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
‘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.