What do you get when you combine British craftsmanship, American muscle and a thick Birmingham accent? ‘I don’t know George what do you get when you combine British craftsmanship, American muscle and a thick Birmingham accent?’
You get, arguably, one of the most iconic, jaw dropping and desirable vehicles ever made on this little island we call Britain. What you get, is the Jensen Interceptor!
Hi Refuelers, my name is Jonathan and here’s my short story about my Jensen Interceptor Mk3.
As a young boy, probably around the age of 10/11, I used to see a futuristic car at the end of a long private driveway. Having never seen one ever on the road and long before Top Gear and other motoring programs my only point of reference was my ‘Top Trump’ cards.
I had soon worked out I had seen a rare and valuable ‘Jensen Interceptor’. I always dreamed that one day I would own a car driven by the rich and famous.
Fast forward over 30 years and with the advent of the Internet I soon realised I could afford to at least buy a shabby example of the marque with a view of slowly getting one back to its original showroom condition.
After joining the Jensen Owners Club in 2010 I set about the task of finding a car within my budget. I soon tracked down one via a Facebook advert and it was only 7 miles away in Torquay.
Although advertised as a Mk3 Interceptor with a colossal 7212cc V8 after a few messages back and forth to the owners club I soon realised it was one of only 332 Mk3’s made with the ‘smaller’ 6276cc Chrysler Big Block.
A deal was done, and the car arrived on a low loader in June 2010. I did manage to get an MOT and use the car up to the Autumn of 2011. It was then taken to a local garage for a full body restoration. Ironically although Jensen called in the receivers in 1976 the body panels are still available and are still pressed using the original pressings from the mid 1960’s.
The bodywork took longer than expected so at the same time I removed the interior to be retrimmed, wheels to be refurbished and many other parts restored to their former glory.
By September 2015 my Jensen was painted and ready to put back together. I took two weeks to rebuild my Jensen in the garage that carried out the bodywork and respray, and it left the day before a 400 mile tour of Cornwall I had organised on behalf of the owners club!
Going forward to the present day the car still performs as well as it did when it left West Bromwich in 1972. I average around 2,500 miles per year and it does get used all year round.
I have been on many tours with other Jensen’s around the UK with the highlight being the 50th Anniversary of the cars launch with around 100 cars meeting at the National Museum, Gaydon.
The car still puts a huge smile on my face every time I turn the key and that Mopar V8 rumbles into life. It still turns heads wherever I go, as it did in 1972.
Although the car is Jensen Nevis Blue it actually left the factory in Brasilia Brown. It’s a real 70’s colour and I could never see myself in one. The cost when new was around £6000, to have some idea as to how much that was my parents bought a terrace house that year in Exeter for around £3000.
With nearly 10 years of ownership behind me I wonder what adventures hold for us in the next decade?
Model: Interceptor Mk3
Engine: 6276cc Chrysler V8
Top Speed: 137
0-62mph Time: 7.5
Weight: 3500lb / 1590kg
Additional Mods: Coilovers to rear axle , uprated fans , uprated alternator. Performance cam , skimmed heads , Edelbrock carb , stainless headers , lower front springs & spax shocks , high torque starter motor , remote oil cooler