Monday September 12, 2016
This month, for Car of the Month September 2016, our spotlight falls on the stylish Jensen Interceptor!
When we talk about iconic British sports cars from the 1960’s invariably the discussion will quickly arrive at the Jaguar E-Type or one of the offerings from the Aston Martin DB range. There is, however, another car that is equally at home in this company but frequently overlooked, the Jensen Interceptor!
The Jensen can more than hold its own with its illustrious peers and we should not be surprised seeing as it came from the same design studio as the Alfa Romeo 8C, BMW 328, Ferrari 166M and Aston Martin DB5 to name but a few. So it does beg the question, why does this stylish Jensen not receive the recognition is so richly deserves?
In essence what you have are gorgeous flowing lines from the Italian styling coupled with American V8 power, which makes quite a formidable combination.
Jensen released the Interceptor in 1966 and chose Carrozzeria Touring of Italy to design the body. They then approached Chrysler to provide the power plant for this mighty car. Engines started at 6.2Ltr but in 1971 they introduced the 7.2Ltr ‘440CI’ version, which at its peak produced 330bhp. All of the Interceptors were hand-built at the company’s Kelvin Way factory in West Bromwich which helps you appreciate just how good a car this really is.
As stunning as the Interceptor is, Jensen’s Piece de Resistance was the FF model. Outwardly is looked like an Interceptor and was fitted with a 6.2Ltr engine from a Corvette, but the FF was a revolutionary car as it was the first ‘non-all terrain’ production car to be fitted with four wheel drive and ABS. Not bad for 1966! It can be differentiated from the Interceptor by small design changes to the body such as the bonnet bulge and twin air vents on the front wings. Unlike the Interceptor, which was also made in convertible form, the FF was a coupe only and in case you’re wondering ‘FF’ stands for, it’s Ferguson Formula, named after Ferguson Research Ltd who invented the 4wd system.
The Interceptor is a pretty rare with on 6,408 produced and now less than 1, 000 are left on the road in the UK, which brings us on to our next point. How much would it cost to own one in 2016? Surprisingly, not as much as you’d think!
For an E-Type Coupe you’d expect to pay £50,000 upwards for a good model but the equivalent Interceptor can be found for almost half that amount. If you fancy a convertible then be prepared to pay around the £60-70k mark, which is still a bargain in comparison to the equivalent Jag and don’t even begin to look at the Aston Martin prices as they’re in a different league all together. If you can find one of the ultra-rare FF’s, don’t expect much change from £100,000.
In 2015 it was announced that the Jensen Group was planning to release to new models, the GT and the Interceptor 2. Whilst we have only seen clay designs for one of the cars thus far it’s fair to say that, should they reach production stage, expect to see prices of the original Interceptor to rise rapidly.
If you are thinking of spending £25, 000 on a classic British sports car, ask yourself this; For that kind of money can you find an alternative that has Italian beauty coupled with big block V8 power! It’s a challenge you may well struggle to win.