As car names go, there can't be many better than Interceptor. As Interceptors go, there can't be many better than the SP Six Pack with its triple-carb 7.2-litre 440 V8 under that huge cheesegrater bonnet. And as Interceptor colours go, there can't be many better than Reef Blue with black leather and a matching vinyl roof. So, Interceptor fans, today is your lucky day, because here's a three-owner, fully-historied Reef Blue Interceptor SP with 54,000 documented miles and a price tag that might seem high but really isn't.
Quick story. Back in the 1980s sometime I test-drove one of the Series 4 relaunch cars from Jensen after they'd been reborn in the Midlands. As per the original cars, it had a big Chrysler V8, a 5.9 I think. I reckoned it would be fun to impress the parents with it, so I decided to drive it up the M6 to Lancashire for the day.
That was a salutary experience. It was a wonderfully relaxing drive until you made the mistake of looking at the fuel gauge, when you would actually see the needle dropping as you went along. I was paying for my own juice on that gig, so in an attempt to stave off bankruptcy I had to employ the throttle sensitivity of a ballerina with bunions. It felt like a massive wasted opportunity but what could I do, I was a young man of extremely limited means. There was no way I could keep refilling the 20 gallon tank at single-figure mpg rates, even at late 1980s prices.
It was an oddly emotional moment as the parents waved me off the next morning. They were crying at my departure. This was out of character. Sure enough, a later phone call revealed that their eyes had been streaming from standing too close to the Jensen when it fired up on full choke.
I burbled carefully back to the Midlands with a Sinatra cartridge on the eight-track and heavy goods vehicles flashing me impatiently from behind. Handing the keys over to the chap at the factory felt like undoing my trouser belt after a Mr Creosote style slap-up meal. There was a physical sensation of financial relief. 'Nice car,' I said to the Jensen man. 'Shame I had to mollicoddle it everywhere, what with the fuel consumption and everything, ha ha.' 'Oh,' he laughed. 'You needn't have bothered, it would have used the same amount of petrol even if you'd thrashed it.'
Hmm. There's a lesson in there somewhere, like why didn't you tell me that before. Anyway, the SP that's for sale here looks rather lovely. Pinning down an exact power figure for the twin-choke triple-carbed 7.2-litre 440ci - or any Chrysler-powered Jensen for that matter - is about as easy as pinning down a politician, but we're going to go for 385hp and 488lb ft. That compares to the 325hp claimed for the 6.2 and the 330hp claimed for the regular 7.2 - 'claimed' being very much the operative word for American V8s from this era.
Who knows what sort of fuel consumption you'd get from an SP. Let's put it this way, with a delivery potential of 1,350 cubic feet per minute (two 500cfm carbs on either side of a 350cfm startup/cruising carb) my parents would have demanded industry-grade filtration masks before agreeing to stand behind it. As an aside, this six-pack engine was banned on emissions grounds from US-market Chryslers just after Jensen had bought the units it needed.
Ultimately the numbers and the poisoning don't really matter. What does matter is the noise and the feel of a stupidly large V8 chugging through a Torqueflite 3-speed auto, and that's a feeling this car will give you, quite literally, in bucketfuls. The utterly fantastic Touring body hand-built by Vignale and the sumptuous instrument-rich cabin are thrown in for free.
If you're desperate to get some Interception in your life, and if this car is even half as good underneath as it looks on top, then the asking price of under seventy grand for one of these rare Six Packs, especially an RHD one like this, is really not that mad. They rotted horribly from the bottom up. Bringing a scabby specimen up to par would cost you a great deal more than £70k as these cars are not easy or cheap to restore. Our car has just breezed through its MOT. There were no advisories, but we'd add one of our own: don't bother trying be careful with your right foot.
SPECIFICATION | JENSEN INTERCEPTOR SP
Engine: 7,210cc V8
Transmission: 3-speed auto, rear-wheel drive
Power (hp): 385@5,000rpm
Torque (lb ft): 488@3,200rpm
MPG: think of a small number and halve it
First registered: 1972
Recorded mileage: 54,600
Price new: £80,000
Yours for: £69,950
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