Collecting Cars

1972 JENSEN INTERCEPTOR III - EX-JOHN BONHAM OF LED ZEPPELIN

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This 1972 Jensen Interceptor MK III is a highly original example of the stylish British grand tourer with ties to rock royalty that presents as a restoration project or collector’s piece. Under the bonnet is the Chrysler-made 7.2-litre V8 engine, which produced 280bhp when new and drives the rear wheels via a three-speed TorqueFlite automatic transmission. The odometer shows 66,284 miles from new.

First registered on 18 March 1972, this third-generation Jensen Interceptor was previously owned by the legendary Led Zeppelin drummer John Bonham. Bonham was a known car enthusiast, with his collection including Ford Model T hot rods, a Rolls-Royce and, of course, a Jensen Interceptor. Unfortunately, while much of this car’s past is a mystery, it is known that it was placed in storage after passing its MOT test in 2011 and has not been used since. It is now being offered for sale by the trade.

While this Interceptor’s bodywork is generally straight, there is corrosion present throughout, caused by it being stored in less than ideal conditions. The damage includes a large crack across the low portion of the bonnet, a rust patch on the nose where the Jensen badge one sat and corrosion covering the underside and both sills. Portions of the floors have also rusted through, as have the door shuts and the edges of the opening beneath the front bumper. Believed to be original, its blue paint is still present but flat and oxidised across the entire body, with various scratches and areas of bubbling visible in various places. The exterior trim is in reasonable shape, with the headlight lenses being clear and bright, and the chrome bumpers are still in place, showing few signs of damage.

The car rides on its original five-spoke 15-inch wheels, which are in good condition, but they are showing some general signs of corrosion across their surfaces and there is a small bend in the lip of the rear passenger-side item. Its wheels are fitted with Avon Turbospeed 70 tyres, in size 205/70 R15 on the front and 215/70 R15 on the rear. All four still hold air, but cracking is visible across their sidewalls.

Looking to the interior, tan leather covers the front and rear seats, as well as the door cards, and is in good condition; although, there is some general age-related wear, including cracking to the leather’s surface. The matching headlining is also smart, but it is sagging in places, particularly at the rear, where the supporting structure has succumbed to rust. The black dashboard and leather-covered steering wheel appear to be in good shape, as do the controls and gauges, all of which are still present.

Due to this Interceptor’s extended time spent in hibernation, it is not currently running, preventing its switches and electrical items from being tested by the seller. While the mechanical condition of the car is unknown, it is stated that it was placed in storage immediately after its last MOT test, which it passed on 4 October 2011 with 66,283 miles on the odometer. Only two advisory notices were issued, describing corrosion to the brake discs and the underside of the car, as well as previous repairs to the sills and floor area.

The seller will be supplying this Interceptor with all of its original papers; however, much of its service history has gone missing over the years.

This Jensen Interceptor III is an original and unrestored sports car that, in its day, combined sharp, European-influenced styling with the performance of a big-block American V8. Once owned by iconic Led Zeppelin drummer John Bonham, it has ties to one of the most widely celebrated rock bands in the world, and it would make an excellent restoration project for a dedicated enthusiast or professional restorer.

All cars and motorbikes on Collecting Cars are run through an online HPI check. This vehicle shows no insurance database markers for damage or theft, and has no finance owing.

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