1976 Jensen Interceptor Coupe
One of only around 46 made; LHD US market car imported to the UK in 1989; sympathetically restored and repainted; only 14,300 miles indicated which is believed correct
One of the most handsome GT cars ever produced on these shores, the Jensen Interceptor still turns heads today. A fabulous amalgam of Italian style, American muscle and British craftsmanship, only 6,408 were made in total and it is always an occasion to see one of the 600 or so that survive on the UK’s roads pass by.
While everyone knows the ground-breaking FF 4x4 variant (320 were made) and most people are aware of the Convertible version (267 made), few have seen the Coupe version as only around 46 were made in the last year of production before Jensen went bust in May 1976. Based on the Convertible, the Coupe did away with the distinctive glass hatchback of the standard car in favour of a more conventional rear windscreen which allowed for the provision of a normal boot.
Jensen contracted Panther Cars to design and build the roof which was covered in vinyl and had a striking smoked glass panel running up from each B-post and across the top of the roof. All the Coupes had the 330bhp Chrysler 440 V8 under the bonnet mated to TorqueFlite 3-speed automatic transmission. The interior was much like the Convertible with a woodgrain dashboard and centre console in place of the padded vinyl of the standard cars, and luxurious sheepskin inserts on the leather seats. Exact production figures are hard to come by, but it is generally accepted that 21 were LHD and 25 were RHD.
This particular Coupe, chassis number 2710-1965, is one of just four cars finished in Aruba Red and is one of 18 cars supplied to the American market. Correspondence on file from Jensen historian Richard Calver states that it was first owned by a Dorothy Santoro of Lockport, Illinois. It seems that she damaged the front of the car in 1979 and it was then laid up until February 1981 when it was acquired by a dealer in South Carolina, Kenneth del Guercio, at which point it had 11,259 miles on the clock, as confirmed by a copy of a US Certificate of Title on file.
In 1989 del Guercio sold the car to an English gentleman, John Ford of Dursley, Glos, who had it shipped back to the UK in November of that year with all duties paid. By this time the car still had only 13,000 miles on the clock but was looking a bit scruffy so he had the bodywork restored and repainted in Peugeot Red Lucifer which was a very close match to the original Aruba Red. It seems that Ford never actually registered the car for road use, but he kept it until 2010 when our vendor acquired it as an unfinished project.
A Jensen collector with several other Interceptors, he spent the next few years slowly bringing the car up to scratch which included tidying up the interior with new sheepskin seat inserts supplied by Rejen and new eyeball vents in the centre of the dash supplied by Richard Appleyard. The braking system was also overhauled, a new aluminium J-Series radiator was fitted along with a new High Torque starter motor and a new front bumper and the whole car was given a good service and tune-up.
Finally road registered in December 2018, the car was then driven from Lincolnshire to a JOC meeting in Birmingham in May 2019, also calling in at the former Jensen works at Kelvin Way, West Bromwich – her first visit since she originally left the factory for America back in 1976. The vendor reports that the car performed beautifully during the 400-mile round trip and was much admired along the way. She also visted the JOC International Weekend in Hull the following month. The odometer still only shows 14,241 miles which the vendor believes to be correct although there is insufficient documentary evidence to warrant this figure.
As you can see in the photos, the car is in generally good order throughout with very good panel gaps and an exceptionally sound undercarriage. An extremely rare version of a deeply desirable car, this fabulous Coupe would sit well in any collection.
For more information contact James on 07970 309907 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
* All charges are subject to VAT