Car & Classic Dealer

Dore & Rees

Dore & Rees, Auction Salerooms, Vicarage Street, Frome

BA11 1PU

1952 Jensen Interceptor Cabriolet For Sale by Auction

£45,000 Auction Estimate

Price £45,000Auction Estimate
Ad Type For Sale by Auction
Category Classic Cars
Make Jensen
Model Interceptor
Year 1952
Mileage 23 Miles
Country United Kingdom
Region Somerset
Status Trade
Ref C1381128

Registration Number: USK 657
Chassis Number: INT 18344Y
Recorded Mileage: c. 23, 900 miles

Exceptionally rare model with 8 known survivors
Very original example with low recorded mileage

The first generation of the “Interceptor” was launched in 1949 at the Earl’s Court Motor Show in London, with the saloon version entering production two years later. According to The Autocar, the new Interceptor, 'possesses that big-engined, high-gear charm of the past, but offers it in a modern guise.'

As with other specialist low volume luxury cars of the early post-war years, the new Jensen adopted a hand-built aluminium alloy body formed over a steel chassis with an ash frame. Longtime marque stylist Eric Neale penned the model, in closed coupe, sedanca and full cabriolet body styles. The chassis was an extended Austin A70 unit, the six-cylinder straight six engine and drivetrain derived from the Austin A125 Sheerline limousine. Suspension consisted of an independent coil-sprung front end with a live rear axle, while Girling hydraulic brakes were found at each corner..

The aluminium-bodied Interceptor joined the select band of genuine four-seaters capable of 100mph, keeping up with the likes of the Bentley R Type, Bristol 401 and Jaguar MK VII. The ride was comfortable and smooth, with more refinement up to higher speeds compared to its competitors, but just as much luxury.

Bearing in mind the nearest Bristol and Bentleys were at least if not more than three times the Interceptor’s price tag, the Jensen offered a top class driving experience whilst delivering exceptional value. Production continued through 1957. Jensen of course later reusing the name for a second-generation Interceptor which debuted in 1966. Interest in these early Jensen models has picked up in recent years, as enthusiasts have woken up to the hand-built qualities of these exceptionally rare early Grand Tourers.

One of just 32 Interceptor cabriolets produced (and just 8 surviving), chassis 18344 is a rare and well travelled survivor.

This super original Interceptor was was sold on 10th September 1952 via the specialist agent Brooklands Motors on London’s Bond Street, and assigned with the registration mark LUF 832. Finished in grey, it was purchased by a Mr. Dunmore of Norwich who kept the Jensen in his possession for a further 10 years. The next owner, a Mr. Gibson of Great Yarmouth, kept the car for a further 6 years, during which time changing the body colour to Cream. Records of road tax end in 1969 so we assumed the Jensen was exported outside of the UK at this point.

The history picks up around 1990 when a Mr. Mitchell from Sheffield, having owned a similar car earlier in his life, decided to relive his youth and to find another early Interceptor. The only suitable car was to be found on the other side of the world in Australia. So naturally Mr. Mitchell booked a flight and took off to Australia, buying this very car on the spot.

The Jensen was shipping back to the UK and into Mr. Mitchell’s ownership until the early 2000s, at which the current vendor acquired the car. The Jensen is exceptionally original, and with the exception of a colour change back to metallic Grey, appears not to have been restored. The convertible hood is, we believe, the original, as is the red leather interior which is in excellent condition with few signs of wear. The odometer reads just over 23, 000 miles, and whilst we cannot warrant this figure, it is in our view a believable reading. The aluminium coachwork is in very good order and the older repaint holds up very well. The Jensen starts and runs nicely.

Offered with original Buff log book and later 1990s V5, this is a very rare survivor in very original and unmolested condition. An interesting and stylish alternative to more obvious choices from the 1950s.

This car will be sold at auction with Dore & Rees in Frome, Somerset, on Saturday 2nd October. For more details contact the Motoring Department via the above details.

Estimate: £45, 000 - £55, 000
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