Monday, October 10, 2011

The Jensen Interceptor

When you think of 1960s British cars with American V8 engines, what comes to mind?  The AC Cobra?  Sunbeam Tiger?  The Morgan Plus 8 with its GM sourced power?

How about a GT with Italian styling and one of the best car names ever?

The Jensen Interceptor was a limited run grand tourer produced by Jensen Motors from 1966-76.  Powered by Chrysler's 383 and 440 cubic inch engines, it offered style and performance comparable to an Aston Martin DBS or Jaguar E-Type.  But while Aston Martin and Jaguar still make cars today, Jensen died out 35 years ago due to the perfect storm of rising gas prices and poor build quality.  

Recently there have been several efforts to revive the marque and refurbish the Interceptor with updated power plants and amenities.  You can also find a good, clean coupes in the $10-20,000 range or about twice that for the convertible version.  And because of the MOPAR drive train, a lot of parts are fairly easy to find. 

To me, the Jensen Interceptor is one of the few European cars you could legitamately turn into a Pro-Street hot rod.  I sometimes wonder what it would be like to buy one and update it with the Hemi engine and transmission from a Chrysler 300C or Dodge Charger R/T.  Done right, the results would be spectacular. 

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