UK Market Car: 1969 Jensen Interceptor MK1

While most of the Jensen Interceptors we find stateside are the actual cars designated for U.S. sale, this barn find MK1 is an actual UK market vehicle, as its right hand drive steering configuration confirms. This is an early model, fitted with the Chrysler 383 engine for the short spell that it was offered, prior to the model opting for the more powerful 440. The seller notes the Jensen is a barn find he picked up some time back, but that he’s not going to have time to dive into as needed. The good news is it appears reasonably intact despite years of inactivity. Find it here on eBay with an asking price of $20,995 and the option to submit a best offer.

The MK1 Interceptor is an interesting specimen, as there are a few details collectors will gravitate towards. Now, firstly, the 383 was dropped after a short spell because Chrysler started selling de-tuned engines, dropping horsepower to 250 from the 270 or so this example likely has. But given it’s a European-market car, I’m curious if it makes a touch more power than what USDM models got. Now, owing to its age, this Interceptor likely predates the years that saw gray market examples needing to have crash bars installed in the doors and DOT-approved lighting, but since it’s an MK1, it does at least come with the prettier bumpers that don’t have overriders.

The seller notes some restoration work has already taken place inside the Jensen, as it sports new material on both door panels, both front seats, and upper portion of the rear seat. It’s always interesting to me when this work is done before the car even runs, as I’d want to be damn sure I had a runner before going through the hassle and expense of restoring the cabin. The seller notes the steering wheel, gauges, and switch gear are all original and in good working order. Carpets appear to be decent as well, and the dash isn’t cracked. The Jensen is located in Torrance, California, so while rust may not be as much of a threat, the sun roasting the interior certainly is – good to see it stopped with the paintwork.

The 383 is believed to be matching to the car, along with the 727 automatic transmission. The seller reports the Jensen hasn’t run while in his care, but that the engine does turn freely by hand. Mileage is indicated as being just under 86,000. The story behind how this right-hand drive Interceptor arrived stateside would be worth figuring out, and perhaps the original British number plate on the front bumper can help fill in some gaps. Whatever the history is, this Interceptor is a handsome project that looks quite complete and deserving of a proper restoration.

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Comments

  1. Jafo8778

    Someone has done some fiddling under the bonnet. Look at the air cleaner. I would guess the present owner couldnt get it running and would like to recoup some of their investment. Not worth 20k not being a runner.

    Like 6
  2. Martin Horrocks

    Non/running shouldn’t be a deal/breaker in the US, surely? It may affect price but would have thought RHD would be a bigger drag on the market.

    MK1 is desirable, more attractive than later models.

    Like 4
  3. Steve Clinton

    Afterward, will this Jensen ever be worth the cost of restoring?

    Like 1
  4. Larry D

    That back window is grotesque on those cars.

    Like 1
  5. t-bone BOB

    Item location:
    Torrance, California

  6. Pat Gill

    The work on the drivers seat base is very poor quality, probably done to make it look a lot better than it really is, RUST is the big killer with these, and remember it came from the UK, road salt everywhere for four monhs of the year, even when the temp is in plus figures!

    Like 1
  7. Howie Mueler

    Just a few miles from me. No hold down nut for the air cleaner, looks like the upper radiator hose was ripped out. This would be a CA DMV nightmare.

    Like 1
  8. That Guy

    If memory serves, the 383 in the Mk 1 is more powerful than the later 440. This is a rare car, true, and I always liked the Mk 1 interior. However, the rusty liftgate is almost nonexistent, and there are other areas that I think are hiding massive rust. Martin Robey in the UK remanufacture pretty much all the body panels so rebuilding it isn’t impossible, but it will be a huge and expensive job.

    Like 2
  9. Clive Roberts

    The owner would probably do better by shipping it back to the UK where he could get more for it (as is) and the rebuild costs would be a bit lower.

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