History of the Jensen Mk 1 Interceptor

courtesy of JOC and written by Mike Billmore.

click on JOC link below:-

Article courtesy of the Jensen Owners Clubhttp://www.joc.org.uk/phpBB2/index.phphttp://www.joc.org.uk/shapeimage_2_link_0

Author: Mike Billmore aka Wallace on the Forum

Jensen Interceptor 'The Italian Car'

Shown at the October 1966 Earls Court Motor Show alongside the technically advanced 4 wheel drive FF, the Touring of Milan designed Interceptor was quite a sensation and received much praise. The fact Jensen had in the space of a year produced two completely new models was also outstanding, particularly as the two companies involved in the project were 680 miles apart. The original design penned by Touring of Milan was taken to Vignale of Turin who had the capability to produce the car in much higher numbers than Touring. Fully trimmed and painted body-shells were delivered from Italy for assembly at West Bromwich by October 1966.

Both new cars had the 330 bhp Chrysler 383ci (6276cc) V8 engine and Torqueflite 3 speed automatic gearbox as fitted to the previous C-V8 and shared body panels from the front A-pillars back, the chassis of each car were however quite different. The Interceptor was originally a modification of the successful C-V8 chassis, the FF model was heavily modified with a different main tube arrangement to accept the 4 wheel drive system also being 4” longer. Whereas the body on the CV8 had been glass fibre, both the Interceptor and FF were of all steel construction. A new type of wheel was used, fully chrome plated 5J x 15” Rostyle wheels were fitted to both models.


Vignale and MkI Interceptor

The original cars built by Vignale in Italy required much work inside and out to meet the quality standard required by Jensen, eventually the contract was terminated and Jensen started producing the cars themselves at West Bromwich. There are many subtle differences on the early cars due to constant updating for production purposes and detailed records of changes were not kept up to date.

Mid 1969 the front suspension was redesigned replacing the king-pin type carried over from the C-V8 with independent, coil sprung, ball jointed wishbones, the lever arm dampers also being replaced with telescopic type. The twin piston Dunlop callipers front and rear were replaced with Girling triple piston types improving braking, radial tyres were fitted making the Interceptor even more sure footed than before and power steering was standard fitment.

For the October 1969 Motor Show a MkII version of the Interceptor and FF were displayed signalling the end of Vignale and MkI  production with a total of 1033 produced.


The interior was stylish and obviously Italian - nothing had been seen like this before in the traditionally British Jensen. On the left a very early Vignale-bodied car with many detail differences to the later West Bromwich-built cars. On the right the detail differences are plain to see, but additionally, this is a very rare manual-gearbox model.