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May 2017

Ed Cosman's Interceptor III

Keeping an Interceptor in the family

by zacmarshall » Sun Jul 02, 2017 5:31 pm

This is Ed's Interceptor III, bought by his father new at his suggestion.

1972 Interceptor III 133/5585, purchased new by his father in May or June 1972 from Road and Track Motors in Inwood, NY, USA.
Original color Brasilia with Tan interior and vinyl roof. Approximately 60,000 miles on the odometer.

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This is what Ed had to say about the car

I discovered the Jensen Interceptor while going to college in Southern California. At the time, my father was talking about replacing his '66 Olds Toronado so when my parents came for a visit, I took them to the Peter Satori showroom in Pasadena to show him the car. It was love at first sight, and so shortly after I returned home we took a trip to Road and Track Motors in Inwood, NY. Two cars were available: a Silver with Black Interceptor II and the Brasilia with Tan Interceptor III. Although the color of the former was more to his taste, the new interior of the Mk III won him over especially since we both liked Tan better than Black.

I think it became his all time favorite car. You couldn't accelerate from a stop without squealing tires (a sticky accelerator cable, which I replaced when the car became mine) and its bottomless power on the highway was thrilling. He got the car up to 130 on a lonely interstate one time and even though there was still more play in the pedal, he slowed down because of a noise coming from the rear. (It was my mother...)

Eventually his business in Florida required my parents to relocate and the Jensen, always ready to overheat in even a temperate climate, there found the perfect environment to do so continuously. Anemic air conditioning also did not help its cause and so it was dispatched back to New York (not without further incidents on the way) and given to me.

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First order of business was the aforementioned sticky cable, and second was to replace the horrible secondary market tires my father had installed with a set of Pirelli Cinturato P6s. Since I knew nothing about anything, my entreaties to him about the tires had fallen on deaf ears. I handed him the keys when he was back for a visit and he returned exclaiming "It's a totally different car with those tires!" Sigh. No doubt a familiar story for many readers.

Next item to be tackled was the UPS brown color which I always disliked. The car was stripped and primed in '92 but the shop closed and I put the car in storage. My own move to Florida precluded paying any attention to the Jensen for some time. I returned from Florida some time ago but to New York City rather than my Long Island origins and had no need of a vehicle. Sale of the land (and barn) where the car was stored early this year forced me to finally do something. After much research, I settled on a shop in New Jersey that only does restorations and performance upgrades (no collision work or run-of-the-mill mechanical repairs) which was the perfect combination for the Jensen. The two young partners (one panel beater, one gearhead) were enthusiastic about taking on the project and we are currently working on a game plan for the car's rebirth. The body work is straightforward but the mechanical upgrades/modernization have to be done balancing originality with drivability, a conundrum I'm sure every current Jensen owner has faced.

Here is the game plan on the car at the moment. It is a very solid car with only a small amount of rust in the usual rocker panel places and some minor surface rust where the primer was a bit too thin to stand up to 25 years of storage. It's never been hit (or caught on fire lol) and the interior just needs a bit of rehydration to be perfect (there's almost no wear and the leather is still reasonably pliable.) So it needs a frame-on restoration and mechanical (or maniacal) modifications/modernization. The Body half of the team wants to take it down to bare metal and redo whatever repairs have been done to rusted out areas himself (not that much of it, but he wants to know that it's his work as he will warranty the paint for the life of the car.) They work with an interior shop that they say does miracles with rejuvenating otherwise perfect interiors like mine.

The big job is upgrading the mechanicals to modern standards so that it won't overheat under a bright street light. I'm happy to see much discussion in the tech forums on various modifications. You would not find that in a Packard forum! Strict adherence to originality is apparently not of great concern in the Jensen world, thankfully. Since we are doing a color change, the engine has to come out anyway so rebuilding seems prudent. The Performance half of the team is recommending a top-end upgrade for more HP (the 0-60 times for these cars is not brilliant as everyone knows,) slipping in a fuel injection/electronic ignition kit where the carbs live now, ceramic coating the exhaust manifold, aluminum radiator with higher CFM fans, modern aluminum A/C unit, 100 amp alternator and installing the 17" wheels since 15" performance tires are no longer available. He also wants to do a new wire harness himself and possibly move the battery to the boot for less clutter up front (although I am not sanguine about the latter.) Any advice on the project will be most welcome!

It's a lot to do, but at the other end I think I will have one of the nicest Mk III's in the US.
C-V8 II 104/2146 CHJ 948B
ex FF II, Interceptor I, II and III, SP, GTs and Healeys. You might say I got the bug....
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by Arcnewal » Sun Jul 02, 2017 6:06 pm

I've been waiting for May's Car of The Month and it's been worth the wait. Hopefully that interior is salvageable, there's just something about an original interior that's so much better than any retrim.

Look forward to seeing more progress.
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by slotcarone » Tue Jul 04, 2017 1:05 am

My car is the same colors as Ed's. I get so many compliments on the brown color. Just looks right on these cars with the caramel colored top and interior.
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1972 Interceptor III
133-5612
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by RockyUSA » Tue Jul 04, 2017 5:50 pm

Welcome, Ed -

Look forward to seeing more pictures as the restoration proceeds!

Regards -

Rocky (a.k.a. Chuck)


Here's what my car (133-5597) looked like in the year 2000.... That's the Previous Owner's dad stripping away...

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'72 Interceptor III - 133/5597
'73 DeTomaso Pantera
'74 Toyota Land Cruiser FJ-40
'95 Jaguar XJS Convertible
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by zacmarshall » Tue Jul 04, 2017 8:27 pm

slotcarone wrote:My car is the same colors as Ed's. I get so many compliments on the brown color. Just looks right on these cars with the caramel colored top and interior.


Many cars in the UK were resprayed blue from brown, it's nice to see a car in the original 70's tastic colour.
C-V8 II 104/2146 CHJ 948B
ex FF II, Interceptor I, II and III, SP, GTs and Healeys. You might say I got the bug....
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by slotcarone » Tue Jul 25, 2017 5:16 am

I am thinking this car has the early High Performance 440 looking at the VIN. My car has it and has plenty of power. I would get it running correctly and then decide if any modifications are needed!
1972 Interceptor III
133-5612
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