Registered for the road on 1st October 1968, Chassis #119/069 is considered to be the first so-called Mk1½ Jensen FF and as such, was immediately compelled into service as the Works Press Demonstrator.
Sporting Crystal Blue coachwork with a Mist Grey roof at that time, this was hard to identify in the January 1969 issue of MotorSport Magazine since they didn’t yet use colour ink. No less, the report which featured our car was still flattering, as was a later review in the February ’69 issue of Motor Magazine which concluded that “the Ferguson [four-wheel drive] system is the greatest advance in motoring history….”.
Shortly afterwards, the Jensen press agents, Good Relations, received word from a motoring principal that he wished to have loan of an FF. This was none other than Signor Agnelli, head of the Fiat Motor Company who was duly awarded the loan of ‘SEA 444G’ for his personal use for a period.
By July of 1969, after some 18,000miles on the press fleet and no doubt being pawed over by Fiat, our car was returned to the Jensen Factory for a fresh engine and gearbox, plus a minor repair to a front wing before being prepared for sale to a customer. Said customer resulted in first being a London-based businessman and existing Jensen Interceptor owner, though by 1971, our FF was then to reside in Adelaide, Australia.
It was here that it would pass through two-keepers, one of whom sensibly fitted air-conditioning, before in 1982 joining the renowned Rainsford Family stable in South Australia where it would reside in their National Motor Museum for almost twenty years. After this time, now requiring some restorative works, 119/069 was sold via a classic car dealer to a Melbourne Solicitor. We’re now in 2002. Thanks largely to the dry climate the restoration that was undertaken was in fact relatively modest, but included some metal work, a fresh coat of paint in original Crystal Blue, (including the roof this time), and a rebuild of the engine and gearbox, brakes, suspension, and an interior retrim in beige leather. Here the car would remain in the care of this custodian until discovered and repatriated to Europe in 2015, participating in the Coupe Des Alpes rally in 2016 amongst a very varied field.
We wish that much of the aforementioned work had been receipted, but if it was, regretfully we do not have it. Instead, these details are learned from the excellent book written and published by Ulric Publishing, and entitled; ‘The Jensen FF. 320 Short Stories Vol. I, II & III’.
Today, ‘SEA 444G’ is proudly offered in fine mechanical fettle. The engine and gearbox feel particularly strong and have recently been treated to a minor service and fresh fluids. The bodywork, whilst solid, shows small areas of repair, but it’s the paint that we regret is a little disappointing. There are cracks and crazing on nearly all panels somewhere, and truthfully, for the British climate it’s likely that a full respray is necessary in the not-too-distant future of this interesting motorcar. The interior, whilst used, is not abused. Some small trim items would benefit from refurb or replacement, but for the most part it tells a consistent story and presents as you may expect from an interior restored nearly twenty years ago.
We welcome your early interest and encourage you to call to speak with us if you wish to acquire a rare and desirable Jensen FF such as this…..
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