Lot 181 - 1973 Jensen Interceptor Mk. III SP
|Odometer reading||1,500 miles|
|Estimate||£40,000 - £50,000|
|Result||Sold - £47,544|
- Rare SP model
- Superb upgrades to meet with modern driving
Alan and his brother Richard Jensen first became involved with car design and construction in 1925 when their efforts to improve on the styling and performance of an Austin Seven Chummy attracted much favourable attention. A few Jensen-bodied Fords were produced in the mid-1930s before a more serious manufacturing effort commenced in 1938. After World War II, Jensen kept itself afloat by producing bodies for other manufacturers, most notably Austin Healey, while producing its own stylish GTs in limited numbers. It was not until the Interceptor's arrival in 1967 that cars began to leave the West Bromwich factory in more substantial numbers.
With the Interceptor's introduction, Jensen switched from glass fibre to steel for its car bodies, though underneath the preceding C-V8's chassis, running gear and 6,276 cc Chrysler engine remained substantially unchanged. With around 280 bhp on tap, performance was more than adequate, The Motor recording a top speed of 140 mph with 100 mph arriving from a standstill in 19 seconds. Four-wheel servo-assisted Dunlop discs looked after the braking while the ride quality could be varied by the Armstrong Selectaride dampers' dashboard control. Leather upholstery, reclining front seats, and walnut veneer trim were all standard features of this Vignale-styled Anglo-American GT, while automatic transmission was the choice of almost all buyers. The Series II incorporated revised front suspension, Girling brakes, and a redesigned interior, while the Series III, introduced in October 1971, came with a 7.2-litre engine, better seats, central locking, and GKN alloy wheels. The SP (six-pack) was the rare one – with only 232 being built.
This lovely example is the very rare and desirable SP model and is presented in Black Garnet, synonymous as a Rolls-Royce colour and looks superb. Its interior has been upgraded to a more luxurious specification to include new front seats with burgundy leather, including door cards and the dash and console have been replaced with burr walnut which looks superb. The current vendor has owned this wonderful sports car since 1976 and is only the third owner from new. In this time, he has also enhanced the Jensen with some extremely smart modifications which include hydraulic lifts for the boot lid, operated from inside with a switch and there is an air compressor in the boot which can be connected up to a fixture which would enable one to blow up the tyres whenever necessary; the spare tyre automatically descends on the press of a button and ascends on the push of a button making it very practical to access when needed. The front seats recline electrically, electric folding mirrors, one touch electric windows and there are footwell lights to front and rear. The air conditioning works well, and the owner has also fitted ABS brakes which makes sense these days and he also boxed in the front and rear wheel arches which keeps the engine bay devoid of road dirt and the rear also. The headlining was also replaced, and the owner also had all controls for indicators etc mounted on stalks from the steering column. Its original mighty 7.2 litre engine is fabulous, and the original SP (six pack) has been removed and replaced with a more user-friendly single twin choked carburettor. The car is also fitted with an immobilizer, new stainless-steel exhaust and it comes with a good photographic and documented history. This really is a superb example that has been sympathetically upgraded to an extremely high standard making it very drivable and useable compared to its more ‘original’ examples.
Interested parties should satisfy themselves as to the description and condition of each lot prior to the sale. Accordingly, buyers are on notice that each vehicle is offered ‘as is/as seen’ subject to the Terms and Conditions for the auction. Buyers are advised to inspect the vehicle in person or use a professional to carry out this service. Historics will not entertain disputes over descriptions.