Nigel to the rescue!

Nigel McMorrin reflects on whether Jensen ownership can be compared to marriage.
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zacmarshall
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Nigel to the rescue!

Post by zacmarshall »

This is Nigel McMorrin's early mark 1 Interceptor, pictured on the Saturday of the launch of the new James Bond novel Solo.

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Due to the stipulations laid down by the publishers PR people we weren't allowed to have a standby car, so Paul couldn't warn the people he thought may be able to help with backup cars. When the Interceptor that Paul had borrowed broke down, he thought of Nigel's car and phoned him at 20 to 6 in the morning. Nigel agreed at once to bring the car to the Dorchester.

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This is what Nigel has to say about his ownership of the car:

I started my relationship with my Jensen Interceptor Mark I reg LOJ44F in September 2005. Whilst on the tube to London I was reading “In Gear” and I spotted an avert for said car. “One owner, 51,000 miles,” I decided to take a look at the car, but my knowledge mechanically of cars fluctuated between zero and very little.

However, since then I have progressed to tinkering and swapping parts successfully.

The Jensen looked bodily very good. The wheels had been painted silver as the chrome had disappeared. I bought the car. Days later the car arrived home and my wife had no idea what I had bought.

At this point I describe the Jensen and I like an old fashioned marriage. To this day I have never driver another Jensen, so I have no idea whether my one is a good drive or a comfortable drive. Other Jensen owners after a few years have got rid of one Jensen and then bought another one. That sounds expensive to me. Other owners have 2 or 3 on go at once. Not me, I’ve stayed faithful.

Within a very short time of driving the Jensen it was running very badly. I took it to Bob Harman Performance cars in Watford who specialises in American cars. Bob Harman came back to me with the bad news that a couple of valves had stuck due to the car not being driven for 12 years. He explained if he’s going to do the values he would need to split the engine apart, he suggested he may as well do an engine rebuild while he is at it. He noticed the radiator had a slight weep, so he had this reconditioned with extra bars put in for cooling, put hardened valves in for unleaded petrol, changed the carburettor for a Edelbrock as he said the original carbs weren’t very good when they were built and it wont have improved overtime.

After a large bill I got my car back. At that point I felt tempted to get rid of the car and my relationship was over. Having spent so much money I decided to move forward and try to enjoy the car. I was later recommended by somebody who races dragsters and knows American Engines and Classic cars to use Mick Pratt of M.P Autos in Watford.

In 2008 for my 50th birthday present my wife had my wheels chromed and that really set the Jensen off. Every year since then I have a little bit of work done on the car and this year I had power steering installed . As my Jensen is a very early one power steering was an optional extra which mine didn’t have. The only available one now is reconditioned mark III power steering. This was major work. When I bought the parts from Rejen Jason of Rejen said “a little bit of welding from a mechanic and it shouldn’t be too bad.” It took Mick 18 hours to fit it. Some of the things that had to be done where extend the track rods, move the radiator forward fractionally, create a double pulley, move an oil filter, make and weld brackets on the chassis for the power steering rack etc etc. All the way through this process Mick did not seem phased. When I asked him why he wasn’t phased he bought out various photo albums of hot rods, dragsters, a Cobra all vehicles had he had built over the years. I then realised it wasn’t a big deal to him. I enjoyed watching Mick and being his gofer for various pipes and belts. Power steering changed the car.

However, previously there was a sad day back in June 2008. My Jensen was parked in my garage. A driver on the phone swerved to miss an oncoming vehicle and drove through the back of my garage. It looked a sorry sight. It looked as if I’d driven into the garage wall at 10 miles an hour. The front was flat and the wings twisted. The Jensen was taken off to Colin of C H Autos and was duly repaired. My garage was totally rebuilt.

We’ve enjoyed many happy hours together (with my wife next to me). Most years we drive up to the Yorkshire Dales. I’ve been on two trips with the Club to the Classic Le Mans race. Several trips to France where it is a pleasure to drive the car. We attended a family wedding in the Cotswolds where the Jensen got as much attention from the photographer as the bride and groom, which was rather embarrassing. This summer we visited friends in Denmark and toured around. Many Danes stood beside her (not my wife) and had their photograph taken because the car carries the same surname as them. In September Lewi called me asking me to bring the car to the launch of the new Bond Book at the Dorchester as featured in the last edition. All of these trips the car has not missed a beat. I have driven the car 17,000 miles. Initially my wife enjoyed all the extra attention she thought she was getting, but soon realised it was the car that attracted all the attention.

This autumn I have split my double garage into 2 sections. I have lined the floor, walls, ceiling with insulation. Plastered it, painted it, and dare I say carpeted it. This will hopefully keep the moisture to a minimum and a stable temperature. As outside my garage is in a very damp area being surrounded by trees. This should keep my relationship going for longer with the Jensen and she may not loose her looks so quickly.

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Next year I am looking forward to Le Mans and a few more trips out.




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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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VFK44
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Re: Nigel to the rescue!

Post by VFK44 »

A heart-warming story Nigel.

If you have carpet on the floor, I hope you have some sort of dehumidifier. You can mount a small unit somewhere high up on the wall out of the way, or a unit on wheels that you can use elsewhere in the house in emergencies (overflowing bath??). Just make sure it works down to a low temperature as many stop working in unheated garages as a frost precaution.

If you run it on a timer or humidistat and have a way of routing the water out out, instead of collecting it in a tank, you can leave it running permanently. Once the room is dry, you probably won't need much extra drying over the following months.
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Grant
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Re: Nigel to the rescue!

Post by Grant »

What a lovely well written story Nigel.
I love your car :wink:
Can I buy it?? :mrgreen:
With my kind regards
Grant :)
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Kieron
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Re: Nigel to the rescue!

Post by Kieron »

Beautiful car !!!
1968 Interceptor Mk 1 115/3012
1971 FF MK 2 127/284
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