Amer­i­can mus­cle, Ital­ian styling and West Bromwich man­u­fac­ture can only mean one thing – the won­der­ful In­ter­cep­tor. And it’s as ap­peal­ing as ever... pro­vided you can find a good ’un

Classic Car Weekly (UK) - - Buying & Selling - Words Chris Ran­dall Pho­tog­ra­phy Magic Car Pics

‘A good ex­am­ple will set you back in ex­cess of £30,000 to­day’

You can imag­ine what vis­i­tors to the 1966 Earls Court Motor Show made of this stylish GT, and it still has the ca­pac­ity to wow more than half a century later. De­signed by Ital­ian

car­rozze­ria, Tour­ing, early cars were built by Vig­nale in Turin be­fore the painted and trimmed bod­ies were shipped to West Bromwich for fi­nal as­sem­bly. It was a com­pli­cated ar­range­ment that wasn’t with­out qual­ity is­sues, and one that ul­ti­mately saw com­plete pro­duc­tion move to the Mid­lands.

As much as the looks, it was what resided un­der that long bon­net that sur­prised many. MkIs were equipped with a 6.3-litre Chrysler V8 good for a claimed 330bhp, al­lied to Torque­flite au­to­matic trans­mis­sion, and while the thirst for fuel was prodi­gious so was the per­for­mance. And it im­proved again in MkII form with the 7.2-litre, three-carb SP flag­ship man­ag­ing 0-60mph in 6.9 sec­onds and 145mph flat out – rapid by any mea­sure. But most suc­cess­ful of all the vari­ants was the MkIII, Jensen shift­ing around 3400

be­fore pro­duc­tion fi­nally ended, although the con­vert­ible that ap­peared in 1974 also proved pop­u­lar with 500 sold over a two-year pe­riod. A good ex­am­ple will set you back in ex­cess of £30,000 to­day – rather more than a cou­ple of years ago – so what ex­actly does that buy you? Well, aside from the strik­ing looks and thump­ing pace, it bags a spa­cious and im­mensely com­fort­able clas­sic, one that’s per­fect for longdis­tance cruis­ing. The 2+2 lay­out means that there’s space for pas­sen­gers – and their lug­gage – too, and thanks to the leather-clad cabin it all feels very lux­u­ri­ous. And don’t let the size and weight put you off, be­cause an In­ter­cep­tor is sur­pris­ingly easy to pi­lot. For the grand­est of tour­ers, look no fur­ther.

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