• Aug 13, 2009
1972 Jensen Interceptor III - Click above for high-res image gallery

Dude. Talk about a find. In case you have no idea what you're looking at, that's an honest to goodness Jensen Interceptor III. Designed in England, styled by Vignale of Italy and powered by a big block Mopar, the Interceptor is just one of those special cars. Special because there is no good reason for them to have ever existed – yet here one is, just waiting for you to put in a bid.

Now it's true, when the Interceptors were first introduced in 1966 they were dismal. The Chrysler 383 V8 could sluggishly move the steel-bodied 2+2 around, but then the steel would rust when it left the garage. Besides, the factory was on strike and the early Interceptors were most likely assembled by frenzied executives. Or rats. But all of that changed when the Series III Interceptors (finally) appeared in 1971. Most important, the 383 had been ditched in favor of a 440 – the same engine in the black Charger that Steve McQueen toys with in Bullitt (with maybe a smog control or two and a bit less compression). Also – the seller's claiming this car has a "472" V8, no doubt trying to convince unwary collectors that this Jensen has a 426 Hemi – but you know better.

This particular low-mileage beauty (ad says 63K miles, odometer says 77k) lives in rust-free Ventura, CA. Moreover it comes with Mopar's bulletproof Torqueflite 3-speed auto and lightweight alloy wheels. Sadly the engine's seized up, but you can pull 440s out of junkyards until the cows come home. The interior can only be described as well worn, but at least all the glass is in good shape. It could be worse. You could be bidding on the Interceptor's infinitely more desirable/complex big brother, the FF. You know, the first production car to feature AWD, ABS and an insanely primitive form of traction control. That would a nightmare. Need a little more convincing? Led Zepplin's John Bonham owned two Interceptor IIIs. The first bid of $1,000 didn't meet the reserve, so its yours for the taking. Happy bidding.



[Source: eBay]




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  • 27 Comments
      • 5 Years Ago
      In contrast to the previous find (junk) - this is an actual find that's worth noting.
      • 5 Years Ago
      I would gladly trade my '91 Plymouth Sundance America for that ride! :)

      More seriously, it's at least an interesting body. Unlike the generic choads littering the highways today.
      • 5 Years Ago
      I have always had a hankering for a seventies and eighties vintage Aston Martin V8 Vantage coupe. Sort of the same kind of car, big powerful V8, complex early electronics, scarce parts supply, hand built quality. Past a Volante version today and wistfully sighed in the side mirror.
      • 5 Years Ago
      Find of the day?
      This car needs a complete rebuild IMHO that's 1,000 hours ++ of work. Put your own price on the hourly rate.
      If you want such a Jensen really nice ones with all the bugs fixed are available and are a much better deal.
      How do I know? I owned one for 10 years.
      • 5 Years Ago
      I like the fact they were put together by executives or rats. With today's executives I would prefer rat infested assembly lines.

      ABG you missed an ebay find. A person here in Oregon purchased a 1969 VW van.
      This van was one of 70 produced in Germany. It was all electric from the production line. It had dual sliding doors. It was imported by the Tennessee Valley Authority, they imported 7 of them. The van is still in Vermont and will be shipped to Oregon it does not run at this time. I forgot to ask how much the guy paid.
      • 5 Years Ago
      Front looks like a Lamborghini Espada. Back looks like an AMC Pacer. Creepy.
        • 5 Years Ago
        Except that it debuted several years before the Espada and a decade before the Pacer.
      • 5 Years Ago
      I love this car. I used to pass one on a regular basis, a very dilapidated copy (more so than this one), always with the intention of one day buying it and restoring it. Anyhow, as these things go, I finally decide to contact the owner only to discover it had been sold on the previous week, having been laying around for years... so lesson learned! Don't miss out on the next one! Shame this one isn't a bit more local, I dropped the idea of finding one after that first failure, but thanks for rekindling this forgotten ambition of mine.
      • 5 Years Ago
      The Interceptor was a phenomenal beast back in the day, right up there with Aston Martin's (DBS-bodied) V8 for that combination of luxury and performance.

      Would love to see Jensen make another comeback but stay around next time!
      • 5 Years Ago
      YES! More PR for the Interceptor. This are fantastic cars and were, in their day, the fastest cars in the world. Even the generic models feature 3-piston vented disc brakes on all four corners....

      Of course, I'm biased, I own two. Just for reference, one of these was recently bid up to $28,000 in a real-world auction....
        • 5 Years Ago
        Can you put a crate Hemi engine in one of these? Just curious.
        • 5 Years Ago
        Yes, but I don't know why you would other than bragging rights.

        The 440 can make over 600hp with the right combo of parts and appropriate 'fettling' (as the British would say). 440 blocks are often used on drag cars, where they can make upwards of 3000 hp (with superchargers and nitrous, of course). Keep in mind that any more than about 475hp and the whole drivetrain needs to be upgraded (tranny, driveshaft & diff). Never mind other stuff like changing the rims so that you can fit larger tires (stock is 15x6, IRC). And cooling, which is always an issue in British cars, will also have to be upgraded to deal with more power.

        Stock, it will do 0-60 in about 6 seconds and over 150mph. And this is for a car that weighs 5000 lbs. It's a GT car, basically, not a sports car or a muscle car. Overall, I'd say rebuilding the engine is probably the easiest/best choice over putting in something new and different.
      • 5 Years Ago
      http://houston.craigslist.org/cto/1317936101.html

      Another on in Houston. A bit more money, but it runs.
      Bill Palazzo
      • 1 Year Ago
      Great car... I owned one (vin# 140-8081) I miss it a lot and sorry I sold it and would love to have another one..
      • 5 Years Ago
      My Ex-Uncle (No longer married to my Father Sister) allegedly put one of these into Greenwich tip in "Sarf" London to collect on the insurance.

      He allegedly did the same with his Aston as well. and then a few years ago it turned out he'd had a string of mistresses, had been ripping off companies who's stock he was wearhousing and other frauds.... Dodgy geezer.

      Could have bought one of these in the early 90's £5500, wish I'd had the Cash, smashing car if only like a greenhouse in the back...
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