Richard Fischer's SP

Richard Fischer - SP
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zacmarshall
Posts: 4950
Joined: Mon Oct 17, 2005 4:22 pm
Location: Bristol, UK

Richard Fischer's SP

Post by zacmarshall »

Jensen SP NDC 3L owned by Thames Valley member Richard Fischer
First Registered 2/5/1973
Chassis No 138/8505
Engine No 3C10489
Original Colour Yellow

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This is what Richard has to say about his SP, that's him with his car above.

My interest in Jensens started in 1966 at the age of 16, when I saw an article about the new Jensen Interceptor and FF.

I have always been interested in cars and my first car was a MGB. After a couple of years I wanted something faster and considered the Jensen Healey against the Triumph TR6, deciding on the Jensen Healey on the basis of its performance and looks.

I drove the Jensen Healey from 1975 to 1985, covering many miles (24,000 in one year), but always hankered after an Interceptor. In 1983 I came into a small legacy and my wife encouraged me to look for an Interceptor. I looked at a number of cars, but they all had poor bodywork. Then I came across NDC 3L, which was a SP, had good bodywork and I loved the colour (Rolls Royce Forest Green). The car went like an express train under full throttle, but was hesitant to pick up at low throttle settings. I thought it would be simple to sort that out and so bought the car. Little did I know it would take me more than 15 years to get it running properly!

In the early years of my ownership, I was on a very limited budget and so set about fixing things as cheaply as possible. After extensive research I discovered that my engine should have had the following carburettors: 6405A front, 6404A centre, 6406A rear. It actually had list number 4672 on the front, which was actually a 1971 rear carburettor; a 4376 at the centre, which was a 1970 centre carburettor and a 6406 on the rear, which was a 1972 rear carburettor. Interesting to have a carburettor intended for the rear fitted in the front position. I was assured that it should be possible to get this combination working although I never did so, despite replacing the centre carburettor. For 5 years I used a Holley quad set up and although it behaved perfectly, I missed the induction roar when the outers open up on the six pack. So I bought a new set of outer carbs and refitted the six pack. This cured the problem and the engine now runs perfectly at any throttle setting, idles smoothly and goes like an express train under a heavy right foot.

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Six Pack in all its glory, plus modern air conditioning compressor

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In 1995, I had a full body restoration carried out and it has lasted pretty well. I look after the mechanics myself and have fixed or replaced many parts. Since I use the car a lot, I have made a number of modifications, some to increase reliability and some to enhance the driving experience, which I list below:
Auxiliary fuel pump fitted to reduce starter churn after a week or two’s disuse
Oil cooler to help prevent overheating
Aluminium inlet manifold and thermal spacers fitted to keep carbs cooler
Recored radiator and high capacity cooling fans to prevent overheating
Electronic heater control
Aircon compressor uprated
Headlamps uprated and relay fitted to protect switch
Lights on warning buzzer added
Exhaust manifolds replaced with headers
Cruise control fitted

So apart from the above it is a pretty original car with the original engine and interior and the only panels to have been replaced are the front and back apron.

After retiring in 2011, I have been able to go on a number of tours, including the Dutch, German and Swiss events. All were great fun and it is nice to see some of the European cars and their owners. I have also been up a couple of hill climbs.

The most recent tour was to Scotland at the end of May 2021 where we covered 2300 miles in conditions varying from sun, to hail, to snow and rain. It was absolutely fantastic with empty toads, magnificent scenery and the opportunity to drive pretty fast at times.

I find the car easy to drive, be it cruising at 110 mph on the German motorways, inching along in traffic or under full throttle acceleration from rest. The cruise control is magic for long motorway stints. One of the most enjoyable experiences was the drive up and down a couple of passes in Switzerland along with other like minded Jensen owners, despite having to get up at 5.30 in the morning to avoid other road users. Watching the sun come up over the mountains at the top of a pass at dawn was magic. However, when I got back to the hotel copious amounts of smoke were coming from the back brakes. Since then I have fitted new rear discs and pads.

I have found the car remarkably reliable and have not ever broken down on the road after 38 years of ownership, during only one of which it was off the road. However, on one occasion the engine was running very rich, it was really difficult to get it to accelerate at all and the trip back from Wales seemed never ending. Fortunately, we did make it home and I subsequently found out that the float locking nut on the front carb had come loose and the engine was continually pumping fuel through the float chamber and into the engine. Fuel consumption on that occasion was well below 10 mpg!

There is a general belief that SPs require frequent tuning. In my experience this is not the case and I have not adjusted the distributor timing or carburettors for over 5 years. The engine is running as smoothly and well as it was 5 years ago. I suspect that it is warped carburettors that necessitate the need for constant tuning and if you can keep them cool and warp free they almost never require adjustment. However, they almost certainly will warp if precautions are not taken to reduce the heat soak into the carburettors when the engine is turned off or when stuck in traffic.

For information the red Jensen Healey in some of the pictures below is my son Adam’s car.



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International Weekend 2017

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International Weekend 2017

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International Weekend 2017

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Prescott Hill Climb 2020 

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A comfortable place to sit when covering large distances

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Oil Cooler take off from the oil filter via a sandwich plate

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Additional Cruise Control Stalk on the left

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Auxiliary Fuel Pump

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Dutch Trip 2018

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Dutch Trip 2018 waiting for canal bridge to open

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Top of the Grimsel Pass, Switzerland 2018

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Scotland 2021

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John O’Groats Scotland 2021
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....
JOC Member No. 5061
David Davies
Posts: 86
Joined: Sun Dec 29, 2019 6:24 pm

Re: Richard Fischer's SP

Post by David Davies »

A great article. Exactly what we need for Cars of the Month. All very interesting to those of us not familiar with the mysteries of the SP. I bet it really goes! Not seen that colour before, looks super. Article should also be in the magazine for all the non-Forum members.
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RockyUSA
Posts: 1237
Joined: Sun Jul 03, 2016 10:10 am
Location: Tucson, Arizona, USA

Re: Richard Fischer's SP

Post by RockyUSA »

Very cool.

Thanks for submitting & posting!

Rocky
‘71 TVR Vixen 2500 - (M Series Tribute)
'72 Interceptor III - 133/5597
'73 DeTomaso Pantera
'74 Toyota Land Cruiser FJ-40
'95 Jaguar XJS Convertible
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Martin R
Posts: 5308
Joined: Sun Jul 16, 2006 11:04 pm
Location: Chipping Norton, & Sydney Australia

Re: Richard Fischer's SP

Post by Martin R »

Terrific Richard! Thank you for sharing your long term ownership experience. 8)
FF MK1 119/100
Interceptor MK3 136/8514
JOC Member 8905
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Grant
Posts: 4504
Joined: Tue Nov 30, 2010 1:11 pm
Location: surrey

Re: Richard Fischer's SP

Post by Grant »

Brilliant Read, thank you RichardImage. I did come over and talk to you once at a general classic car show down the A3 or M3 somewhere once, it was at an air field down that way somewhere, probably 6 or 7 years ago now, you were sitting in a deck chair and we talked about your carbs and the issues you had previously had, Lovely Car you have there and a bonus it being an SPImage..It sounds like you have really enjoyed your past with the car..so, maybe time to sell it to me nowImage..Please send the details via PM and we can get the transaction sorted out immediatelyImage, thank you very much..with my kind regards..GrantImage
Thank you for taking the time to get this posted up RichardImage
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jvcarrier
Posts: 593
Joined: Sat Feb 07, 2009 1:20 pm
Location: The Shires

Re: Richard Fischer's SP

Post by jvcarrier »

Very interesting, I was intrigued by the SU pump does anyone know if it is in series with the mechanical pump or in parallel?
Presumably wired on a manual switch so that it is only on when priming?

Great article and nice to see a SP that has stood the test of time.

Regards

John
KaranMK2
Posts: 517
Joined: Fri Apr 21, 2017 7:51 am
Location: Milton Keynes

Re: Richard Fischer's SP

Post by KaranMK2 »

Hi John,

I followed Richard and installed the said pump on Raj’s Mark 1 interceptor. It is wired in parallel and is time energised via the oil sensor switch on initial switch on. The sensor energises the coil of a relay with the feed to the pump via a fused fed live. This is on only for a few seconds and is indicated by the oil light in the car. Once the light is extinguished the car is started. There is a detailed article by Richard of his installation in the magazine of a few months ago.

Kind regards
Karan
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Richard_2
Posts: 60
Joined: Thu Mar 01, 2012 7:08 pm

Re: Richard Fischer's SP

Post by Richard_2 »

Hi John,

Yes I wrote an article with detailed information and it is in issue 274 with a number of pictures.
Richard Fischer
Jensen SP
zacmarshall
Posts: 4950
Joined: Mon Oct 17, 2005 4:22 pm
Location: Bristol, UK

Re: Richard Fischer's SP

Post by zacmarshall »

Don't forget the magazines are also on-line :-)
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....
JOC Member No. 5061
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Trevithick
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Joined: Thu Jun 09, 2011 6:47 pm
Location: Wild West Cornwall
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Re: Richard Fischer's SP

Post by Trevithick »

Great article, I agree that a well set up SP is a trouble free and powerful beast to live with.
I must fit cruise control to mine whilst it’s having a rest.
Cheers
SP 131/4980.
Back soon.
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