given a 30-minute test drive, the engineer reporting that: "The car drove faultlessly, the engine pulled smooth and strong, showing no loss of power from new. The gearbox performed flawlessly, changing gears smoothly with no clunks or noises and providing no resistance to the selector. Driving down the road the car provided a smooth and comfortable environment, handling confidently in the corners and sailing over road humps without so much as a creak. The car braked in a balanced and controlled manner, giving full confidence that they are going to be there when you need them."
The report also noted the "5 star hotel for cars" environment in which the Jensen was kept and noted that "the car looked like it had just come off the production line, its handmade body lining up better than some new cars and its paintwork just as flawless". The report concluded: "To sum up in brief is an injustice to how amazing it really is… In my opinion it is one of the finest examples of this incredible machine, a true testament to how a car should be owned." Somewhat effusive, perhaps, but it certainly does look nice!
Documentation includes an MOT until June 2022 with no advisories recorded, one old MOT issued in 2001 (since when the car has only covered 120 miles), an original owner’s handbook and factory workshop manuals, a period sales brochure, plus the aforementioned Heritage Certificate, factory build sheets and restoration photos.
Driven some 30 miles to the sale on a very warm day with no problems whatsoever, it has been starting promptly and running beautifully as we have moved it around on site with good 60psi oil pressure. A most appealing car in all respects, it is only reluctantly for sale due to family illness.
For more information contact James on 07970 309907 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
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