Pirate Jenny is my 1972
Jensen SP. The SP model is essentially a Jensen Interceptor III with the
Chrysler 440 Six-Pack engine installed at the factory. The SP was intended
to be the new "Flagship" model, replacing the discontinued FF model.
Unfortunately in 1972 the US federal government applied new emission requirements and the 440 Six-Pack engine was unable to meet them with the technology of the time; it could not legally be sold anywhere in the USA. Chrysler hastily dropped the engine from their 1972 catalogue.
Jensen bought the remaining stock of 440 Six-Pack engines from Chrysler and installed them in the SP model for sale to the United Kingdom and Europe. All in all a total of 232 SP models were made during the entire production run in the 1972-1973 model years. Of these 232 only 13 were made in left-hand drive configuration.
My LHD SP is #132/5577 and she was the 5th LHD SP to roll off the assembly line in West Bromwich, England, which she did on 29 February 1972 with a fresh coat of "Flag Red" paint. Yes, she's a leap-day baby. As of 2008 she'd only had 8 birthdays in spite of being 36 years old at the time. Thanks to Richard Calver for the above data.
I call her "Pirate Jenny" and if you don't recognise the reference click here to hear Judy Collins' recording of the Kurt Weill/Bertholt Brecht song. Jenny was originally exported to Switzerland by Edgar Schwyn AG, the Swiss importer of Jensen Automobiles, and was sold to an (as yet) unknown Swiss National.
In 1978 she was sold to Gerhard Henze of Tettnang, Germany.
In 1982 Anne Frey from Munich bought her and sent her back to the Jensen factory in West Bromwich, England for an overhaul. Anne kept her until 1986. Thanks to Anne for this information.
Jenny then was owned by a Cornelius Richter who lived near Frankfurt, Germany who sold her in 1987 to Stephen O'Brien, an American who was living in Germany at the time. Thanks go to Stephen for supplying me with most of this history.
When Stephen left Germany in 1989 he sold her to Mike Lotwis who eventually brought her to America. In November of 1991 Jenny went home to West Bromwich one more time where she received a new Gear Vendors overdrive unit, new powered outside mirrors, and new green paint. In June of 2006 Mike sold her to me.
The story of the trip from New Jersey to California right after I bought Jenny can be read here.
The continuing story of Jenny's swap of a manual gearbox to replace her automatic one can be read here (in agonizing detail).
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