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 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 – sufficient 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. A convertible was introduced in 1974, mainly for the European market.
In the mid-1970’s most other manufacturers had abandoned the convertible ahead of an expected US ban. When the latter failed to materialise, Jensen was left in a strong position, selling a recorded 456 Convertibles, in its short two year production run. Jensen Motors were, however, hit badly by the oil shocks of the early 1970’s and, having called in the receivers in September 1975, ceased trading in May 1976.
Today the Interceptor Convertible is one of Jensen’s most sought after models.
The matching numbers example on offer today is one of these very rare Vignale bodied interceptors that were only available from 1974 until 1976. Finished in Golden Sand over beige, it is described to be in very good condition throughout.
Having undergone a recent restoration with bills around €30,000 and travelled a respectable 82,000km from new, this car is ready to hit the open road.
Having spent 12 years in its previous ownership, in recent years works included the fitting of a new stainless steel exhaust system, Edelbrock carburettors, wheels and rims.
Will be supplied with a new TUV.