Jensen Interceptor Reviews from UK and Ireland

1974 Jensen Interceptor III J -Series 7.2 litre

Model year1974
Year of manufacture1974
First year of ownership2004
Most recent year of ownership2005
Engine and transmission 7.2 litre Automatic
Performance marks 8 / 10
Reliability marks 8 / 10
Comfort marks 9 / 10
Dealer Service marks 7 / 10
Running Costs (higher is cheaper) 2 / 10
Overall marks (average of all marks)
6.8 / 10
Distance when acquired55000 miles
Most recent distance59000 miles

Summary:

A fascinating, stylish and relatively cheap and unloved '70s GT car

Faults:

Distributor failed.

Leather on driver's seat beginning to crack.

Minor electrical gremlins (since sorted)

General Comments:

Very silky and torquey 7.2 litre V8.

Excellent visibility all round.

Characterful interior with lots of dials.

Good handling and ride on motorways and A roads.

Ludicrously thirsty.

The big V8 runs hot in the cramped engine bay, but overheating problems can easily be addressed. Big challenge is to reduce ambient temperature in engine bay. Ceramic-coated headers are an expensive possibility. A louvred bonnet helps. Can cook dinner in the engine bay after a run on a hot day.

Electrical system quite complex and needs to be checked thoroughly before contemplating purchase.

Raffish styling, beautiful to some, awkward to others.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 24th December, 2005

30th Dec 2005, 08:14

I agree with the sentiments expressed. As the owner of a '72 Mk3 the car has all the attributes of a similarly aged Aston Martin, but at a far less cost of ownership. It can be easily maintained by the owner and all parts are obtainable, especially the American drive train parts. Just make sure you get one that isn't rusted or been poorly restored. Extensive rust on these cars is an expensive problem to rectify. In summary a very usable super GT in the classic mould.

25th Jan 2011, 06:23

I have owned a 73 for 20 years. It is not a perfect car, but with effort can be dramatically improved. A redeeming quality is that the engine is still raced, and therefore new upgrades are still being introduced and are relatively inexpensive. A new Holley 650 CFM carburetor runs beautifully, and a new MSD ignition control and distributor totally eliminate starting and running gremlins. Upgrade the alternator to 100 amps and change out the fans to 4 smaller fans to double the airflow at a reasonable power demand, add a thermal switch and allow a pair of fans to run until the engine cools, and the heat issues go away. Then enjoy the ride and the sound of the pipes! You can always build horsepower to over 400 hp if you crave speed.

1973 Jensen Interceptor MK III 7.3 V8

Model year1973
Year of manufacture1973
First year of ownership2004
Most recent year of ownership2005
Engine and transmission 7.3 V8 Automatic
Performance marks 8 / 10
Reliability marks 6 / 10
Comfort marks 5 / 10
Dealer Service marks 3 / 10
Running Costs (higher is cheaper) 1 / 10
Overall marks (average of all marks)
4.6 / 10
Distance when acquired80000 miles
Most recent distance86540 miles

Summary:

What a sound from those twin tail pipes

Faults:

The electrics in the engine bay area have suffered from the intense engine heat and are therefore problematic.

The CarterThemoquad carburetor can be very tricky and is prone to primary chamber flooding. This car will overheat if the radiator is not maintained well!

General Comments:

This car is very fast and very loud.

The interior is superbly finished in leather everything and all the mod cons, some of which you don't even get on modern cars. It also seats 4 adults, all be it with very little leg room in the rear. The view out of the massive rear view mirror is stunning - no pillars to restrict your view.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 27th March, 2005

18th Jan 2009, 19:30

The issue with the Carter ThermoQuad is pretty well-documented in America, at least from Technical Service Bulletins from the early '80s. Someone might have a fix from this side of the pond.

1966 Jensen Interceptor V8 overhead valve

Year of manufacture1966
First year of ownership1970
Most recent year of ownership1972
Engine and transmission V8 overhead valve Manual
Performance marks 10 / 10
Reliability marks 5 / 10
Comfort marks 10 / 10
Dealer Service marks 7 / 10
Running Costs (higher is cheaper) 7 / 10
Overall marks (average of all marks)
7.8 / 10
Distance when acquired23000 miles
Most recent distance26000 miles
Previous carAlfa Romeo sp-ecial

Summary:

Good for the short time I had it

Faults:

I'm not to sure actually. I only had the car for a short time. Nothing accept a few electrical problems and finding spare parts.

General Comments:

I only had the car for a little while because tragically, I fell asleep at the wheel and went off a 13 foot cliff onto a beach. If you care, I was OK, accept the front end was ruined and at the time, the car wasn't worth very much.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? No

Review Date: 8th June, 2003

8th Nov 2004, 08:53

You comment that the car wasn't worth much.

When they were new they cost more than a semi-detached house in Surrey.

10th Nov 2004, 08:07

Maybe he meant that it wasn't worth much because it needed to be repaired.

23rd Mar 2005, 02:48

If you must wreck a car, why not use a Toyota or something. A Jensen Interceptor... sigh!

1st Dec 2005, 06:28

Unfortunate incident. Glad you survived. I can understand the cost of a front-end rebuild being unfeasible if the car was particularly scruffy to begin with - and that's not to say any other damage was done. Could've made one classy beach buggy though!

4th Apr 2006, 07:35

You say you had trouble with (among other things) finding spare parts.

May I suggest a metal detector;- many people use them when searching for metal objects - on beaches.

29th May 2010, 13:14

Even back when they were current, a used Interceptor had quite astronomical depreciation. They were not as reliable as you'd expect from such an expensive car, and were quite ruinously thirsty, which slaughtered second hand values- '73 fuel crisis anyone? I can remember a car dealer by me having 2 of them for sale in about 1978 for over a year before he managed to shift them.

A beautiful car, but it's always going to be expensive one way or the other.

15th Jul 2011, 10:31

I seek to purchase a 74 coupe. I think the car has lots of potential. I like the lines of the car, and I like the interior as well as the fact that it has an American power train. That should make the car relatively inexpensive to maintain. Standard brakes and other minor related maintenance stuff can't possibly be that expensive.

Now just about anyone's got an American classic, this is a chance to have a unique car; besides, a Ferrari is way more expensive.

I enjoy working on cars on my days off. And this may just be the exciting car, that I am looking for.

Back in the 70s, my 1st car was a '70 Grand Prix with a 400/400. So I like big engines.

Average review marks: 6.4 / 10, based on 3 reviews