This 1974 Jensen Interceptor has spend years tucked away in storage in California. It’s now being offered for sale on eBay with a Buy It Now price of $16,900 USD – probably making it the cheapest Interceptor in the world.
That said, there is a catch. This vehicle will require a full restoration including an engine and transmission rebuild, the good news is that (from the images provided) there looks to be very literal rust to deal with.
Fast Facts – The Jensen Interceptor
- The Jensen Interceptor was originally released in 1950 and sold until 1957, but it would be the second iteration of the model released in 1966 that would become a legend on both sides of the Atlantic.
- Many earlier cars built by British automaker Jensen Motors Limited had used fiberglass bodies, the Jensen Interceptor released in 1966 and sold until 1976 made use of a full steel body designed by Carrozzeria Touring of Italy.
- The Jensen Interceptor was powered by Chrysler V8 engines from the United States, typically coupled with TorqueFlite automatic transmissions. They were luxuriously appointed inside with comfortable seating for four, and ample trunk space.
- Over 6,400 examples of the Jensen Interceptor were built and it remains the most famous car ever built by the company. Their valves have been climbing steadily in recent years, and as a result many that have been left in storage are now coming to light and being offered for sale.
The Jensen Interceptor – A British, Italian, American GT Car
When the Interceptor name was reanimated for use on their new car in 1966 the executives running Jensen Motors could have barely dreamed of how popular the car would become.
Above Video: Back when they were hosting Top Gear the trio of Jeremy Clarkson, Richard Hammond, and James May loved the Jensen Interceptor so much they made a 1970s TV show intro starring one.
Though Jensen is a British automaker the Interceptor would be a truly international affair, the design was created by Carrozzeria Touring in Italy, the engines and transmissions were sourced from the Americans over at Chrysler, and the rest was taken care of by Jensen in West Bromwich, England.
Early Interceptors had their steel bodies made by Vignale in Italy however they moved this in-house to simplify their supply chain and maintain a close eye on quality control. The design of the car has enjoyed enduring popularity, it’s had its looks compared with earlier cars like the Studebaker Avanti (rear) and the Brasinca Uirapuru (side profile), however it undeniably has its own unique charm.
A highly modified four-wheel drive version of the Interceptor would be sold, named the Jensen FF, which is now remembered as the first non all-terrain production car equipped with four-wheel drive.
Over the course of its 1966 to 1976 production run Jensen would sell 6,408 examples of the Interceptor over three major model iterations – Mark I, Mark II, and Mark III.
Each model received various subtle changes to body styling and optional equipment, and the engines being offered also changed – early cars received the 383 cubic inch (6.3 liter) Low Deck Big Block V8, this was followed by the 440 cubic inch (7.2 liter) High Deck Big Block V8, and the final engine used was the 360 cubic inch (5.9 liter) Small Block LA V8.
As with many steel bodied cars of this era, the surviving examples of the Jensen Interceptor are prone to issues with rust. On a more positive note, the use of American V8s means that it’s always easy to get spare parts and engine work won’t typically bankrupt owners in the same way that more exotic European engines can.
The Barn Find Jensen Interceptor Shown Here
The car you see here is a 1974 Jensen Interceptor, it’s a Mark III car fitted with the desirable 440 cubic inch (7.2 liter) High Deck Big Block V8 producing 305 hp.
The eBay listing explains that the car has much of its original interior including seats, carpeting, and headliner. The floors are described as being solid and they say the engine turns but they haven’t tried to start it as it’s been sitting for so long.
Importantly they also note that the car has a clear California title, a critical thing to get when buying any car let alone a barn find like this.
If you’d like to read more about this Interceptor or make them an offer you can click here to visit the listing on eBay.
Articles that Ben has written have been covered on CNN, Popular Mechanics, Smithsonian Magazine, Road & Track Magazine, the official Pinterest blog, the official eBay Motors blog, BuzzFeed, Autoweek Magazine, Wired Magazine, Autoblog, Gear Patrol, Jalopnik, The Verge, and many more.
Silodrome was founded by Ben back in 2010, in the years since the site has grown to become a world leader in the alternative and vintage motoring sector, with well over a million monthly readers from around the world and many hundreds of thousands of followers on social media.