Jensen Monday Club

Istanbul: Post Script. Facts, Figures, and Conclusions


Top Touring Tip 11: It's no bloody use in the garage. Get out and tour in it!

Well, here we are. All done and dusted, and put to bed. It took 18 months to organise, 2 weeks to achieve, and what seems like a life time to type up...

It has affected me and Chris quite profoundly I think. It's one of the few times I wish I weren't British so I could actually put into words it's effects, but I am British and we don't do that sort of thing, but I think Chris knows where I am coming from (before you get excited, were not talking "Broke Back Mountain" here!), and I'm sure if you buy us a pint next time you see us, you may get a little more detail.

Everyone I have met who has read about the adventure have been very kind in their comments (my sister reckons she has laughed and screamed at it, so I take that as a sign it's been a decent read. Hi Sis in case your reading this bit!) and it really is a shame it is over until we do the next one.

I fear this planet may be to small...

We have come up with some facts and figures for fuel consumption, mileage, etc, and some comments from myself and Chris, so have a read and see how it unfolded.

Chris Miller

I enjoyed the challenge of getting the car in shape to survive a 5,000
mile journey into unknown territory. There were loads of little jobs that
probably wouldn't have got done without the incentive of having to get
home all in one piece. Even the not-so-interesting jobs (radiator hoses
etc.) had that extra "big trip zip" about them. I also quite enjoyed
sorting out the logistics; not so much the insurance/hotels/visas but the route planning in the pub was fun.

Drinking a beer, sitting on the roof-top terrace overlooking the Istanbul
skyline at 2am - that was a very smug moment... We'd covered nearly 2000
miles in three days and could hardly believe we'd made it.

You can't help but feel you know someone a bit better having shared the
same car space with them for twelve consecutive days - and as it turns out
maybe something about yourself as well. The trip definitely shaped my
outlook on my day-to-day existence back home - I just drafted my
resignation letter today, so it's definitely all change now.

But in many ways my favourite part of the whole trip was what could easily
have been the absolute pits - braking down and returning on the back of a
trailer. The gear-box swap was very much a Jensen Monday Club team effort and to have stared defeat in the face and then poked its eye's out -

well, that was a very special feeling - that's my lasting memory.

Kerry Moore

To echo Chris's comments, I think the time shared and the adversity overcome has turned being "mates" into being "friends" there is a subtle but significant difference. We didn't have a single cross word in all the time we were away, no matter how lost, drunk or tired, so that for me was pretty amazing as I am not exactly known for my patience or temper.

The night we arrived in Istanbul, driving around the deserted city in the small hours of the morning in an Interceptor will stay with me for ever. Sitting on the roof terrace at 2am, with the biggest mosque in Istanbul, lit up like a Christmas tree, just behind me, and being to tired to have noticed was another!

I also loved racing the setting sun in Transylvania. I think I may have watched to many Hammer horror films as a kid...

The poverty was depressing in some countries, but there imminent EU membership may help that, and in fairness we received nothing but kindness and help from everyone (even the Bulgarian rozzers) and that was refreshing.

I read a book on the way in which they interviewed the last remaining surviving British soldiers from WW1. The youngest is 105, the oldest 110. To a man they all said the same. It isn't they guys in the trenches that cause the trouble, it's the people behind the scenes, politicians and such, that are responsible.

The ordinary people we met were friendly, hospitable, and just curious about us and our fantastic car, and it is difficult to think that not so many years ago we could have ended up fighting these ex Soviet Block countries.

For me the reaction to the car made the whole journey worth while. They need to be seen on the road so the next generation of Jensen owners will be inspired to take over custody of these amazing vehicles.


Facts and figure.

Things that broke:

  • Ran out of Werthers (bad planning)

  • a/c - alternator belt (bad alternator positioning and alternator pulley a
    bit wobbly)

  • split washer bottle (eaten by the rad fan blade after poor repositioning
    after a fill-up)

  • gear selector cable (just old and worn)

  • gearbox (just old and knackered)

  • starter solenoid (cheap pattern part - stud broke off)

  • vacuum pipe from manifold to chassis tube (collapsed in the heat)

  • fuel line, filter to EFi TBI (working but cracked in the heat)

  • rear valance split (hit kerb whilst parking)

  • speedo cable (gearbox drive connector. damaged removing gearbox)

  • rear wheel bearing/shim/thrust washer worn/loose (too fast, too long, too

  • split & leaking radiator

  • Leaking radiator cap

Planning Spreadsheet

Here is the spreadsheet we used to organise everything from currency to music.

Fuel Consumption

Here is the spreadsheet for the petrol we used.

Steve "Mehmet" Payne

Good old Mehmet. I thanked him before, but now I see what he actually did to get the gearbox to us, well thanks again old boy. Here's his story in his own words.

"The info from my dash to Limburg is as follows.
It was 1047 miles door to door
I used 200 of petrol (230 Litres) 22mpg nearly
I left at 6pm UK time and arrived at 1am
The highest speed I cruised at was 125mph through Germany.
My trip computer reckoned I averaged 78mph (it only works while ignition is on so it would have been off in the tunnel)
A day return on the tunnel is 100 if you just turn up where as if you book it 57
I got back home at 12.30pm after leaving at 4am German time, and got caught for 2.5 hours in the Brussels rush hour.
I consumed 6 cans of Red bull and the same amount of Mars Bars.


So that's it. We have started mumbling about our next adventure, and some big pointy buildings on yet another continent have been mentioned, but nothing concrete so far.

As I said before, these are tough cars. My modern car wouldn't have done this journey unscathed. If these cars aren't seen, then no one will take them over from us when we can no longer drive them, so if it broken, fix it. Don't put it off, get it done and drive your car as often as you can. It's well worth it.

They won't be seen in you garage at home, so get out and have some adventures, and give me a decent read!