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 £7,179, which was £2,500 cheaper than the Aston Martin DBS V8. In today's money, that's £82,558 versus £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 £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
Torque(lb ft): 425@2,800rpm
MPG: We daren't ask
CO2: A lot
First registered: 1970
Recorded mileage: 74,000
Price new: £7,179
Yours for: £34,995
See the original advert here.