7 June 2018

More than an old car #70: Jensen Interceptor III


Some of you may have noticed that I keep featuring cars in this particular exhibition area. This was the Car of the Year event organised by Luxglove which was held at Marina Bay Sands, featuring some 45 classic cars! What greeted me was pure heaven--plenty of exotics were featured such as a Ferrari F40 and an old Mustang. This 1974 Jensen Interceptor III convertible was also another highlight, especially when I had never heard of the Jensen brand until then!

In 1931, the brothers Alan and Richard Jensen started working at W J Smith & Sons, an old established firm of motor bodywork builders. With the death of founder William Smith, the brothers took over the business and renamed it the Jensen Motor Company in 1934. It started out making customised car bodies for firm such as Morris and Singer, and also manufactured trucks under the JNSN marque. After the war, it started producing more sports cars such as the Interceptor. The Jensen brothers retired in 1966 and the company steadily deteriorated due to decreased sales. It was liquidated on 1976, though the brand was briefly revived up till 2002. In 2015, it was announced that the Jensen name would be revived but there has been no news till this day.

The Interceptor was a grand tourer hand-built at the Kelvin Way factory from 1966. Its name was previously used for a older model and steel was used to make the body shell, compared to glass-reinforced plastic previously. It is noted that the styling for the Interceptor was remarkably similar to the Brasinca Uirapuru, a Brazilian-made car which featured a distinctively large, curving wrap-around rear window. Minor external changes were made, resulting in 3 distinct editions. This specimen was powered by a whopping 7206cc Chrysler TNT V8 engine, allowing it to reach a top speed of 217 km/h with an acceleration of 7.8 seconds [0-100 km/h]. It was 4686 mm long and weighed 1814 kg.

Production ended in 1976 with 6,408 built in total. Out of the 512 convertibles made, only 90 were in RHD. I am aware of 1 other model [a coupe though] that is currently registered in Singapore! Though it may look quite ungainly, underneath the hood lies a beast. It was also featured in Fast and Furious 6--an unlikely but unique appearance! This unit is currently unregistered, though it may soon sport a local plate. If you are lucky, you may see it soon!

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