More than any of its previous models, the Interceptor of the Sixties firmly established Jensen as a producer of stylish, high performance and hand-built cars. The prototype Interceptor appeared in 1965, a two seater convertible with alloy coachwork, a third transverse rear seat and either 4.5 or 6.3 litre Chrysler engine. Although well received, Jensen realised the market was really for closed cars and entrusted the design to Vignale in Italy.
Launched at the 1966 London Motor Show, the stylish Interceptor proved a star attraction. Beneath its now steel coachwork the substantial parallel tube chassis featured independent wishbone/coil spring front suspension with a live, leaf-sprung rear axle located by Panhard rod and disc brakes all-round. Power came from a 6,276cc Chrysler V8, producing 325bhp at 4,600rpm and an impressive 4251b.ft at 2,800rpm, mated to a three-speed Chrysler automatic transmission. This allowed for a top speed of 133mph and 0-60mph in just 7.4 seconds. Inside, Connolly leather and Wilton carpets ensured luxury while the dashboard was comprehensively equipped.
In October 1968, shortly after power steering became standard, the Interceptor was announced in Mk II form with larger fuel tank, reclining seats, restyled fascia and optional air conditioning. The Mk III appeared in October 1971, boasting a 7,212cc engine, ventilated disc brakes, alloy wheels and restyled interior.
This example, presented in metallic Blue/Green with contrasting beige leather interior, was purchased by the present vendor’s father in 1989 and then transferred into the present owner’s name in 2003. Whilst in the family’s ownership the car has had a stainless steel exhaust fitted (1995) and new front and boot carpet fitted in 2010. These wonderful 7 litre engine British sports cars are a joy to drive and are great for long touring journeys or a quick dash along country roads, using the very torquey and tractable large V8 engine to its max.