Paul Somerscales – 1974 Jensen Interceptor MK3
The Jensen Interceptor is a classic car that has it all; power, style, quality craftsmanship, and to top it all off, it’s a great drive. Rivalling the Aston Martin models of the late 1960s and early ‘70s and the like, the Interceptor was introduced in 1966. The Touring of Milan designed Interceptor was originally built by Vignale of Turin, but later moved to Jensen’s West Bromwich factory where the car was produced alongside the 4-wheel drive FF model. The MK1 Jensen Interceptor featured an all-steel body, chrome-plated Rostyle wheels, 330bhp Chrysler 383ci V8 engine, and Torqueflite 3-speed automatic gearbox. There is no doubt that the Interceptor was a stylish car with Italian influences, and very different from the previous British designed Jensen’s.
Over the next few years, the Interceptor was continuously updated, and subtle differences can be seen between the models. The MK2 model was unveiled in October 1969 with a restyled interior, slimmer bumpers, and changes to the front and rear lights. Aircon was even offered as an additional extra.
In 1971, Jensen unveiled a new flagship vehicle, the facelift model to the FF, the SP. The SP was considerably more powerful with a tuned 440ci Chrysler engine incorporating three dual choke carburettors. It also had an updated interior, and the addition of bonnet louvres, and other exterior updates. The MK3 Jensen Interceptor was given the same interior and exterior treatment as the SP model, giving the car a fresher, modern look. Eventually, the engine in the MK3 model was updated with a 440cid engine with a single four-barrel carburettor. A convertible model was released in 1974, and a Coupe version was also introduced in 1975 of which only 60 were ever made before Jensen ceased trading in 1976. By the end of production in 1976, 3,432 MK3’s had been produced, making it one of the most successful Interceptor models.
As a specialist classic car insurer, one of our priorities is providing the best possible insurance cover for cherished classic vehicles, cherished cars like Paul Somerscales’ 1974 Jensen Interceptor MK3. Paul’s Interceptor is featured in our 2021 Drive It Day Gallery, and when we saw Paul’s photo of a fabulous day out in the Jensen, we just had to hear more about this stylish car.
Introducing Paul and his 1974 Jensen Interceptor MK3
Paul’s interest in cars started from an early age, having grown up in the Vauxhall producing town of Luton, Bedfordshire. Early memories of helping to polish his dad’s car on a Sunday afternoon, and trips to the local Vauxhall showroom to purchase an updated family car, all helped to form a lifelong passion for classic vehicles. But a trip to see an Opel Ascona at a garage that also happened to be an official distributor for Jensen cars was where his affinity with Jensen began.
Originally purchased from a garage in Raunds, Northamptonshire, Paul has owned his 1974 Jensen Interceptor MK3 for just over 20 years ago. “I first admired the car through the showroom window and immediately asked for a test drive. Not only did it look amazing, but it also drove really well and sounded even better!”, Paul recalls.
Paul was able to enjoy driving the Interceptor for about a year before contacting Jensen specialists, Cropredy Bridge Cars Ltd, to undertake a general inspection of the car and advise of any potential issues. “Although the vehicle proved to be in good condition, its continued maintenance is an ongoing, expensive project which has led to a substantial history file containing invoices of work carried out”, Paul tells us.
Let’s take a look at this Jensen Interceptor in more detail
The car is Chrysler powered with a 7.2 litre V8 cast iron block producing 330bhp. Paul notes that a new Edelbrock carburettor has been fitted which solved the poor starting problem in hot weather.
The car is rear wheel drive with disc brakes, independent wishbone type with coil springs on the front, and Semi-elliptic springs on the rear.
The transmission is the original Chrysler Torqueflite automatic 3-speed gearbox with torque converter, and the steering is power assisted rack and pinion type which was advanced for its time.
Inside, the original interior has been completely replaced with magnolia leather and green carpets. The new retro-style radio and wood veneer centre console are great personal touches.
On the outside, the car has had a full-body respray, and the metallic green paint looks immaculate. The re-chroming finishes this Interceptor off to a fantastic standard.
So, with a great looking car, Paul enjoys making the most of driving around the country for regular weekends away and attending local shows. As well as the 1974 MK3, Paul is also the proud owner of a rare 1976 Jensen Interceptor Coupe, and a 1974 Daimler Vanden Plas – what a great collection!
If you are attending a classic car show in the Northamptonshire area, do keep an eye out for this stunning Jensen Interceptor.
Paul, thanks very much for chatting with us!