Cropredy Bridge Newsletter – Sept 13

Cropredy Bridge GarageNewsletter – Sept 2013

We have now confirmed the 2013 Open Day for the 21st September, between 10am – 4pm.

To celebrate Cropredy Bridge’s 41st Anniversary, you are invited to attend our annual Open Day.
Food and drinks will be provided whilst you are free to tour around our workshops to see all the Jensen cars currently being worked on.
We always get a strong turnout for this event and great support from the Jensen Owners Club (
Please feel free to bring your family, friends and dont forget your Jensen (if you own one).
See you all there on the day.  For directions please look on our website or call 01295 758159.

We keep FF-ing
A couple of important projects are keeping Cropredy Bridge very busy at the end of this summer: the Jensen FF we have been working on is coming along nicely, with new lacquered panels (we had to substitute virtually all of the original ones) and the original 6.3 Chrysler engine on steroids, thanks to a full rebuild and a suitable supercharger to give performance well above 400bhp. We think the four-wheel drive can take it. The custom coil-overs and all the restoration carried out will make sure that the driving experience will leave its owner – who is already a Jensen enthusiast and has a special Interceptor in his garage – very pleased. And so are we, to the extent that we shall bring the FF’s running chassis and body shell, upgrade engine, suspension and the mother of all sound systems to the NEC Classic Car Show in November. Watch this space for more details. We may run a little competition for some tickets.

From the Seventies, with love
Once upon a time, a little Jensen Healey would have set you off to the tune of £2,000. They were built in the early Seventies, and the MkI model we are expecting in our workshop soon is one of only around 3,000 ever made. What price for passion? The Healey will be the subject of a ground-up restoration, as we are stripping it, dismantling it, and bringing it back to its former glory. Actually, it will probably be better than new when our expert engineers and technicians have worked their magic on it. This is a classic model that is coming back to the auction house catalogues with sensible but dignified price tags. With so many MGBs on the road, people are starting to seek a little more rarity and class, without turning to the Italians. A good investment, in our view.

Not just work….
We work hard, but we like to let our hair down too. Come to our ‘Cars and Coffees’ Open Day, on 21 September, from 10.00am to… when we run out of cakes, BBQ ribs, or things to say about Jensen Interceptors. Put the date in your diary, it is a Saturday and we shall do our best to bring the sun as a guest. We expect to see many of your Jensens enjoy a weekend run, and they will be parked next to other similar models.

In the press
Get Autocar this week and you may find Cropredy Bridge’s superb Interceptor featured: freelance writer Richard Webber, who specializes in modern supercars and sportscars, took the Interceptor ‘R’ for a long spin a couple of months ago, and his thoughts are conveyed in this article, with some really good photos and a profile of us here at Cropredy Bridge. As you know, we undertake a variety of projects as briefed by our customers, improve on our favourite classic, and deliver the finished product within the timeframe and budget. Autocar is keen on driving machines which are engineered with a modern spirit in mind, and went all the way to Scotland to try ours.
We also participated in the Grand Chelsea Rendezvous with an Interceptor MkIII; the event, an exclusive gathering of classic and modern supercars, took place on the Royal Hospital Chelsea grounds last weekend. Members of the press where there, and Honest John Classics is particularly interested in talking to us as the Jensen specialists. Our business is well established and our expertise is world-wide recognized. Honest John Classics has a website with half a million hits every month, and we shall be asked to contribute with information about the range we are so well acquainted with: the Jensen range of models.

An Overview of the Classic Car Markets
– Summer 2013
It matters not what classic car is in your garage: after Pebble Beach, all classic car values have shot up, and the consequences will reverberate across the pond.
Some of the cars for sale fetched such ridiculous prices that even the experts cannot justify or explain the boom: € 91,000 c. (£86,000) was paid for a very standard Alfa Duetto “Osso di Seppia” 1750. And just a little less, € 87,000 (c. £82,000) was paid for a Triumph TR5.
A 1959 Fiat 600 Jolly Ghia sold for $ 148,500, (c. £100k) and a 1967 Jaguar E-Type S1 4.2 Roadster fetched an incredible $ 253,000 (c. £155k). The 1961 Mercedes-Benz 190SL Roadster is steadily careering towards values which ten years ago were the territory of its bigger sister, the 300 SL, as it changed hands for $ 269,500 (c. £170k). The ‘Gobbone’ Ferrari 365 GTC/4, one of the less beautiful sportscars in the range, achieved $ 275,000 (c. £180k).
What about the birthday girl, Aston Martin? A 1958 DB MkIII Coupé went for $ 440,000 (c. £290k); an Italian collector refused to pay € 87,000 (c. £80k) for the same model a few months ago, and is probably now trying to bite his elbows in frustration. Ferrari 365 GTB/4 Daytonas are always popular, but are they really worth $ 770,000 (c. £500k)?
Many will know that this summer the most expensive road car ever sold, a Ferrari 275 GTB/4S Nart Spider, made the headlines when it fetched $ 27,500,000 (c. £19m). Although not many publications reported that the entire sum went to charity, which may or may not have bumped up the price.
Do you have a 1990 Ferrari F40 in your garage? Hold it there, as one sold at Pebble Beach for $ 1,404,500 (c. £850k). True, it had only had one owner and 473 miles on the clock, but still…
In summary, there are cars which are consigned to the compost of time because they were never very desirable; and others which earned their position as a valuable classic. For models such as the Jensen Interceptors, this is our summer: the more attention and care the owners lavish on them, the more worthy they are perceived by the media, and by collectors. It is not rare, nowadays, to see a topless Jensen Interceptor list for £75k at auctions, and it does not remain unsold. Watch this space for up-to-date news about our classics: the market may be go up (luxury estate agency Knight Frank reckons that in 2012 classics grew in value by 28%, although they only track the top marques) but we do not deal with toys to put in glass cases. Cropredy Bridge is all about making your classic drivable and enjoyable. The rest, as they say, is (classic) history.
Closer to home, RM Auctions hosted a two-day sale for the first time, at London Battersea Park. Usually a one-day affair, the auction house must have realized that the UK is a great market for classic car enthusiasts, and they sold 120 cars (worth some £21,700,000) over the two days. Top seller? A 1957 Maserati 250S from the famous Laidlaw Collection. It is the only one built with a 2.5 engine, with illustrious (ex-Carroll Shelby/Jim Hall) provenance. It sold for £2,128,000. The beautiful Laidlaw Collection 1965 Porsche 904/6 Carrera GTS fetched almost half that much, at £1,232,000.
Only Max Girardo, the RM Auctions’ suave MD, could have sold a 1956 300SL Gullwing for £739,200….

Jensens at auctions
The only Jensen sold in August was a 1972 Interceptor SP (chassis 138/8097); on Historics at Brooklands’ books, it went for £14,840 (estimate £ 13k/16k), not much different from a 1973 MkIII (chassis 136/8154), which sold for £17,020 in July (Silverstone Auctions). Neither were in concours conditions.

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