One Of 267: 1974 Jensen Interceptor Convertible

Jeff LaveryBy Jeff Lavery

You may recognize the familiar backdrop in these photos, as we’ve featured a few different cars from this seller of wrecked vintage exotics. This Jensen Interceptor convertible is one of a very few drop tops made and amazingly retains its Chrysler powerplant despite years of residing in the parts yard of our dreams. Find it here on eBay with a Buy-It-Now of $19,500. 

As you can see, damage is to the right front and right rear. It will require a talented bodyman to straighten that rear quarter panel out, and given how much the rear wheel is tweaked, determining if the frame was affected should be on any potential owner’s pre-purchase inspection checklist. The car looks surprisingly intact otherwise – even the top looks better than expected. The front bumper is a goner but the rear may be saveable.

This is my personal grievance with this seller: all of their cars seem to be missing at least one must-have component; in this case, a set of original bucket seats. Yes, I know they are also often missing engines or entire body panels (like the hood), but it’s the detail stuff like a set of Jensen Interceptor seats that will prove tricky to track down. The interior, again, appears very decent overall despite years of being off the road as a rusting hulk.

Underneath, the Jensen doesn’t appear rusty or molested, with an intact exhaust and seemingly complete rear end. Tires are quite old and will need replacement (duh), but with an indicated 35K miles on the odometer, this Chrysler-sourced V8 convertible should have many miles left – if the accident damage stays on the right side of cosmetic and doesn’t veer into the expensive territory of structural. What do you think – should it be saved?

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Comments

  1. JimmyJ

    Love these cars but the sellers on glue….

    14+

  2. Pa Tina

    100% Positive Feedback! From the SoCal Association of Scrap Metal Dealers.

    6+

  3. UK Paul

    Most parts are still available from the guys that bought Jensen.

    5+

  4. Sam

    I would find a nice heavy duty aluminum utility pole and start a car-kabob. Jensen could go first, Jag xks v12, Citroen SM, 90’s Land Rover disco, Pinto and a Yugo as the 🍒 on top.

    6+

    • ACZ

      Been done and it’s now gone.

      0

      • Sam

        I know, Berwyn Illinois. The U Pull n Pay junk yard in Indianapolis has a version as well. Some good lawn art for the car guy with everything would be a couple cars “cubed” as dice.

        0

  5. TriPowerVette

    Making the Jensen into a convertible solved the Jensen’s biggest problem.

    The rear treatment.
    Stylistically, the car looked as though the designers just started at the front and worked their way to the back, all the while drinking gin. By the time they needed an answer for the rear-quarter, they were blitzed.

    Sawing it all off and remaking it in canvas was definitely the solution.

    But, just as they had the end of their stylistic worries in sight, they hired someone from factory Jaguar to do the topwell. Since he was a British Leyland union worker, he did little or nothing to solve the problem of where to stow the retracted top, except drink the rest of their gin.

    In the end, the folded bonnets of the Jaguar and the Jensen Interceptor look identically ridiculous. They have all the appeal of a 1890’s handsome cab. The foolishness is all the more compounded by the fact that a non-union, private company, Hess and Eisenhardt, was able to solve the problem beautifully. It can be done.

    Nonetheless; a victory of sorts.

    Now, concerning the asking price… AAAAAAAaaaaaaaaaHHHHAAAAAAAAAAhhhhhhaaaaaaahhhhhhaaaaaahhhhhhhhhaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa! PFFT.

    17+

    • Moparman

      Did you mean “hansom” (hic! darn those tonic bubbles!) cab??? 🙂

      2+

      • TriPowerVette

        +Moparman – Thank you. I’m auditory, so even though my vocabulary has been tested in the upper 1 percentile, my spelling is frequently atrocious. I spell phonetically, but I get by with a little help from my friends (and editors).

        0

  6. TriPowerVette

    It’s not the ‘bonnet’. It is properly, the ‘hood’. Sorry. It appears I’ve been into the gin a little bit, myself.

    3+

    • Derek

      It is the bonnet; the hood is the roof-y bit…

      0

      • Pa Tina

        No. The hood is the bonnet, the trunk is the boot, and a drophead is a convertible.

        5+

      • TriPowerVette

        Two cultures at the peak of western civilization, separated by a common language.

        9+

  7. Mr. Bond

    Did you see the toe on that rear wheel? Yikes!

    2+

  8. Danger Dan

    The interceptor was intercepted

    6+

  9. Daniel

    Folks constantly followed us videoing. Lightest production car housing the 440 and as far as tourque, worth the price of admission.

    0

  10. Joe Haska

    I bought and sold several of these in the early eighties, if nothing else they can certainly start a conversation of opinions. The pros and cons list is long on both sides. I had them when they were relatively new and in good shape, and they could still be a giant pain in the a–! Example Chrysler drive train, Lucas electrical, a match made in hell. I don’t know current values, but I would definitely pass on this.

    4+

  11. michael streuly

    I knew a guy that had a jensen and it was crap. Never ran right always needed something fixed.

    1+

    • Robbert

      Not my experience. Loved this car ion every respect. Brakes were under speck my only negative comment.

      0

  12. Gary

    Yea the seller Smokes some good stuff!

    0

  13. Randy

    Fragile car, even when in good nick. Something always goes wrong and needs fixing.

    0

  14. Horse Radish

    If you cam see ANY good parts on it, then they have been sold.
    So what is the rest of it worth (without ANY good parts left) ?

    My guess is that this had been in the inventory some 30 years.

    The seller is Porsche Foreign Wrecking yard, in South East L.A., and the location says it all.
    You don’t want to break down anywhere near this neighborhood with sunset approaching !
    All I know is that the original owner was a gentleman named Rudi Klein who was buying these and other cars in the seventies when they were worth little more than scrap value. BUT he had the foresight like no other. He bought and hung on to the right stuff !!
    He passed away a couple of decades ago and the (2?) sons took over and have been selling stuff off over the last 3 decades and are approaching the bottom of the barrel….
    With their retirement closing in , who knows what will happen.
    There maybe another generation in the wings, which may insure these treasures being offered for long until most of us are gone….

    Another note:
    Most cars are photographed with that wall of 356 racks in the background, mind you, those are/were all real.
    You psycho-analyze that for a bit….

    3+

  15. D. King

    Good Lord–look at all those Porsches!!!

    0

  16. Clay Bryant

    Buy a $4,000 Jensen for parts and go to work…………

    0

  17. Tyler

    I had never even heard of these before seeing this one. Now I have to go read about them. Not particularly my cup of tea, but they look like they could have been fun cars. Thanks to Barn Finds for more enlightenment!

    0

  18. Robbert

    One of the best cars I have owned and driven. Well worth restoring. A beast on the road…brakes the only weak point.

    0

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