Tributes and reviews — Original Interceptor & FF

OCTANE, February 2016

“Australian Jensen enthusiast Richard Calver has been publishing books about Jensen cars and history for 20 years, and he describes this guide to originality as being the hardest he’s ever done. It took him five years to write, runs to 100,000 words and includes 500 photos – but, as he says, it was an important project because no-one had previously tried to pinpoint what, exactly, an original Interceptor looked like, and time will only muddy the waters further. While there are numerous close-ups of engine bays, trim variations and similar minutiae, the most fascinating images are the period shots – like the ones, below, of workers trimming Interceptor IIs in 1969 – which are used generously large. It’s an object lesson to anyone looking to self-publish and a sad reminder (thanks to Richard’s diligence in researching chassis numbers) how many of these handsome cars have been scrapped – including, it is believed, the example whose tan doorcard is being lovingly wiped down, below.” 

CLASSIC & SPORTS CAR, February 2016

“Richard Calver’s new book is his fourth on the Kelvin Way cars. Like its predecessors, it is nothing short of definitive, stretching to nearly 400 pages and 100,000 words. The level of detail is astonishing. For example, three of the 500-plus photos are dedicated to illustrating the changing length of the red zone on the Jaeger water temperature gauge in the Series III cars. Seriously. Calver himself said of the five year task: “Most of the original engineering records were lost during the liquidation in 1976, so a great deal of empirical work has had to be carried out.” The scale of the job Calver took on is almost unimaginable, but the result justifies his labours. This book is daunting, fascinating and historically important in equal measure.”

JOC #246, March-April 2016

“Having read the drafts many times, and having seen the finished product, all I can say is this is going to knock your socks off. A few of us privileged Aussies saw the early draft at the Canberra rally last Easter but things have come a long way since then, and what a ripper this latest book is. Every time Dickie puts out a Jensen book, he goes at it from a new angle. The theme of this one is originality in Interceptors and FFs. With so many updates and upgrades of the cars over the years, not to mention the hot-rodding which seems to be favoured by some bastards with more money than sense, people have lost sight of what these cars were like when they were new, what features were in them, how those features changed through the production and how rare some of the features actually were. For people who like to know the facts, or for those like me who just like to perve on pictures, this book is destined to become a well worn friend."

Practical Classics, May 2016

“It is a premium product, in a limited edition of 500 hardback copies … and boy is it worth it. As you would expect from Richard Calver, this is comprehensive and full of surprises. Must have big Jensen reading.”

 

... and some comments from readers, Jensen fans and ex-factory employees:

“This is an excellent new resource and is exactly what is needed to settle these grey areas of originality. It will become the source of reference for our concours judges. Well done Richard.” 

 “Phew! Looks like us pre-Interceptor owners will get away with things for a while yet. I look forward to examining the concours Interceptors at next year's events and tutting at the non-standard temperature gauges! Congratulations on your labour of love, Richard.” 

”Excellent! We are very fortunate to have someone like Richard involved with the marque.” 

“Yes an amazing man going to such lengths to document the Jensen. Well done again Richard.” 

“Fantastic work Richard! Thank you. I am going to budget accordingly.......it will be required for the library.” 

“Richard Calver, you are a star. I echo earlier comments that the Jensen community are very fortunate to have such a dedicated supporter of the marque. While my Christmas present may not be a surprise, I'm sure it will be an interesting read. Thanks again Richard.” 

“Just to let you know I received the book. I am enjoying it immensely.”

“The book has arrived! Yesterday. I’m completely overwhelmed!”

“Hi Rick, books arrived Saturday. Had to get in and look at your new book. Lots of really interesting information.” 

“I just wanted you to know that I'm speechless - your book is absolutely stunning!”

“My copy of your new book arrived this morning. I have had a quick look through it and I think it’s going to take me a fair while to read it all. Fantastic stuff.” 

“I started to read yesterday in the evening, had a nice single malt next to me and thoroughly enjoyed my read. I haven't missed a word - and I'm currently on page 101... a very interesting read indeed!” 

“Just want to say a massive thank you for my copy of your book. It looks great, I have only flicked through at the moment, but reminisced so much already looking at some of the pics. I can't wait to have a more detailed read. Hope you are well mate, I feel very honoured to receive a signed copy, you're a good friend and I have always valued our friendship.”

“I have received the Original Interceptor FF book today, for which I thank you very much. It is very much appreciated, and I will enjoy recalling past memories.” 

“Hi, just got the book, it looks great can't wait to read it. Thank you very much. Was thinking of coming over but worried they might not let me leave. I hear summer on Christmas Island is bleak ” 

“Your book arrived this morning. Having glanced through quickly I am very impressed. I congratulate you on this fantastic book and hope it will become a success.” 

“Just received my copy of "Original Interceptor & FF" and spent a couple of hours glancing through it. What an amazing publication! Richard shows all the minute differences between the various production series in detail and tells us the difference between ashtrays fitted, sunvisor hinges, glovebox locks, pleats in seats, rear window heating and so on. The images show everything and there is even a list of suppliers that Jensen Motors purchased components from. Every Interceptor and FF owner should buy this book. You will learn a lot.” 

“Indeed. A must have, highly recommended.” 

“The copy on the stand at the NEC today in Birmingham was being very well looked at. Overall comments.....Fantastic.” 

“I had a look at the book on the JOC stand, just need to see if I can wait until February for the sea mail ones regalia ordered to come in or buy it airmail direct from Richard. Another fantastic effort from Richard, thank you.” 

"Your amazing book arrived safely and in perfect condition yesterday, thanks to your expert packaging. I have read only the first twenty odd pages so far, but from what I have read, the book is clearly well up to the high standard now expected of you by the Jensen fraternity. The pictures and diagrams, as well as the well written text, make the book an object of art. I really mean that! Your book will now take pride of place on my bookshelves. Keep up the good work...although I suspect it is high time that you had a good long rest from matters Jensen."

"What a fantastic book (I managed to flick through each and every page before it was prised from me to form my 'surprise' Christmas present). When the time comes I shall raise a glass (or five) to salute your work, Sir.” 

“I've read another 20 odd pages. So far, it's still fascinating reading. I'm just amazed that you have been able to gather so much detailed information, especially as you are based in Australia, (most of the time?) which is quite a long way from West Bromwich! Maybe, at least, you should have a rest from writing books during Christmas time. You are fast becoming known as a prolific writer...what ever that means! Happy Christmas and Best Wishes for the New Year!” 

“I received the book on the Interceptor range yesterday, when our guide returned with a group from Australia. Many congratulations on the fantastic production - a really impressive array of photos and text. I really have no idea how you managed to obtain such complete material.”

“Two weeks ago Ric’s latest book arrived by airmail. I have read it from cover to cover and am amazed (again) by the knowledge of the man… The time he must have spent researching all the details described (and pictured) in his new book is beyond comprehension. I can heartily recommend each and every Interceptor owner (and the few US FF owners) to order a copy of this magnificent book. It will be worth every dollar. Even if you are not too keen in keeping your Jensen as original as possible, the book offers many hours of interesting reading. Since the majority of Interceptors built by Jensen Motors were imported to the US by Kjell Qvale, there should be many owners who would like to know more about their pride and joy. This book offers them the best opportunity to learn almost all there is to know.”

“Imagine my joy to see that the very first thing in Richard's book is that it is dedicated to Ocker — pretty much how I imagine every Australian male.” 

“Loving the book so please tell Richard that he is one of my Heroes for taking the journey with this one.” 

“I have now finished your book. Terrific stuff. I am very impressed. It is the sort of book that can be read more than once, so I will look after it!”

“Picked it up today - fantastic book. Many thanks for writing and sending it!” 

“Hey the the book is fab mate well done. I've been reading it when I can.”

“I hope the compliments about your book still keep coming your way. It really is an amazing book. I hope you eventually get some sort of an award from your peers for excellent reporting/journalism, or whatever award applies to a well documented history of a technical subject. Let me know when you get that award!” 

“Still have Calver's book as Christmas present to myself. Frankly staggering detail and info.”

“Fantastic work!” 

“Really enjoying the book and it has been much admired over here too. Best Wishes for 2016.” 

“I have just received the latest copy of the magazine, in which there is a rousing review of how wonderful your new book is. I need one! I need to be able to say that I have the full set of these priceless tomes. So let me know how we can do this. And what's this about no leather bound version? My collection will look odd on the specially hand-crafted shelf.”

“Mate you are a true legend. I can't think of a better way to describe you. Oh hang on, I just did. And another. And... But I digress. Thank you so much for fighting off the hordes wanting my coveted copy. I have absolutely no doubt that it is a reely triffic book and I can't wait to get my hands on it.” 

“I saw the review of your new book in the February 2016 edition of "Octane", it certainly looks another very comprehensive tome, well done! I will have to save up for that one too!”

“Congratulations on the very positive reception the new book is receiving, we both love the look of it, very well done and thanks again for your efforts to keep a focus on the marque.” 

“Your splendid book arrived and I have hardly been able to put it down all weekend. Thank you for going to such great lengths to produce this enlightening & invaluable guide.” 

“I had a quiet Christmas and New Year but got in some valuable and interesting reading!! I am about half way through your latest effort. I am very pleased I bought it as it is a superb book and the first part has been great reading, full of interesting facts. Reading your book has also has given me a shot in the arm with my project. 2016 is the year I now aim to have the body work completed on my Mark 1 Interceptor.” 

“Mate! What an awesome book! I got it today and thought I'd quickly flick through a few pages and look at some of the pictures. Hah! Couldn't put it down. You have outdone yourself my friend - and that is no mean feat, considering your immense literary prowess. This book is an absolute cracker. Now I just need enough time to read it properly and do it justice. Thanks!” 

“Just to confirm that the book was received on Saturday. Many thanks for mailing it and for your kind inscription in the book. I will do my very best by "the old girl" and forward you details and photographs of the work as completed. I have begun reading the book and have found it most enjoyable, informative and thought provoking. I have particularly enjoyed the section covering "restoration". "rectification" - very relevant in my particular situation at present, and oh so true when I meet people at various car shows. There is a wonderful tradeoff between the anorak brigade (which I believe does not include myself I hasten to add!) who count and examine every nut, bolt, rivet etc for authenticity - and those who want to preserve, show, drive and enjoy (safely) the vehicles that we relish.”

“The book arrived today and I really am grateful for a wonderful present. I had glimpsed a copy that one of the guys had at the classic car show in Birmingham in November, but since the postman delivered my copy this morning I have been completely immersed in it! It really is a remarkable addition to the Jensen histories which you have put together and it will be of tremendous value to all who are involved with the cars.” 

“Buy the book ladies and gents, help him help us. My best Christmas present in some years.” 

“Yes - buy it. It is worth every cent !!”

“Just a short note to advise that the book arrived this morning; it looks fantastic and I am looking forward to many hours of interesting fact finding and many years of reference.”

“The book arrived safely today, What a beaut!! Congratulations and many thanks.”

“I do have the other 3 of your Jensen books, and I'd love to buy your new one. Thanks for all your efforts to spread the good word, and to keep us owners well informed.” 

“Richard, I'm going to talk to you about the book. I got in the hammock over Christmas, with a six pack of my favourite Mexican beer, and read it cover to cover. This is a life's work for you Richard. I have Maserati, Ferrari and Alfa books but this is the best researched, detailed and informative book about any Marque I have read ... congratulations. One thing that this book is a testament to is the dedication of all those men and women at Jensen that truly achieved the impossible, under difficult conditions, none more so than those 40 engineers.”

“Your book arrived today. I've only had a chance to skip through it but it looks a fantastic piece of work. I look forward to getting into it in detail.” 

“Happy New Year & many thanks for your incredible new book !! Wow, you outdid yourself on this one. Much appreciated.” 

“Just a quickie to say the book has just arrived. Many thanks indeed. Only had a few mins to leaf through but what a project !. Probably I am one of the few that understand the reality of hours to make that book happen. I guess you have been working on 2 hours sleep a night for the last few years? Anyway, looking forward to a good read, probably at the weekend, and will let you know any observations that come from it. Many kind regards.”

Now onto more important things. I have started to read your book. It is the best so far. I shall piss in your left hand pocket a little more and say presentation is superb and you are lucky to have an assistant such as Gillian to help you.” 

“Today your book arrived! It is a great book and I already learned a lot. Very nice photos too! Thanks a lot for it!” 

I am quietly reading your latest book which is excellent !! Well done.” 

“It arrived safely today. Wow. More than impressive. Best one yet. I will really enjoy reading this one. Congratulations. A true work of passion.” 

“Just received the book – simply magnificent! You’ve outdone yourself this time Rich, I’m really impressed – you have become the Jensen man, no doubt. The collection of photos brought the memories flooding back, and with your writing makes a unique package that will become the ‘Gold Standard’ of Jensen literature, probably forever! Thank you so much, Rich, I am so proud of all your books, but this latest takes pride of place.” 

“Your book arrived a couple of weeks ago, woa, superb piece of work. I can only imagine the amount of time and effort you must have put into it. Reading it took me back 30/40 years, magic. I have not, however, had much chance to read every page as my sons have grabbed it and I will have to fight to get it back. They have taken a great interest in what their old man did way back when. My eldest son put photos of your book on the internet and within an hour he had fifty plus “hits”. Seems there is a renewed interest in Jensen. Super book Rich. I think you have written the definitive history of Jensen with your publications – hey you might have “peaked” although, hold on, that means the only way is ….  lets not go there. Thanks again mate, much appreciated.” 

“It arrived yesterday. I was not expecting to be mentioned and am quite certain that I also don't deserve to be mentioned, but thank you anyway. To be honest, not having an Interceptor now I was not sure how interesting the book would be, but I was quite wrong. I have reached page 40 tonight and it is just fascinating. Much of the basics have been written before but the detail has not and coming from such esteemed sources sets it completely apart from other published accounts. And it is so nicely written too. Thank you so much and get on with the next one!” 

“I decided to change the colour of the car and, thanks to your lovely and informative book, I selected Reef Blue. I can't begin to explain just how helpful your book has been. The detail and photographs contained therein have been hugely helpful to me and I'm still absorbing some of the history. A great buy for anyone interested in these cars.” 

“Ferrari aficionados have their Marcel Massini - a walking encyclopaedia on everything Ferrari-related. We, Jensen owners, are not worse than Ferrari guys. Thank God, we have Ric Calver among us.”

“It was a lovely surprise and a great pleasure to receive a copy of your book on the Jensen Interceptor and the FF. Many, many thanks. We are extremely impressed, as always, at the depth of your research into the subject and your commitment to the Jensen story in general.” 

“Lovely to hear from you, and apologies that I haven't been back to you sooner in regard to the new 'Calver Masterpiece'.The book is still in the living room, and I am still reading bits. It is a great read a bit here, read a bit there type of book.” 

“Your book. It is THE book. I can't put it down.”

“Really enjoying the new book. It's great, nice work!” 

“Received the book yesterday. Absolutely Brilliant! Haven't read it yet but skimming through it looks great. Thanks very much.” 

“Richard, just letting you know that the Original Interceptor book arrived today. What a beauty! I appreciate that you signed it, too.” 

“The answers to all these questions can be found in Richard Calver's latest book, A History of Jensen Original Interceptor & FF. If you are serious in following the history of Interceptor and FF development, this book is an absolute must have.” 

“I am enjoying the book very much. It fills in many holes in my knowledge about our cars...but gives me many answers I sought from you time and again. Thank you for the hard work but I always hope to have to seek your expertise further.” 

Having just taken delivery of your new book Original Interceptor & FF, I thought I would send this brief message to congratulate you on your splendid publication. An absolute mine of information to complement your previous efforts. Only had a cursory glance so far but can see myself being occupied for hours on end in the weeks to come. Cheers for now & keep up the good work.” 

“Congratulations. I have just completed your new book and must say I’m very impressed. The quality and volume of images alone is brilliant and brought back many memories, but again you have been very thorough with the subject matter and insightful in your observations - all credit must go to your efforts, as I discovered plenty that I hadn’t realised too. So for the interested owner or fan it will finally tell the details just as it was, rather than the sometimes dodgy folklore that passes for marque experience. The book inspired many mixed memories, and I would personally like to thank you for highlighting the quality and value of the engineering team. I’m naturally very proud of my colleagues and friends and all their achievements in a difficult and under resourced environment, at least you upheld our belief that we would never see their like again – but the interesting thought is what could have been if? Many of the images were total memory joggers of happy times past with great cars and being part of real automotive history – I’m getting sentimental now but thanks Richard. Who else would have done that for us.” 

“The book is excellent in both content and production quality - it's surprisingly heavy too which lends a kind of credibility to its value in my mind. I certainly have no regrets and have enjoyed it very much. The difficulty for any author is surely to make their work readable in this genre, at the same time as giving the most factual accuracy a fair chance too. If that was your aim then you hit the gong smack in the centre! The best accolade I can give is no one has or does the subject matter better than you.” 

“Enjoying the Jensen book immensely - pure Jensen GOLD ! Many thanks.”

“Book arrived today in perfect condition. Thank you for the dedication. Having had the pleasure of putting two books together I am in awe of your work and this historic accomplishment. BRAVO BRAVO BRAVO. I will be slowly digesting this monumental work for weeks maybe months to come. Thank you.” 

 

So what are you waiting for? Go get a copy!

Looking for the list of suppliers?

 

Richard Calver

© Richard Calver 2016

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