RE: Jensen Interceptor MkII: Spotted

RE: Jensen Interceptor MkII: Spotted

Wednesday 19th December 2018

Jensen Interceptor MkII: Spotted

The Interceptor is one of the greatest - and most stylish - examples of an American-powered British car



The best-known example of a marriage between British chassis and American engine is unquestionably the Shelby Cobra, but the total number of times this transatlantic procedure has taken place successfully must surely be in the many dozens. Back in the third quarter of the 20th Century, the technique was almost commonplace, with the likes of Rover, Bristol and Sunbeam famously seeking the power of a US-built engine for their machines. It still happens today, as is evidenced by the upcoming TVR Griffith's use of a Ford-sourced 5.0-litre V8, but the heyday of British-American performance cars has long since passed.

You could argue that it was around the time of the Jensen Interceptor's creation that this procedure reached its peak. When the West Bromwich-made Interceptor - a two-door that wore a steel body designed by Carrozzeria Touring and built by Vignale (both of Italy) - arrived in 1966, it mixed the grunt American engines had become famous for with European style and the class of a British grand tourer. To be exact, drive was provided by a Chrysler 6.3-litre V8 producing 325hp and sent through a three-speed auto to the rear wheels. It was based on an evolved C-V8 MkIII chassis.


The Interceptor offered stonking performance. With 425lb ft of torque, progress was decidedly effortless, but gee up all its horses and this slab of Anglo American muscle could hit 60mph in about eight seconds. Back in the late '60s, that was swift to say the least - and it helped the plush, roomy Interceptor give more exotic machines a run for their money. Naturally, this mix of power and comfort caught the attention of the US market, where a large portion of an eventual 30-car-per-week production run ended up.

That was an impressive feat considering an Interceptor was significantly pricier than the US market's domestically produced V8 alternatives, but for those looking for something out of the ordinary, the Jensen's appeal was great. Plus, it was less expensive than other Europe-made machines of a similar calibre. In 1974, for example, the Interceptor sold from Β£7,179, which was Β£2,500 cheaper than the Aston Martin DBS V8. In today's money, that's Β£82,558 versus Β£111,308 - aka a heck of a lot of cash.


British sales were good too, and today there are about 500 Interceptors left here (484 are registered according to How Many Left, but there may be others lurking under cover). Yet even with this strong supply, the desirability of the model means prices are by no means cheap; if you want a spotless early one, expect to pay north of Β£65,000. Things are a little more attainable if you're happy with a later car, like our Spotted, a 1970 MkII with 74,000 miles on the clock.

The current owner has completely overhauled the car, treating it to a full respray and engine rebuild during a five-year tenure. The cabin's also been retrimmed in this time, so it's probably fair to assume this is one of the UK's tidiest examples. It even comes with an MOT (it's not mandatory on this age of car but has been done anyway), the presence of which backs the seller's claims that all is well with this Interceptor. If you want one, this has got to be on your 'to see' list.


SPECIFICATIONS - JENSEN INTERCEPTOR

Engine: 6,276cc, V8
Transmission: 3-speed auto, rear-wheel drive
Power(hp): 325@4,600rpm
Torque(lb ft): 425@2,800rpm
MPG: We daren't ask
CO2: A lot
First registered: 1970
Recorded mileage: 74,000
Price new: Β£7,179
Yours for: Β£34,995

See the original advert here.

Author
Discussion

DrSteveBrule

Original Poster:

1,825 posts

79 months

Wednesday 19th December 2018
quotequote all
I would love one these, I think they are gorgeous. One day.

Turbobanana

1,563 posts

149 months

Wednesday 19th December 2018
quotequote all
DrSteveBrule said:
I would love one these, I think they are gorgeous. One day.
Agreed, although I'm not so sure this one suits the colour.

Found one in a barn once, while valuing a property for probate. It was sound enough but had stood for a few years, albeit in a good, dry barn. The owner's widow was unsure what she wanted to do with it, and I'd convinced myself it was too rich for my blood so didn't make an offer on it. I later discovered it was sold for £1800 and only needed a light recommissioning to go back on the road. Grrrrr!

Twoshoe

483 posts

132 months

Wednesday 19th December 2018
quotequote all
Seems to be riding very high in those pics.

P5BNij

4,575 posts

54 months

Wednesday 19th December 2018
quotequote all
Still high on my 'list', I go through phases with British classics bit the Interceptor always comes round and has me looking at the classifieds at least twice a week. The UK survival rate mentioned above may be correct, I suspect it may be higher but I think someone on the JOC forum said that of the six and a half thousand built, at least half of them are still with us, in various physical and mechanical states no doubt. Compared to most other marques that's very high but not really a surprise when you consider the sort of people who bought them in period, people who could afford to run and look after them for long periods, at least until the fuel crisis of '73 kicked in. Even taking into account the neglect many suffered in later life with some just rotting away to nothing or being parted out, it's still a high survival rate.

For over twenty years I drove past the well known Vignale example rotting into the pavement outside a house in Walcote near Lutterworth, thinking one day it may be restored, alas it was scraped up off the pavement, put on a low loader and will never see the road again.

Dr Interceptor

5,602 posts

144 months

Wednesday 19th December 2018
quotequote all
They're not bad, although I'm not so keen on the colour of that one.

We've got a 1974 Mk III Convertible, I think it's just about done 36k miles now, was 25k when we bought it.

They are wonderfully effortless cars to travel in - keep the needle at 3500rpm, and they pull like the proverbial train.

Guffy

2,216 posts

213 months

Wednesday 19th December 2018
quotequote all
Always been a big fan of the Interceptor, however that shade of blue isn't working for me either.

I re-watched the Wheeler Dealer episode recently, sold theirs for £6.5k in 2010!

JohnCarlisleApeiron

23 posts

14 months

Wednesday 19th December 2018
quotequote all
P5BNij said:
Still high on my 'list', I go through phases with British classics bit the Interceptor always comes round and has me looking at the classifieds at least twice a week. The UK survival rate mentioned above may be correct, I suspect it may be higher but I think someone on the JOC forum said that of the six and a half thousand built, at least half of them are still with us, in various physical and mechanical states no doubt. Compared to most other marques that's very high but not really a surprise when you consider the sort of people who bought them in period, people who could afford to run and look after them for long periods, at least until the fuel crisis of '73 kicked in. Even taking into account the neglect many suffered in later life with some just rotting away to nothing or being parted out, it's still a high survival rate.

For over twenty years I drove past the well known Vignale example rotting into the pavement outside a house in Walcote near Lutterworth, thinking one day it may be restored, alas it was scraped up off the pavement, put on a low loader and will never see the road again.
I remember the car, was it a similar blue and parked on someones drive on the main route to Husbands Bosworth? I used to drive that route from the M1 to pick up custom veneered boards. Would have been 20 years or so ago.

pSyCoSiS

2,522 posts

153 months

Wednesday 19th December 2018
quotequote all
Love these and it does have one of the coolest names to grace a car!

Didn't they do a 7.0 litre model as well?

P5BNij

4,575 posts

54 months

Wednesday 19th December 2018
quotequote all
Yes that's the one...







Compared to Astons, Ferraris and Porsches of the era the Interceptor in the OP seems very good value if it's as solid as it looks. I think the colour might grow on me, but I prefer the darker blues. Then again right now I'd take any solid Interceptor I could get my hands on! Occasionally, when the need for a 'fix' arises, if I'm in the vicinity I'll pop into Cropredy Bridge Garage for sly shuftie at the project cars they have parked round the back.... ''just turning the van round mate, sorry... ''

Edited by P5BNij on Wednesday 19th December 14:29

P5BNij

4,575 posts

54 months

Wednesday 19th December 2018
quotequote all
pSyCoSiS said:
Love these and it does have one of the coolest names to grace a car!

Didn't they do a 7.0 litre model as well?
Yes, 7.2 litres, I *think* the first one to have this engine was the SP version, then all MkIIIs had it until production ended in '76.

unsprung

3,826 posts

72 months

Wednesday 19th December 2018
quotequote all
PH article said:
The Interceptor is one of the greatest - and most stylish - examples of an American-powered British car
at the moment I can't recall a staff post here on PH which was so exuberant about things that diluted combined Anglo with those chaps the other side of the pond

quite a good number of accolades / genuflections / high fives to this effect, made throughout the article



Turbobanana

1,563 posts

149 months

Wednesday 19th December 2018
quotequote all
P5BNij said:
Yes that's the one...







Compared to Astons, Ferraris and Porsches of the era the Interceptor in the OP seems very good value if it's as solid as it looks. I think the colour might grow on me, but I prefer the darker blues. Then again right now I'd take any solid Interceptor I could get my hands on! Occasionally, when the need for a 'fix' arises, if I'm in the vicinity I'll pop into Cropredy Bridge Garage for sly shuftie at the project cars they have parked round the back.... ''just turning the van round mate, sorry... ''

Edited by P5BNij on Wednesday 19th December 14:29
I thought you were joking about "scraping it up off the pavement": I know now that you weren't.

It beggars belief that anyone could let a car get into such a state, even if they didn't like cars, or there was some political (or emotional) reason not to sell it.

I don't like BMWs, but I'd never let one rot in my garden.

P5BNij

4,575 posts

54 months

Wednesday 19th December 2018
quotequote all
It had been there for twenty years at the very least, at first uncovered then a tarp was draped over it, every time I drove past it seemed to sink lower and lower. Repeated knocks on the door by various people were met with ''it's not for sale, I'm going to restore it one day''. Very soon after it was taken away a black Bentley Turbo appeared in the same spot, it too hasn't moved as far as I can see.

On a lighter note here's Ginger Baker enjoying one of his FFs...




Plug Life

978 posts

39 months

Wednesday 19th December 2018
quotequote all
Gopping design especially the rear quarter...

FourWheelDrift

78,661 posts

232 months

Wednesday 19th December 2018
quotequote all

Dr Interceptor

5,602 posts

144 months

Wednesday 19th December 2018
quotequote all
Plug Life said:
Gopping design especially the rear quarter...
I've honestly never heard someone describe an Interceptor as 'gopping'


coppice

5,597 posts

92 months

Wednesday 19th December 2018
quotequote all
A friend had the even rarer FF (with 4wd and abs, which was extraordinary for a 1967 car) . It made a fabulous noise and on a good day did double figures to the gallon.. Just .

But the one I really adored was its predecessor, the CV8. It had looks which polarised opinion perhaps but I thought it looked great. We took it to a RWYB session at York where it happily ran mid 15 secs quarters and got an amazing amount of attention

cookie1600

1,328 posts

109 months

Wednesday 19th December 2018
quotequote all
Turbobanana said:
It beggars belief that anyone could let a car get into such a state, even if they didn't like cars, or there was some political (or emotional) reason not to sell it.
Most of that will buff out.......

I've toyed with an Interceptor for years, but if you want one that will last beyond the next MOT, it will have to of had a thorough body restoration as they can be real rot boxes. A convertible would be ideal, but not this side of a lottery win.

Mind you, if a lottery win dropped in my lap:

http://www.jensen-sales.com/product/interceptor-r-...

F1GTRUeno

4,233 posts

166 months

Wednesday 19th December 2018
quotequote all
Dr Interceptor said:
Plug Life said:
Gopping design especially the rear quarter...
I've honestly never heard someone describe an Interceptor as 'gopping'
They're fking horribly gopping.

AMGSee55

190 posts

50 months

Wednesday 19th December 2018
quotequote all
Wonderful cars! It's one of my great regrets that I turned down the chance to buy a Series 3 in the late 80s when £4-5K netted you a good one.

I was a 20 year old department store employee at the time, and as I recall the insurance quote of £650 was just too rich on top of the fuel and likely maintenance costs.

Bought an E23 728i instead which was hardly buttons to run, but had most of the Jensen's performance on account of its very rare manual gearbox.