1952 Jensen Interceptor for $750

1952-jensen-interceptor-project

Update 11/28/14 – Looks like someone scooped this one up cheap and is attempting to flip it here on eBay for $8,500 obo. Wow!

From 9/2/14 – When most of us hear “Jensen Interceptor” we probably think of the Chrysler powered GTs that were built in the sixties and seventies, but he model designation was actually first used by Jensen in 1950. Only 88 of the first generation cars were ever built though so very few of us have actually ever seen one. This particular car is currently in pieces, but the rarity and uniqueness make it tempting. Oh, and the price doesn’t hurt either. Find it here on craigslist in Albuquerque, New Mexico for $750. Thanks for the tip Mike R!

jensen-interceptor-body

We first heard about these cars when we featured one of our readers, Han’s, own Interceptor project. It was rough too, but this one is worse. The seller lists the car as a body only. What the heck happened? The first photo shows the car as a rolling project, but the other photos show the aluminum body sitting on the ground. The seller mentions the lengthened Austin chassis, but doesn’t specify if it is still under there or not. They do mention bullet holes and patina though…

jensen-interceptor-hood

The original engine was a big inline-six from an Austin Shoreline so hopefully it is still in there or in a box somewhere because it might be hard to find a replacement. The seller states that it could make a good rat rod project, but with so few of these built that seems a terrible thing to do. Then again, Briggs Cunningham ordered a brand new one from the factory with a Hemi so it might be fun to build something similar? Supposedly, it could hit 140mph!

jensen-interceptor-body-rear

The ad has been online for a month now so it might have already sold. If it hasn’t though, I really hope the right person sees this and is able to save the car. I even considered taking the project on myself, but then reality set in and I realized that my skills and bank account probably aren’t up to the task. So, any takers?

Update: Here are some of the photos from the auction listing for reference.

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Comments

  1. artinoz

    This Interceptor was built on a modified Austin A70 chassis. My reference book (The Jensen Healy Stories Peter Browning and John Blunsden) states “The low line of the car was achieved by raising the ends of the Austin A70 chassis ,upon which the body was built thereby enabling the box section centre portion with the cruciform bracing to be kept as low as possible” The engine was a 4 litre from the Austin Sheerline and the early Interceptor was fitted with a single carburettor. The drive was through an Austin 4 speed and the later models were fitted with a Laycock overdrive. Top speed is said to be 102MPH.
    This car was a scaled up version of the Austin A40 Sports which Jensen also built.

  2. Mark E

    So we have Briggs Cunningham to thank for the idea that Jensen Interceptors should have large American engines stuffed into them? Interesting…

  3. junkman Member

    What a shame

  4. waynard

    Car is still available as of this morning.

  5. Robert J

    What a fascinating relic this is. If only it came with the glass…then I would be in a heap of trouble with the SO.

  6. Han Kamp

    Three or four years ago I contacted the owner and he told me he would fit the body to a BMW 7 series chassis…… Apparently this never happened. I hope the chassis and drivetrain have not been scrapped, since there were only 3 left hand drive (of 88 in total) cars ever built. I think this is one of those 3. Such a shame it this one would be scrapped. I’ll contact some of my Jensen friends in the UK, Belgium, Germany and Holland to see if one of them may be interested in saving this body and hopefully the drivetrain.

  7. Wiley Robinson

    It’s pretty hard to understand from all this what you get for $750. Looks like you might only get the body and none of the other stuff.

  8. Joerg

    Sorry guys, but Briggs Cunningham never ordered one. It was a Canadian rally driver ( Chuck Stockey) who ordered an early Interceptor at the Jensen factory. He supplied the 331 Chrysler Hemi that he bought in 1954 from the remaining of the closed down Cunningham West Palm Beach factory. He kept the car for less than a year and sold it to a close friend, who kept it all it’s live. After standing 7 years on the road side ( the son didn’t want the car ) with a for sale sign it went into the hands of Len Drake.
    I bought the only ever factory build Jensen with a Hemi from him 4 years ago. INT 363464 is now in Germany and at good health – it really goes 130 mph ( and we have no speed limit on the Autobahn :-)

    Joerg

    • Jesse Staff

      Thanks for clearing that up Joerg. There is a lot of information online about the Cunningham car, but that doesn’t mean it is all true. We would all love to see a photo of your car!

  9. waynard

    I just spoke with the owner of this car.

    His description of what happened on this: frame, door jambs, etc. completely collapsed from rot when put on trailer.There are no floors, no chassis, no running gear of any kind. They took all rotted materials to the crusher.

    Here’s what he has that he would be willing to sell with the body for $1000.00 TOTAL: windshield frame, dashboard with instruments, hubcaps,wheels, engine(!), steering gear.

    The trans w/ overdrive and the rear end were stolen from his storage yard.

    He’s a very pleasant fellow with a good amount of knowledge on cars in general and is willing to talk to anybody who has interest. I will be meeting him next week to look at this car, after I return from vacation.

    Han Kamp: he remembers you and appreciates your input.

  10. Brian

    Yet another example of a project car that was torn apart and then abandoned, making it next to impossible to know what parts are there and what’s missing. Anybody whose ever gotten themselves into one of these messes knows what a headache it is to try to put back together. Most sellers idea of cataloging the removed part is by throwing pieces into coffee cans because most have never restored anything before and have no idea what they’re getting into! The moral of the story is – if you don’t have a solid and realistic restoration plan that includes how your going to bank roll it, DON’T tear the car apart! Doing so is like a death sentence for 95% of such cars, because when the owner throws in the towel, he can’t sell the collection of part that once was a car to anyone but someone needed a parts car or the junk man, neither of which are going to pay much for it.

    This is too rare an example of car to be in this state. Hopefully, someone whose into Jensens will step up, use their knowedge and parts resources to bring it back, but it’s fairly unlikely to happen. Next best thing is someone takes a shine to it’s looks and street rods it – not ideal but better than the crusher!

  11. Jim Potter

    I just happen to have a 331 hemi that would work well in a clone of this car. Looks like it would be an interesting project. Hmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm

  12. Han Kamp

    Good to see that Joerg is on this site too! Jesse was asking for photo’s of the 331 Hemi powered Jensen Interceptor, well better yet, check YouTube where you will be able to see and hear it….

  13. gunningbar

    Agree with all above….even a partial “rescue “(rat rod) is better than the crusher…..BTW…upon moving to CT at age 11 (1959) one of the first things I discovered was an aircraft hanger in a nearby field…..housing Briggs Cunninghams car collection! The buildings are still there but the cars went to CA in 1962 (?).

  14. Han Kamp

    May I humbly suggest that you have a look at a 9 min.film that I made during the Dutch club’s 30th anniversary rally? You’ll see Jensen Healeys MK I and II, Interceptor MK I, II and III, Convertibles and FF’s, as well as 541’s, C-V8’s and two Early Interceptor convertibles. Even a Jensen S-V8…. Sadly there was no Jensen GT present then. I was driving the burgundy FF (4×4) that you can see parked while filming.
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UUnw5NLAsGE

    Hoping the link works :-))

    Like 1
  15. Eli

    My dad had the convertible version of the above car. It was a 1953. I was a kid at the time (over 30 years ago). It was all there but needed restoration. Aluminum body with an Austin Engine. It looked like a blown up Austin Healey. He sent the car out to PA to be restored where an unscrupulous repair shop stole the car from him. At the time it was the only known example in this country. I’m still not sure what the value of these cars are today as there are so few of them in the US.

  16. rancho bella

    If I see the term “rat rod” one more time………I’m going postal……………..
    Note to users of that term……………it was in……. twenty years ago…………….
    As for the car, it should return home and have a proper English restoration.

    • Ed

      Totally agree. Bought a 74 Beatle that was painted over with black spray paint. Hours of wet sanding to get to the original paint. Seller said it was a “rat rod”.

  17. Dan H

    I had the fortunate ( or unfortunate) task of re-assembling two early ’70’s MarkIII convertibles. Sorting out that Lucas wiring was a maddening experience, even with full wiring schematics. This car really needs to go to a Jensen specialist. Otherwise, it will inevitably be recycled into Coke cans.

  18. Han Kamp

    Jensen historian Richard Calver (www.richardcalver.com) thinks the body may be the remains of chassis# INT23. The seller should be able to confirm this by checking the plate attached to the firewall. There is a fair chance that the panels may be rescued and stored for parts as the Australian owner of INT22 (convertible) is in the US and may go for it.
    Should he succeed then at least the panels will not be lost.

    • Brian

      That sounds ideal. I hope it can be put to good use by someone in the know and not be sent to china as a cube!

  19. Larry

    located on Ebay for $8500 obo .

  20. jim s

    just a little bit of a markup in this flip!

  21. Eli

    I’m curious as there are so few of these cars around even worldwide. Are they really worth very much in even decent shape? When cars are not all that popular when new, generally speaking they are not that valuable when the years roll by and they become “classics”. Anyone have a clue to their values?

  22. Koen Eyckermans

    Hello I bought this body and it is now in Belgium.
    Car: INT233452
    ID10I95

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