1976 Jensen Interceptor III

Location: SE Ohio
VIN #:2210-1125
Engine:440 Magnum v8

The Jensen Interceptor is a Grand touring car which was hand-built at the Kelvin Way Factory, West Bromwich near Birmingham in England by Jensen Motors between 1966 and 1976. The Interceptor name had been used previously by Jensen for the Jensen Interceptor made between 1950 and 1957 at the Carters Green factory. Jensen had extensively used glass-reinforced plastic for the fabrication of body panels in the preceding two decades, but the new Interceptor saw a return to a steel body-shell. The body was designed by an outside firm, Carrozzeria Touring of Italy, rather than the in-house staff. The early bodies were built in Italy by Vignale, before Jensen took production in house, making some subtle body modifications.

Jensen used Chrysler V8 engines for the Interceptor, starting with the 6276 cc (383 c.i.) with optional manual (Mark I, only 22 built) or TorqueFlite automatic transmissions driving the rear wheels through a limited slip differential in a conventional Salisbury rear axle. In 1970 the 383 c.i. produced 335 hp SAE gross, or 270 hp SAE net. Since this engine was detuned by Chrysler for use with regular gasoline and only produced 250 hp SAE net in 1971, Jensen chose to use the 440 in Chrysler engine for 1971. For 1971, two 440 c.i. engines were offered. One had a 4-barrel carburetor and produced 305 hp SAE net. The other, which had three 2-barrel carburetors and produced 330 hp SAE net, was only available in 1971. Only 232 cars were built with the 440 "Six Pack", and had the distinction of being the most powerful car ever to have been made by Jensen. For 1972, the 440 c.i. engine with three 2-barrel carburetors were no longer produced by Chrysler Corp. The 440 c.i. engine that remained was detuned to 280 hp SAE net. Chrysler continued to offer a high performance 440 c.i. engine through to 1976 when it only produced 255 hp SAE net.

The Interceptor may have taken some styling cues from the Brasinca Uirapuru, with a distinctive large, curving wrap-around rear window that doubled as a tailgate. The original specification included electric windows, reclining front seats, a wood rimmed steering wheel, radio with twin speakers, reversing lights and an electric clock. Power steering was included as standard from September 1968. The Mark II was announced in October 1969, with slightly revised styling around the headlamps, front grille and bumper and revised rear lights. The interior was substantially revised in order to meet US regulations,[3] and air conditioning was an option. The Mark III, introduced in 1971, revised the front grille, headlamp finishers and bumper treatment again. It had GKN alloy wheels and air conditioning as standard, and revised seats. It was divided into G-, H-, and J-series depending on the production year. The 6.3 litre 383ci engine was superseded by the 7.2 litre 440ci in 1971. By 1975 the company had fallen on hard times due to the then world-wide recession, and problems with its Jensen-Healey sports car. It was placed into receivership and the receivers allowed production to be wrapped up using the available cache of parts. Production of the Interceptor ended in 1976 after 6,408 cars had been produced.

This very nice example is a largely original unrestored car that has benefitted from long term collector ownership. The car has been recently recommissioned mechanically with a recondtioned gas tank, rebuilt carb, tune up, new brakes, new battery, new tires, and all fluids changed. Finished in a great color combination the car has one of the better interiors we have seen in one of the these with only minor wear on the leather seats. The paint is over all in very good condition with a few minor flaws here and there visible really only upon very close inspection (pictured). The car runs and drives quite well and is the perfect car for someone looking to a car they can use now and improve over time. This is a powerful car with an impressive exhaust note, smooth shifting, and crisp handling, great fun to drive!

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