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Why do you think so many Jensen Interceptors were neglected?

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by RockyUSA » Tue Jan 29, 2019 3:11 am

It is very surprising to me that there are so many neglected Jensen Interceptors.

When I was searching for my car, for every good one, it seemed like there were 3-4 basket cases, that had been rolled into a field and left there.

They only started coming back out when the "Fast and Frumious VI" movie made one of the cars popular.

Why were they so neglected?

- Unreliable?

- Electronics too complicated?

- Rust issues and complicated repairs?

- Too expensive or too much work to maintain properly?

I get lots of nice compliments on my car when I drive it around. Not sure why this wouldn't have occurred 20-30 years ago, and it would seem like that would keep the owners enthusiastic.

Excuse me now - I have to go fix my car....

Rocky
Last edited by RockyUSA on Tue Jan 29, 2019 5:53 am, edited 1 time in total.
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by Steve Payne » Tue Jan 29, 2019 4:59 am

My guess like a lot of old cars the cost of repairs were more than it was worth.

A lot of them got cosmetically rusty early in there life but when the rust became serious and there was probably some other things why it failed its MOT or it started overheating or difficult to start it was time to park it up.

A used car dealer I know well told me this story when I got my Interceptor, when he took the business over from his father in the early 80's his father told him to ''don't sell Interceptors just scrap them'' . Not long after he was in charge a very nice Interceptor was Part Ex in against another car, he drove it around for a few weeks and then put it on the forecourt. It sold and it was back a week later with a fault, that was fixed and it was returned to the customer, several weeks later it was back again. Any way after 4 months the cost of the warranty repairs were more than twice what he had made on the car. After that he took his fathers advice.

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by slotcarone » Tue Jan 29, 2019 5:12 am

Good question Rocky!! I can only speak for the USA obviously. My feeling is there were not many repair shops that either knew how to fix these cars or that wanted to fix them. Realistically no different than other British cars here. Combine that fact with the rust from salted roads in parts of the country and you have a lot of cars either parked from lack of repairs or from too much rot. Thus what you found when you were looking for your car which is the same thing I found by the way! :)
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by felixkk » Tue Jan 29, 2019 5:44 am

Here in Switzerland there cannot be many of those. One Interceptor turned up which had been standing outside rotting maybe 5 years ago. One car had been garaged almost since it was new, after an accident- but still belonging to the original owner. A dismantled SP has shown up. Who knows what is still hidden in garages- but left standing outside, not many if any at all. At our meet last year, Martin Kennedy in his FF was signalled by another car to pull over. The other driver told him of a „derelict“ FF standing outside in some small village and gave him the location in case Martin needed any parts! The FF had been parked there just temporarily and was getting ready to be restored!
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by kenny38 » Tue Jan 29, 2019 10:11 am

Like possibly many opf you I was right in the middle of the '73 oil crisis. Petrol in UK was around 2/6 a galleon but considering that a man earned around 12 pounds a week but could support a dependent wife/family pay a mortgage/or rent and live reasonably comfortably. Suddenly the Saudis stopped oil production and as most countries had little or no reserves the place went dry.....almost. I remember that petrol shot up to ten bob a galleon. Imagine the effect if you brought that figure/price onto today's market. The UK figures were similar in the USA. I went to work there in Chicago and a limit of 2 galleons was put on every car. Men were guarding pumps with shotties and long lines were around the block. The average family man suffered mostly.
Now just why are there so many Jensen's under the tarp or in the fields. Considor that in 72/73 no one wanted 8 or indeed eventually 6 pots. The Jap market exploded with high revving "sewing machines". ALL 8 pot cars were left to rot and this included AM's, Ferraris etc. They did sell down the food chain into back yard mechanics and like many hobos/tramps in the great depression never recovered and were literally unsaleable. However unlike Jensen,the AM, Ferraris began to recover price wise as new owners realised they could have the car of their dreams at a silly price and they could afford to maintain them. On the other hand Jensen's were never considored a real gentleman's car or indeed a classic. And as we know they did rust......a lot. Prices for AM's/Ferraris etc continued upwards throughout the '70's and really took off in the mid eighties. I remember attending a car auction in early 80's Australia where an AM DB5 in reasonable condition went for $16K. The reserve.
Jensen's were thin on the ground then in nice condition. They had all gone down market to the aspiring home mechanic who may have chewed his toe nails. All the Jensen's that Rocky and others see abandoned are a left over and resto will never be an option.
It is almost impossible now in Australia to find a project. In fact very few cars are ever placed on the market. A sparkling S3 can be obtained for around 75-100 K Aud roughly half the price of similar cars in GB. They are a lot of car for the low prices. Auction prices distort the market and sometimes ebay Kenny38 8)
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by DPP » Tue Jan 29, 2019 6:02 pm

I think Steve is right on why they were neglected but the reason why there are so many cars in bad condition is because once they became a problem the owners parked them up and bought something else.

But unlike the average working man these owners did not need the scrap money and had somewhere to keep them.

Many mass production cars of this era have all but dissapeared because the cars were scrapped, Jensens however remain in healthy numbers.
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by AH1951 » Wed Jan 30, 2019 1:43 am

I think there were more than a few owners who let their Jensen rot away, unable to fix it up themselves, as they could not contemplate someone else buying it at a fair price, restoring it and perhaps making a little money out of it!
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by Martin R » Wed Jan 30, 2019 4:37 am

Just look at the many 40+ year old luxury cars of many other makes; as Steve said, they were not cost effective to keep on the road.
Imagine in 1985, being faced with buying a £2000 Ford Fiesta, or, you could buy a 10 year old Jensen Interceptor for much less money.
I'm sure a number of people did this, drove the Interceptor for a few months or a year, didn't bother with servicing it, just put in petrol and enjoyed the ride.
Go through a few more owners and the cars really start to die.
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by cannonball » Wed Jan 30, 2019 1:20 pm

kenny38 wrote:Like possibly many opf you I was right in the middle of the '73 oil crisis. Petrol in UK was around 2/6 a galleon but considering that a man earned around 12 pounds a week but could support a dependent wife/family pay a mortgage/or rent and live reasonably comfortably. Suddenly the Saudis stopped oil production and as most countries had little or no reserves the place went dry.....almost. I remember that petrol shot up to ten bob a galleon. Imagine the effect if you brought that figure/price onto today's market. The UK figures were similar in the USA. I went to work there in Chicago and a limit of 2 galleons was put on every car. Men were guarding pumps with shotties and long lines were around the block. The average family man suffered mostly.
Now just why are there so many Jensen's under the tarp or in the fields. Considor that in 72/73 no one wanted 8 or indeed eventually 6 pots. The Jap market exploded with high revving "sewing machines". ALL 8 pot cars were left to rot and this included AM's, Ferraris etc. They did sell down the food chain into back yard mechanics and like many hobos/tramps in the great depression never recovered and were literally unsaleable. However unlike Jensen,the AM, Ferraris began to recover price wise as new owners realised they could have the car of their dreams at a silly price and they could afford to maintain them. On the other hand Jensen's were never considored a real gentleman's car or indeed a classic. And as we know they did rust......a lot. Prices for AM's/Ferraris etc continued upwards throughout the '70's and really took off in the mid eighties. I remember attending a car auction in early 80's Australia where an AM DB5 in reasonable condition went for $16K. The reserve.
Jensen's were thin on the ground then in nice condition. They had all gone down market to the aspiring home mechanic who may have chewed his toe nails. All the Jensen's that Rocky and others see abandoned are a left over and resto will never be an option.
It is almost impossible now in Australia to find a project. In fact very few cars are ever placed on the market. A sparkling S3 can be obtained for around 75-100 K Aud roughly half the price of similar cars in GB. They are a lot of car for the low prices. Auction prices distort the market and sometimes ebay Kenny38 8)



Kenny you are about right, but i must pull you on this aspiring home mechanis chewing his own toe nails, do you not think this is also the practice of well educated eton goers people of breeding and family money pouring from there arsholes i can vouch many of those types run around with the sweatiest of ring pieces, and raw onions for deodorants etc dont just tarnish the average man with that idea, :shock: :wink: :wink: :wink:
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by RockyUSA » Wed Jan 30, 2019 1:54 pm

Like Kenny himself, perhaps?

(The Eton-goer part, with money pouring out of.....)
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by colin7673 » Wed Jan 30, 2019 4:00 pm

There are, more than likely, more in the past that could not afford to repair these cars and as Martin said just done what was needed to keep it going until it failed an MOT, but there those around that have a car in the garage and for some reason, just hasn't taken it out again.
A few years ago, I was lucky enough to be on a photo shoot with Lenny Bolton and the Late John Bell, all the cars were lined up in front of big black old farmyard doors near Duxford, when a gentleman across the road came over to see what was going on, after some chatting, he then proclaimed to own a Jensen Interceptor and then showed the car to us, when asked why he hasn't used it for so long, the answer was straight and I think true.. 'I parked in there after a good day out and just couldn't be bothered to use it again' and there it still sits to this day, perfect lines untouched and unloved.

I also know the whereabouts of a MK111 FF, this has been totally restored, by Cropedy and resprayed the colour of Jack Nicholson golfing jumper, an absolutely beautiful car, but just sits in a hallway, ( seriously ) with a couple of other cars unused. This man also has the Earls Court Lorry again doing nothing

Why people do this is beyond me. It maybe because of both these people don't need the money
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by felixkk » Wed Jan 30, 2019 8:04 pm

kenny38 wrote:On the other hand Jensen's were never considored a real gentleman's car or indeed a classic.

I don‘t know if that is true, I doubt it. Edgar Schwyn, the Swiss importer, once said that the Interceptor was the weekend car for the man who was chauffeured around during the week, which I admit may have been a bit of an exaggeration.

And if you look at how many have survived, you could argue that it just isn‘t true that so many were neglected. Many owners looked after their cars and kept them and in many cases used them over decades. Maybe they patched them up in a way we wouldn‘t do so today, but they were kept and they survived.
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by RockyUSA » Wed Jan 30, 2019 11:48 pm

I am sensing a disconnect here between cars certainly in Switzerland and in the USA.

Here's my list from 2016, when I was searching... As I look at this list, I see about 50% of the cars in a state of disrepair, and I know there are a few more that I found / heard of / saw that I never put on this list because I wouldn't consider them (The one with no steering rack in FL, the one on Tucson Craigslist that was totally beat from sitting in the sun...).

Anyway - It seems that the European Experience may be somewhat more conducive to sustaining your cars properly.

In America, with no MOT (except in some states, like TX) to keep these running, it shouldn't be that hard, it's just a big Chrysler... except for the rust factor.

Anyway - interesting responses - thanks to all who contributed...
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by cannonball » Wed Jan 30, 2019 11:57 pm

8) 8)
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by kenny38 » Thu Jan 31, 2019 2:28 am

Re Eton. Never! Sec modern in east london where they taught machine gun use and cage fighting. I think Martin R. was school captain at one time. Sorry about the average man chewing his.......etc. Absolutely correct that many enthusiasts prefer doing own work.
Regrettably 30 years ago when i bought my then shite heap I had a sucession of home mechanics "who does fantastic work" who didn't do the jobs properly so ever since i have always used pros. I think though most home mechanics will be biting their finger nails which is a revolting habit. Many owners of excellent restored cars as described are a bit like art collectors and prefer to just look and have the thrill (?) of ownership. Trust you are well,Duncan and doing plenty of quality profitable work.
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