Ads on Test: Jensen Interceptor MkIII

There are plenty of Interceptors out there, but this example must be up there with the best of them, reckons Richard Gunn

Price £59,495

The Jensen Interceptor offers a similar experience to the Aston Martin V8, albeit at somewhat less cost (aside from the fuel bills). This MkIII is about half the price you’d expect to pay for a Newport Pagnell V8 in similar condition, yet is definitely not half the car.

In Silver-Grey with a black vinyl roof, this one is a striking-looking, purposeful machine. Bodily, it’s little short of superb. You have to look hard for exterior imperfections – the worst we found was a slight pinprick ding on the left-hand side of the bonnet, which has been touched up, plus a tiny patch of missing pinstriping on the offside front wing. The vinyl roof is excellent, with no crustiness under the material. The GKN alloy wheels have no damage and the tyres are all Grabber GT 205/70 R15H items, dating from 2014 and with plenty of tread left. All chromework is immaculate and panel fit is very good.

The vehicle has been undersealed and cavity wax-injected – even the rear leaf springs are protectively-wrapped. However, we did spot an area inside the offside front wheelarch where the underseal is peeling off. We’d recommend any prospective purchaser check this.

Inside, the cabin is very smart. Cream leather usually doesn’t wear too well but it’s all in very good order, aside from light creasing and a few grubby bits, such as around the door handles. The wooden centre console has no issues and neither do the carpets, protected by Jensen-branded black overmats. All the gauges work properly, aside from the clock. The left-hand sun visor needs fixing – it keeps dropping down – but the vendor says this will be done before sale. The passenger door window seemed a little lethargic, but everything else worked as it should. A Panasonic radio/cassette player is fitted – it’s too modern for the 1973 model, but doesn’t look too out of place because of its black finish.

The packed engine bay is nicely detailed. Although there are a few grimy spots and signs of age, it’s nothing you wouldn’t want to show off. Fluids look clean and at their right levels, with no evidence of leaks. The cavernous boot still has its original warning triangle, tool roll and torch.

The Jensen starts easily from cold and behaves impeccably, with none of the sloppiness these cars can develop in old age. This 87,000-mile example feels tight and lively, with no play in the steering, sharp brakes and no hesitation when idling or accelerating. The oil pressure gauge records a healthy 60psi at idle.

The power on offer is immense. As large and heavy as this Jensen is, the 330bhp gives fierce acceleration, while the automatic transmission handles all this muscle with smooth changes and no untoward noises. The stainless steel exhaust adds a metallic and quite attractive tone to the gruff V8 soundtrack.

This is one of the better Interceptors we’ve come across. With a huge history file, including many books and magazine articles on the model, this example seems to justify its top-end price. This is one of four cars for sale tested in the latest issue, part of 16 pages of buying tips and advice, including Quentin Willson’s Hot Tips, Ads on Test and Buying Guide in the latest issue of Classic Cars.

Price £59,495 Engine 7212cc ohv V8, Holley four-choke carburettor Power 330bhp @ 3600rpm Torque 350lb ft @ 2400rpm Top speed 135mph 0-60mph 7.5sec Length 4724mm Width 1753mm Mpg 13