Sincar Interceptor Number ‘1’ | Jensen Chassis 117/2582
The Sincar Interceptor operation was set up by Carlo Dusio, after a successful licensing agreement between Sincar and Jensen. This led to Jensen sending motorised chassis to Vignale.
They in turn would build them for sale by Sincar in Europe. The agreement was for an initial 50 motorised chassis to be supplied direct to Vignale for Sincar.
Unfortunately, the relationship between Sincar and Jensen quickly went sour, with just 32 motorised chassis believed to have been built up as Sincar Interceptors. The Museum looks at the history of the first production Sincar Interceptor – Sincar Interceptor ‘1’ (Jensen motorised chassis 117/2582).
Sincar Interceptor Number ‘1’ |Jensen Chassis 117/2582 | Background to this feature
Unfortunately the car’s history file is non-existent. Just a couple of French registration documents for 117/2582 – Sincar Interceptor ‘1’, is all that exists today, from the period 1967 through to 2014.
However, by a sheer stroke of luck, the 1967 court papers between Carlo Dusio of Sincar, and Jensen Motors, gives us some details, including the first ownership of the car. The Museum hopes further information may come to light.
Sincar Interceptor Number ‘1’ | Jensen Chassis 117/2582 | Build Up
It is thought that Jensen Motors sent the motorised chassis, number 117/2582 over to Vignale in Italy in late 1966, beginning of 1967. The chassis was fitted with the Chrysler 383 engine numbered 542/17B.
Once at Vignale, the Jensen Motors chassis number wasn’t used for their own build records. Instead, Vignale always placed a small numbered aluminium plaquette to the cars they were building, and the Sincar Interceptors were no exception. This was their car assembly number.
However, Vignale obviously treated the Sincar contract, as separate to that of the Interceptors and FFs made for Jensen Motors. As such, 117/2582 received Vignale’s plaquette with number ‘1’. In other words, this car was the first Vignale-assembled Sincar Interceptor.
Sincar had sold one LHD Interceptor, which was on the Sincar-Jensen Geneva Motor Show stand, at around the exact same time that Sincar Interceptor ‘1’ (117/2582) was completed.
This was chassis 117/2501, which had been completed by Vignale and delivered to Jensen Motors in late autumn of 1966. Dusio, ordered this car around the same time he signed the Sincar-Jensen agreement in January 1967. As such, 117/2501 would have had a Vignale-Jensen contract assembly number, as opposed to a Vignale-Sincar contract assembly number.
Sincar Interceptor ‘1’ was completed by Vignale by March 1967, with a specification of mist grey paint, with black leather trim. After final checking, and road testing by the outside company, Monzeglio, the car was ready to be given over to Sincar on 6th March 1967.
But, it’s possible that Dusio may have tried to cut the road testing costs out of the equation. When Jensen’s Mike Jones was sent to Vignale for a month in early summer 1967, he doesn’t remember any cars going to an outside company for testing.
Jones ended up road testing each completed car himself, before Dusio gave it over to one of his dealers. It may have been that after Jones came back to Jensen Motors, Dusio thought better of the situation, and started using Monzeglio.
Whatever the situation was in regard to road testing, the completion date of Sincar Interceptor ‘1’ was around the time Dusio was over in Switzerland, preparing for the Geneva Motor Show. Sincar Interceptor ‘1’ was eventually sold to a client in Monaco during the summer of that year.
Sincar Interceptor Number ‘1’ | Jensen Chassis 117/2582 | Monaco Customer
Sincar Interceptor ‘1’ was sold to Osvaldo Geminiami, the owner of Gam Co, Monte Carlo. The Museum has yet to find out what the company did. However, it is thought the company was involved in finance. The car was first registered in Monaco on 5th July 1967, and assigned the Monacan immatriculation number, ‘666D’.
Within weeks of Sincar Interceptor ‘1’ being used by its first owner in Monaco, the engine developed problems. A rather worrying engine noise was causing the car’s new owner some anxiety. Within the same month of July 1967, Sincar ‘1’ was being transported back to Turin in Italy.
Once in Turin, the car was given over to Chrysler-Simca Italia, based in Turin. It was confirmed that the noise was caused by piston knock, and would require replacement.
Mortensen, the head of the Technical Service Department, advised that in order to save time, Sincar should simply have Vignale change over engines from one of the other chassis that they hadn’t finished.
By early August, the original 542/17B engine was removed, and replaced with an engine from another chassis, allowing Sincar Interceptor ‘1’ to be given back to its owner as quickly as possible.
The replacement engine was 581/17B, which was from Jensen’s motorised chassis number 117/2610. This chassis had not long arrived at Vignale, so bodywork and finishing was still ongoing.
Carlo Dusio of Sincar, sent a letter to Jensen Motors in England on 11th August 1967, advising them of what had taken place.
Jensen Motors were not happy with this arrangement, since they could not be held in anyway responsible for Sincar using another engine from another car.
Instead, they wished that Sincar would have sent the faulty block to Chrysler International in Antwerp, after which a replacement could be obtained with usual guarantee.
Eventually a compromise was made. Sincar would send the faulty engine in any case to Antwerp, and they would then allow a warranty claim, and send a new block. But it seems the engine may have been sent back to Jensen Motors, rather than going direct to Antwerp (according to a statement later made by Dusio).
The new block could then be placed in the unfinished Interceptor (117/2610) without charge to Sincar.
However, the entire matter of the faulty engine didn’t end here. Carlo Dusio felt so aggrieved with the worsening Sincar-Jensen relationship, that he mounted a court case against Jensen Motors.
The case against Jensen Motors was prepared by the Turin-based lawyer, Francesco Giordano, and submitted to the Court Of Turin on 22nd November 1967. The matter of this faulty engine also formed a part of the overall case,
“Furthermore, one of the engines in addition to the already referred to overheating defect, was found to be unusable on account of defective pistons. The said defects being so serious that the engine had to be sent back to Jensen Motors, and Sincar was forced to provide a replacement for the client by removing an engine from another chassis still in the course of production.”
The court came to its conclusions on the 13th December 1967. It found Jensen Motors at fault over every point raised by Dusio. Including the issues about the faulty engine. The summing up gives us further clarification about the issues surrounding the engine of Sincar Interceptor ‘1’,
” Point 5) that it is true that in the case of chassis no.117/2582 once the same had been provided with coachwork and delivered to a client, namely Gam Co. of Monte Carlo, it was found to have a defect in the pistons, the said defect making the engine inefficient with the result that the Sincar Co in order to avoid the disappointment of its client had to exchange the engine with one taken from another chassis thereby incurring considerable expense as will appear from the correspondence put in evidence.”
Carl Duerr, the new Managing Director of Jensen Motors, arrived at the factory in the middle of the case. Duerr read everything surrounding the case, and believed the best way forward, was to pay Dusio an out of court settlement. He flew out to Italy, and eventually a sum acceptable to Dusio was agreed and paid. It was the end of the Sincar-Jensen agreement.
Sincar Interceptor Number ‘1’ |Jensen Chassis 117/2582 | Move to France
How long Sincar Interceptor ‘1’ remained under the ownership of Osvaldo Geminiami isn’t known. But by 1976, the car had moved across to France, and was registered on 26th August 1976, for its new Paris-based owner. Sincar Interceptor ‘1’ was assigned the French immatriculation number ‘962 BFV 75’.
The registration documents show another ownership change in December 1980, by which time the car was owned by a Paris-based lady. How long she kept Sincar Interceptor ‘1’ isn’t known, and presently we have a gap between 1980 and 2014.
On the 4th January 2014, Sincar Interceptor ‘1’ was acquired by a French-based classic car dealer. Normally trading in much older vehicles, mainly pre-war, the dealer somehow came across the Interceptor, by which time also had a large quantity of spare parts from a long ago scrapped Interceptor.
There is a huge coincidence here, since the scrapped Interceptor was 117/3129 – a car also first registered in Monaco. 117/3129 is believed to have been involved in an accident way back in 1970.
It would seem that by the time the dealer purchased Sincar Interceptor ‘1’, along with the various parts, that a previous owner had started changing parts over – putting parts from the scrapped 117/3129 car, onto the Sincar. This included the tailgate, along with some interior parts. It is presumed that it was at this same time the car was painted white.
Sincar Interceptor Number ‘1’ |Jensen Chassis 117/2582 | Enter Ludovic Parayre
The French born, Ludovic Parayre, owns the specialist classic car company, LAP 63, and has always had a soft spot for the Jensen marque.
Through his contacts, he had heard about an early Vignale-made LHD Jensen Interceptor in France.
It was December 2014 before he first had chance to view the car, and this led to him purchasing the car, along with the various spare parts, on the 13th January 2015.
Sincar Interceptor ‘1’, along with the parts were transported over to Parayre’s storage unit in the north-west of Paris.
Within a couple of months, the car was made ready for sale – and it wouldn’t take long to find a new owner.
Sincar Interceptor Number ‘1’ | Jensen Chassis 117/2582 | Polish Connection
In April 2016, Parayre had his usual stand at the German Techno-Classica Show. At the show, he had a chance meeting with the Polish Jensen enthusiast, and classic car restorer, Szymon Rajwa.
During discussions about Jensen cars, Parayre mentioned he was selling a Vignale made Interceptor. Rajwa was immediately interested, and agreed to purchase the car sight unseen. Two weeks later, and Rajwa sent his driver across to France to pick up the car.
Sincar Interceptor ‘1’ found itself being transported from the north-west of Paris (where Parayre was storing the car) across Europe to Austria. Rajwa picks up the story,
“He delivered the car to Austria, where I was using some storage space at premises of my friend Franz Wittner, a classic car dealer. At that time Franz and I closely worked together, and I was keeping some cars with him on regular basis.
So the Jensen remained in Austria, while I was trying to gather as much information as possible on Sincar/Vignale Jensens, and this particular example.
Some months later, I think around Christmas 2016, I came to the conclusion that restoring this car to its former glory would be way too ambitious task both money and timewise, so I decided to sell the car. Franz Wittner offered to buy it off me.”
Sincar Interceptor Number ‘1’ |Jensen Chassis 117/2582 | Wittner’s Connection
On the lead up to Christmas 2016, Sincar Interceptor ‘1’ remained in its cossetted Austrian storage, but ownership had changed. Now the respected Franz Wittner, heading the Stehr-based classic car company, Car Collection Wittner, had ownership of the car.
Franz Wittner had a long association with classic cars. His father had started the company, and had collected old-timers since the 1960s.
Nothing happened over Christmas & New Year, but by February 2017, the car was placed up for sale at Euro 42,000. Sincar Interceptor ‘1’ awaited its next owner.
Sincar Interceptor Number ‘1’ | Jensen Chassis 117/2582 | Back to England
Once again, Sincar Interceptor ‘1’ wouldn’t remain for sale for long. Matthew Watts from the English-based Jensen specialists, Cropredy Bridge Cars, had already restored a Jensen CV8 for a client in the USA. They now wanted a left-hand-drive Interceptor, and in particular, a Vignale built one.
On 2nd April 2017, Watts took a plane out to Austria to view Sincar Interceptor ‘1’ on behalf of their client. The actual discussions surrounding the purchase of the car, and the condition it was in, had already taken place between Watts and Wittner.
The physical viewing was to confirm the originality of the car, and the general condition. After which payment would be made via Watts’ client in the USA. After checking over the car, the purchase was agreed.
Sincar Interceptor ‘1’ was on the move again. The Austrian-based company, Bardino GmbH, were contracted to transport Sincar Interceptor ‘1’ to England within an enclosed transporter. After some five decades, Jensen’s chassis 117/2582 would find itself back on English soil. But, the car’s final destination would be the USA.
Sincar Interceptor Number ‘1’ |Jensen Chassis 117/2582 | Evaluation For The Restoration
Sincar Interceptor ‘1’ was delivered to Cropredy Bridge Cars in April 2017. The car was initially taken into the workshops for a more thorough evaluation of the work required.
The evaluation complimented by the Company’s usual thoroughness in taking some few hundred detailed images of the car – interior, exterior, and underneath. This detailed evaluation would take place, before any actual work to the car commenced. The evaluation process took place between April and just into May 2017.
Now the real work was about to begin. A no expense spared sympathetic restoration, that would bring Sincar Interceptor ‘1’ back to original Vignale specification – and back to perfect condition. But, that is as they say, another story.
Sincar Interceptor Number ‘1’
FUTURE FEATURE: We are currently undertaking research work for a feature on Dusio’s first Interceptor purchase, 117/2501.
ASSISTANCE: We would be grateful to hear from anyone who knows any background to Gam Co in the 1960s. Additionally we would like to hear from anyone that can fill in some of the car’s history while it was in France.
ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS: Rafal Andrzejewski | Cropredy Bridge Cars | Mike Jones, former Chief Engineer at Jensen Motors | Tony Marshall, former Sales Manager, Jensen Motors | Ludovic Parayre, LAP 63 | Szymon Rajwa |Franz Wittner of Car Collection Wittner
COPYRIGHTS: Rafal Andrzejewski | The Jensen Museum | Cropredy Bridge Cars | Ludovic Parayre, LAP 63 | Szymon Rajwa | Franz Wittner, Car Collection Wittner
ADDITIONAL INFORMATION: If you have any additional information about this feature, please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org or telephone on: +1694-781354
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