V8 British Bruiser: 1972 Jensen Interceptor

This may seem like an odd assessment. I view the Jensen Interceptor, such as this 1972 example, in three distinct segments. There’s the front, then the engine, and finally, the rear. Hold that thought, there will be more to follow. Referenced as a barn find, this Interceptor is located in Encino, California, and is available, here on eBay for a current bid of $7,900 with eight bids tendered as of this writing.

With eleven years of production, spanning 1966 through 1976, only about 6K Jensen Interceptors were produced in West Bromich, England. Designed by Italy’s Carrozerria Touring, the renowned design studio and coachbuilder did a nice job on the front clip. Jensen gets two thumbs up for their selection of Mopar big-block power. But back to Carrozerria, I have to take those two thumbs up and turn them down for that goofy-looking rear end and backlight. I know, styling is always subjective but as far back as the early ’70s, when I first spied an Interceptor’s hind-side, attached to an otherwise fine-looking car, I thought wow, bugly!

Ok, enough with the snarky styling criticism, let’s consider this specific example. It is listed as having a recorded 51K miles and is still wearing its original Havanna Brown finish.  The seller claims that this is a Florida car, and for that reason, the frame is solid. And while that may be the case, the Florida sun has worked that Havanna Brown pretty hard. It’s faded and rough and looks like it has been rattle-canned here and there, an owner attempted touch-up, perhaps? It could also be the effects of paint applied over poorly prepared Bondo. The trim is mostly in place and the bumpers are OK, though not free of contusions and surface rust. Unfortunately, the windshield is wearing a substantial, top to bottom crack.

Power is courtesy of a 280 net HP, Chrysler, 440 CI V8 engine, sending power to the rear wheels via a TorqueFlite, three-speed automatic transmission. The seller states, “does not drive but does turn freely by hand with a socket“. He also mentions that this Jensen “is mostly complete but there is no rack and pinion“. What does that mean? Does it mean that it is out of service or did someone actually boost the steering mechanism?

The “Expresso” interior is tired looking though the seller considers it to be in good, original condition with original carpets. That’s a fair description but I still stand by my “tired” assessment. The seats are showing wear and separation while those original carpets could use, at the least, a thorough cleaning. The dash pad is surprisingly stout still, but it has a small split or two, including on the vertical face near the gauges. As for the instrument panel, all of the gauges and switchgear appear to still be present. There is a wooden facade atop the center console and it’s starting to either delaminate or disintegrate. All in all, the interior is in notably better condition than the exterior.

OK, so my objection to the Interceptor’s derriere is immaterial and may not be shared with many others. It is important to note, that these Jensens were substantial touring cars in their day; how could they not be with the Mopar hubba-hubba under the bonnet? Unfortunately, 50K miles or not, this example is going to need a lot of exterior help to return it to its former glory and stature. And then there is the issue of that non-running motor…What do you think, a worthwhile challenge or too many unknowns?


  1. Steve

    This is a rare 1-of-1 example. There was only one Jensen Interceptor that has the custom professionally installed Mach 1 stick-on hood scoop. I’m frankly surprised this one has resurfaced from the (very) private collection. Word has it, Carrol Shelby installed the hood scoop himself; he signed the underside of the scoop for provenance.

    Like 6
    • Bruce71Camino

      Yes, you are correct. I have spent my life searching for this car after hearing about it many years ago, spoken of in hushed whispers. The hood scoop caught my eye, and then when I saw the dog doo doo paint that appeared to be applied with a roller and a brush, I knew that this was the white whale of Jensens. It would be under priced at twice the asking priced!

      Like 4
    • DON

      And Carrol cleverly installed it backwards , to avoid anyone trying to pass another turd brown Interceptor as this 1 of 1 classic

      Like 0
      • Howie Mueler

        The scoop looks like from a 69 Mach1, that had the blinker lights mounted on the back.

        Like 0
  2. MikeB

    I bought a 73 Interceptor III in 77. Car was a pale yellow with brown Connelly leather and beautiful Wilton carpeting. This was a wonderful highway driver, quiet and fast, not a dragster, but dead solid at 100 mph. The problem was that huge 440 Mopar was a very tight fit resulting in a lot of heat in the engine compartment which fried the Lucas wiring and the battery. I must have spliced in a mile of new wiring into that car. Batteries lasted about year at best. However, I was a single man at that time and women absolutely loved that car which made up for many of its failings. LOL !!

    Like 0
  3. Howie Mueler

    I see they have two other Interceptor’s for sale. Sellers ID is Bricklin.

    Like 2
  4. DON

    And Carrol cleverly installed it backwards , to avoid anyone trying to pass another turd brown Interceptor as this 1 of 1 classic

    Like 0
  5. Jay McCarthy

    I agree wholeheartedly the arse end of this car is FUGLY, the convertible version is gorgeous

    Like 0
  6. J.C. Halstead

    Lived next to the Airplane House on Fulton Street in SF; Grace Slick had one just like this – minus the scoop – which never seemed to move.

    Like 1

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