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.
This lovely original low ownership right hand drive example was delivered new to world-renowned broadcaster and journalist Mr. David Dimbleby, finished in Wine Red with a tan leather interior. Our current vendor acquired the car in the late 1980’s following restoration works by Jensen specialist Cropredy Bridge Garage of Banbury. In his ownership the Jensen has been stored carefully as part of a significant collection, and used sparingly.
Since being removed from storage the Jensen has benefitted from much recommissioning work which included a major service, new brake callipers on each corner, replacement exhaust system, refurbishment of the original GKN wheels, and the fitting of new Dunlop SP sport tyres. Invoices on file to the tune of £4000+ support the recent works.
Showing a mere 49,000 miles recorded from new, this example is ready to be driven and enjoyed. A wonderfully capable GT car of the 1970’s.