The Jensen Interceptor took the West Bromwich company to new heights when it hit the streets in 1966, with Italian styling by Touring (although the bodies were built by Vignale), a beautifully appointed interior and huge performance – all at a price that put the Interceptor well beyond the reach of most drivers.
Jensen continued to use Chrysler’s V8 engine and Torqueflite three-speed transmission, adding four-wheel disc brakes, rack and pinion steering and conventional suspension – double wishbones at the front and a live rear axle, with semi-elliptic springs. The Interceptor was held in much the same regard as Aston Martin, Maserati and other similar bespoke GTs, and a four-wheel drive version, developed by Harry Ferguson, helped establish Jensen’s reputation for technical innovation.
The other noteworthy feature was the Interceptor’s fashionable curved glass hatchback, with a parcel shelf covering the sizeable boot. Jensen constantly improved the Interceptor, with a revised interior the most striking feature on the Mark II of 1969.
In October 1971, Jensen launched the Mark III, adopting the bigger 440-cid (7212cc) engine, adding cast alloy wheels and more comfortable seats to an already impressive specification sheet that included power steering and electric windows as standard equipment. In total, there were 4,255 Interceptor Mark IIIs made, of which just 589 were right-hand drive Series 4 cars from 1974-1975 but the arrival of the fuel crisis hit Jensen hard and production of the Interceptor ceased in 1976, although a few trickled out of the factory in the 1980s and 1990s.
The Interceptor has always had a strong following, with the combination of Italianate good looks, luxuriously appointed interior and strong performance – with relatively bulletproof and cheap mechanicals an added bonus.
Built in 1974, this particular Interceptor retains the original K-series 440-cid engine and Torqueflite transmission and was one of 54 Series 4 cars delivered in Australia.
The Jensen remains in the original colours of Silver Grey with black leather upholstery and was optioned with a Philips RN712 radio/cassette player and rear-seat belts according to the factory records. The car has survived in original condition and still retains all the interior fittings apart from a replacement stereo system. The paintwork was resprayed several years ago and has a few minor stress cracks and blemishes, while the interior is still the original leather, with minor scuff marks and a split on one of the rear headrests, but otherwise has a nicely lived-in feel. Overall, the impression is that of a well looked after and very useable Jensen Interceptor that would benefit from some cosmetic attention and the exterior colour is a lot more attractive than some of the more typically Seventies hues. To be sold registered in New South Wales.
This car was auctioned yesterday at Shannons in Sydney. We’ll bring you results as soon as we have them.