Car reviewers these days prefer to test out brand new cars, they always talk about the innovative technology, the value for money compare to other rivals, and how they are rocketing the manufacturers forward and how it’ll rapidly change them in the years to come. However, what they don’t do and us readers can, is look at some of the second hand bargains that are snapping up these days. At the end of the day, we are in charge of the buying, so I think there needs to be some way of letting buyers know what’s really out there.
That’s where this retro review comes in! I could write about the new Audi A4, but instead, I’d rather write about something with more character, more thirst, and MUCH more beautiful. I’m talking about the Jensen Interceptor.
The owner opened up the door for me and I slid inside the aviation-inspired cockpit, it was lovely, red leather combined with chrome silver trim. It looked very expensive even by today’s standards! The next thing that struck me were the dials, they looked like they came straight out of a cold war bomber, I’ve sat inside a Vulcan Bomber before, remembered the altitude gauge, fuel gauge etc. and I can confirm that the center dials in the Interceptor, looked almost exactly alike. The drive stick looks as though it was used to supply power for jet engines! As far as period dials go, this is simply one of the coolest!! Now you try finding that in a small hatchback.
My spine was shivering, even before we moved away, by then, there were a few surprises.
First of all, let’s talk about the ride quality, this is one heck of a comfortable car! Even for a car that’s over 40 years old, it rode over potholes and rough road as if the tyres were steam rollers, made from jelly. I could survive a long, continental journey in that car EASILY, it puts you in mind that the Jensen is a Rolls Royce with a louder soundtrack. And I’d say that’s very high praised!
The other thing that got me was the entertainment system, well when I say that, what I really mean was the 8-Track player. I’ve never seen one of those in a car before, if you wanted, it would be hidden under a piece of leather to sort of de-clutter your dashboard, that is a very good idea! probably because I was born when the Cassette player was slowly dying. But nevertheless, it’s so much more awesome than Bluetooth connectivity! It’s more characterful, it takes you back to a time when things appeared to be simple. A very nice touch to what is already an awesome sounding car, which brings me on to my next point.
8 Cylinders Of Heaven!
Oh yeah, there’s one other thing about it-
It sounds, not just fantastic, not just glorious, but like a tiger, grunting as it struts looking for it’s prey. It’s that dirty groan that the Interceptor makes, a modern LS V8 is more like the tiger in a fight, it’s that high volume growl. This however, is smooth, understated, it’s one of the world’s great soundtracks! I love everything about the engine, it makes you dream up the fact that it makes releasing carbon dioxide a fun, noisy game. I adore the soundtrack, I was told by the owner that it was very widely used in other vehicles, including boats and coaches!! That was a surprise.
Weirdly, the later 7.2 litre cars were actually de-tuned to just 280bhp, which is saying that the engineers at Jensen, didn’t really use these engines wisely, unlike Aston Martin or Porsche. But we can gloss over that, the Interceptor is in a class of her own!
So Is It Worth It Over a Brand New Hatchback?
Chief among which is fuel economy, it’s as thirsty as the Interceptor fighter jets! and filling the beast back up again, won’t be cheap.
Then there’s the mechanics, this engine may be very strong but parts and servicing can plunge a sinkhole in your wallet. However, there are other parts on the Interceptor that were used on other cars, for example the steering rack was also used on the Triumph Stag! And you can also upgrade the rear axle, which means taking one from a Jaguar XJS.
But that’s about as bad as it gets really, you can see out of it very easily, I was also informed that it’s not hard to park, and above all, it’s incredibly easy to drive. I could consider using the Interceptor every day!
Prices for a good one range between £25,000-£30,000, if you ask me that’s UNREAL value for money! Considering that the equivalent Aston Martin, Ferrari or Maserati, can be up to 6x more expensive.
I’d invest, because after slowly climbing out of this car and thanking the owner felt like saying goodbye to my best girlfriend. I was going to deeply miss the exclusivity, and the burbling experience of the Jensen. Getting back into my dad’s Mercedes felt like getting back into a 1500cc compact car, I miss it to this day. I rate it a good 7/10.
It’s a risk buying an old thirsty brute, but it’s a risk, worth plunging for!
+ Breathtaking Looks
+Lovely Growl From The Engine – Albeit Underpowered For It’s Size
– Looking After Retro Cars Like This Can Break Your Wallet
– Incredibly Thirsty…
So that was a retro review on the Jensen Interceptor
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