First Oppo Post: The $380 Jensen From the Isle of Long (Previously on BringATrailer) Part 1

(May 7, 2015)

Hi Oppo! Even though I wrote this, and the subsequent articles quite awhile back, I figured I would post them here for you to enjoy. So please do, and let me know what you think. Thanks!

(July 14 2014)

Dear BaT,

I look on eBay occasionally for Jensens just to get an idea of how much my grandfather’s car is worth. One night, while searching to see what was out there, I found the rustbucket that you see here, in Bellport, Long Island. After researching the parts that looked good in the pictures, I figured that there were enough salvageable parts on the car to make a little bit of money on it so I put in my bid and remained the high bidder until the close of the auction. I saw the car on BaT after I sent a picture of the car to my friend and he told me that he saw it there. I hadn’t visited the site in awhile so I missed it when it was first posted. For the past few years, I’ve tried to convince my grandfather to just let me get his car out of the garage and running, whether he sold it to me or not. The answer was always (in one form or another) “we’ll see”. I guess he never really thought that I was serious about restoring the Jensen until I showed him that I had bought this car. I now have one Jensen to part out and another to get running.

Advertisement

Since I was about 5 (when I first took the cover off to gawk at it) I have been trying to convince my grandfather to let me restore his 1973 Interceptor to driving condition. As I got older (I am 16 now) I learned more and more about the car; how it was an all original California car that ran when it was parked in 1989, how my grandfather had the transmission rebuilt right before he parked it, how it only had 33,000 miles on the clock, and what he believed to be the original tires. The car still actually has the temporary plate from 1989 hanging from the rear window. The only cosmetic flaws on the car are on the two front seats, the leather has split at the seams on both of them, but only in one place, in the same place which I find kind of odd. The chrome is flawless, the wheels don’t have a single nick on them and there is ABSOLUTELY no rust on the car whatsoever (which is rare for a chromium crisis era car).

Back to the story; I won the car and arrived at Chris’ house at a few minutes to 2pm, on World Cup Sunday and immediately realized that the recovery of the car was going to be a lot harder than I thought, as only one tire held air and the rest were pretty much sunk into the ground. There was also a small tree that had made itself at home growing up through the drivers side footwell.

Advertisement

With the help of my father, I chained the car to the trailer and yanked it to an angle where we could approach it with the trailer and try to winch it up. About two minutes (and about four feet later) the fuse for the trailer battery blew, and we had nothing to replace it with. For the next five and a bit hours, YES FIVE, we pulled it up inch by inch with tie downs, but not normal rachet straps, these big metal chains that are normally used to tie down an excavator or scissorlift. A major note to self to bring a come-along next time was made after this escapade.

Advertisement

Once the car was about halfway up on the trailer, the flywheel got hung up on the lip of the trailer, so it had to be jacked up in such a manner that it would fall to the correct side because the steering was locked (no key) and it was crabbing off of the ramps on the front wheels. Once we got it past this point, I disconnected the trailer and we lowered it and were able to get the car’s front wheels all the way on the trailer.

Advertisement

I figured that if we hooked back up to the truck (we unhitched it to lift the front end up and decrease the approach angle), and drove forward and slammed on the brakes it would move forward. It didn’t, so we put two load huggers in place of the chains and me and my dad racheted it forward at the same time. The trailer was now back on the truck and angled downhill thanks to the driveway so this worked well (after one strap broke). Oh and one of the times it fell off the jack, the battery came crashing through the floor.

Advertisement

There were some nice hidden surprises inside the trunk though, like the fully intact brake lights, and chrome exhaust tips. The rear bumper looked to be in good condition, and the glass was in perfect shape all around.

Advertisement

The tan Interceptor is The seller’s beautiful driver condition S3.

Advertisement

Driving through Port Jeff to the ferry (I’m from Connecticut), I swear the thing drew more of a crowd than most of the supercars I’ve seen there.

Advertisement

Nothing major flew off the car on the way back, so it made it home in one piece (if you could even call it that). If anyone would like to email me with their parts needs, they can contact me. Not sure about what I want to do with the shell once I’m done stripping it. I’m thinking dropping the body onto an old 2wd diesel truck and having a diesel rat rod. Think welderup but with a Jensen. Thanks again,

John H.
Connecticut”

Share This Story

Get our newsletter