As a teenager, Mark Whitmore kept a toy model of a Jensen Interceptor which he considered one of the coolest looking cars going around.
Little did he realise then that some years on, through what he described as a "bittersweet" outcome, an Interceptor would arrive in his garage and he would become its long-running custodian, initiating a long and careful restoration of what, even by today's standards, is a truly international car.
Mr Whitmore's metallic bronze Jensen will be among the automotive rarities sharing the grass at the Queanbeyan showground this Sunday at the ACT Council of Motor Clubs' annual "Wheels" exhibition.
The open-air classic and vintage car show is the biggest in the local region and with more than 70 member clubs, there will be huge variety of vehicles, from Hillmans to Holdens, and "big" and "little" Healeys.
The gates to the show open at 10am, with the event wrapping up around 1.30pm
Mr Whitmore's 1969 Mark I Jensen Interceptor is one of just two or three in the local region and less than 100 in the country.
Often described, in that quaint British tradition, as a "gentleman's express", the Interceptor is less well known as its late-60s and early-70s peers from Jaguar and Aston Martin (a brand later to rise to dizzy stardom through its James Bond connection).
And yet while the Jensen appears terribly British, it owes much to the Americans and the ItaIians.
The Interceptor was designed by Carozzeria Touring Leggera, a specialist Italian coachbuilder and design house, and shared some parts, such as doorhandles and tail-lights, with Italian carmaker Lancia.
The Interceptor also has an Italian-influenced interior design - similar to Maseratis of the same era - with rolls of pleated black leather across the seats and doors and oddly, even a pleated white roof lining.
And yet, under the long, front-hinged bonnet, is all US machinery: a big 6.3-litre Chrysler V8 and three speed automatic transmission. The throbbing V8 makes so much lazy torque that once in top gear, it rarely needs to change down.
The British-built Jensen arrived in Australia in 1983 and was exposed lengthily to rust-inducing salt air on Bribie Island in Queensland, where the previous owner was the resident GP.
With so much glass wrapped around its cabin, the Jensen's leather seats also cooked and peeled in the Queensland heat.
"It ended up in a very sad way," Mr Whitmore said.
When Mr Whitmore went across to the UK to work as the head of collections at the Imperial War Museum, he took the Interceptor with him and fortunately found a number of skilled artisans, familiar with the hand-made sports cars, who could carefully restore it to its near-original condition.
Once unloved, the value of the Jensen Interceptor as a collector car has been steadily climbing and a good example these days fetches around $100,000.
Our journalists work hard to provide local, up-to-date news to the community. This is how you can continue to access our trusted content: