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It has not been a good time for lovers of British icons. Everywhere we turn those things of which we have been most proud seem to be disappearing. HMS Ark Royal has sailed off into the sunset and the fabulous Harrier jump jets, a symbol of these islands’ legendary inventiveness, have gone with her. Not so long ago sports car maker TVR closed its doors for the last time and Concorde, our supersonic jet liner bowed to 21st-century economies of scale and flew off to various museums worldwide.So when the chance came for me to sample two of the finest examples of the best of British – both with roots in the never-had-it-so-good Sixties – I did not need to be asked twice. My wife Jill had inadvertently set up this piece of good fortune with a speculative bid at a charity auction to spend a day with the Red Arrows, the RAF’s world-famous aerobatic display team.As the date loomed, another slice of luck came my way when an old Formula One PR friend sent an email about one of her clients… Jensen International Automotive (JIA). Jensen made the car of my schoolboy dreams, the fabulous, dashing Interceptor. Trips to my dentist David Robson in Gateshead were made bearable by walking by the new Interceptor on his drive, once, twice, three times just so I could peer through that ridiculously sexy, curvaceous rear window.

The Jensen company was mortally wounded by the first major oil crisis of the mid-Seventies and although it thrashed around and was occasionally resuscitated in the years that followed, the magnificent, big-engined Interceptor was its last glorious product. Until now. Jensen International Automotive is bringing the old girl back to life using donor body shells (old cars) but replacing virtually everything that makes them go, stop and change gear. It’s a 21st-century car in Sixties clothing.But these are challenging days for such British icons. The new Interceptor costs £100,000-plus, depending on customers’ tastes and demands, a far cry from its £3,740 price tag in 1966. As for “The Reds” as they are known within the RAF, defence cuts are everywhere. Our sister paper The Sunday Express launched a campaign to save the team six years ago when their future looked to be in doubt. Now, the need for public spending prudence is omnipresent.

Not only that, the Reds are recovering from a crash on a training flight 12 months ago ahead of the 2010 season when two of the £20million BAE Hawks touched in mid-flight and one of the team, Flight Lieutenant Mike Ling, had to eject as his plane crashed into a Crete military airfield. His Hawk was destroyed but he escaped with a dislocated shoulder. So can the Red Arrows – who are based at RAF Scampton – and the Interceptor survive? I had to investigate.From the moment I laid eyes on the Interceptor I was smitten. “My” car is actually owned by Charles Dunstone, co-founder of Carphone Warehouse, who has invested in the JIA project and is now a director. His Interceptor S, originally built in 1973, is the first version of the “new” cars, dressed in Old English white with several hides of black leather providing a sumptuous new interior. Having had several classic cars I knew to keep checking the water temperature gauge and oil pressure but I need not have worried.

The needles never strayed from position A, the 200-mile journey to Lincolnshire was a breeze and the car oozed class and performance. It was noticed. A Mondeo man decided to tailgate me on the M11. Or he tried for a while. Off the motorway on the A-roads to Scampton it was perhaps even more of a joy, the new independent rear suspension from Jaguar helped the car stick sublimely to the twisting roads. And then we were there. I already fancied the Jensen’s chances of survival second time around. But what about the Red Arrows? I arrived just a few days before the Ministry of Defence announced 2,700 job cuts in the RAF.What price their showpiece aerobatic squadron? RAF SCAMPTON would look familiar to graduates of brickbuilt secondary modern schools of the Fifties. Add to that a liberal dose of neglect and under-use and it’s no surprise to learn that The Reds are soon to leave the base after a quarter-century for nearby RAF Waddington. The bricks and mortar are depressing and the only flying done at the base is by the famous team. But it is their very presence that invests the old place with a feeling of something special.

However, what of those defence cuts and that 2010 crash? At the Red Arrows briefing room block, where we were introduced to the the team by Air Commodore Gordon Bruce, it didn’t seem to faze this bunch who oozed charm and efficiency, none more so than this year’s leader, Red 1, Squadron Leader Ben Murphy. As he led his colleagues through the airborne drill they were about to undertake his manner was calm, authoritative and inspiring. Within moments we were outside again to watch Murphy and two colleagues, Red Five – Flight Lieutenant Kirsty Moore – and Red Nine, Flt Lt Zane Sennett, perform one of the elements of their display: rollbacks.This involves three Arrows in a mini diamond formation (part of the famous Arrows nine-strong diamond) with each in turn flipping up to the left, rolling over and then rejoining the other pair. We made our way up to the Scampton control tower to get the best view of the choreographed display, the trio soaring and swooping over the flat Lincolnshire countryside, roaring into view with a thunderous balletic display, Murphy’s voice crackling over the radio to give his commands. By 10.30 we were back in the debrief room with Murphy leading the inquest.

He talked the talk, coolly, measured and assured with reference to “closure and escape”, “variables” and “lollipop slides” not to mention “lateral separation” and a “bit of an unload”. I really couldn’t understand the specifics but I got the gist: here were a man and his team searching for the split second, split degree exactitude that would make The Reds what they are – and have been since 1965 – an RAF institution that is a credit to the nation, worldwide.There was then time to join The Reds’ unseen team, the back-up crew of mechanics who keep them in the air as we toured the hangar where one red Hawk stood semistripped for maintenance. Here we were shown the workings of the ejector seat, very much a last-resort necessity but a necessity that saved Mike Ling’s life last year. Then it was back outside to watch the next flying session, this time the jets performing the “corkscrew”, manoeuvre that does what is says on the tin with the jets producing twisting plumes of coloured smoke as they roll over one another’s flight path.

And there was time for the thrilling head-on meeting of two of the jets which, during a display, looks for all the world as though the pair are dead-set on a collision course. Still there was more. We were invited to join the chaps, and Kirsty, for their Friday ritual… fish and chips. The now-recovered Mike Ling was there too to see old pals and fly one more time with them. What was the best thing, I asked Kirsty, about being the first woman to be a member of the famous Reds? “I find it difficult to answer that,” she admitted. “For me, it’s all about the flying and being a part of the team. I don’t think about the ‘first woman’ business. I just love it.”NEXT stop is Cyprus for their final 2011 rehearsals for the summer display season and all too soon our time was up but the the thrills were not over yet. For as Gordon Bruce waved us off, the Interceptor was waiting in the Scampton car park. After the volume-10 rumbling in the sky came the street-level thunder on tap in the Jensen. It really is like having a sonic boom, or John Bonham’s drum kit, under your right foot, the 6.2litre engine providing a symphony of interwoven bass notes.

We cruised back to London before we knew it and my final job was to deliver the beast back to Steve Bannister in Princes Risborough in Buckinghamshire. As much as I’ve always wanted an Interceptor I wondered who really had a spare £107,000 to spend on a car.“We aren’t selling cars. We are selling dreams,” Steve told me. “We hope to sell 12 this year. If we sell eight, we’re into profit. If we sell more – whoopee! “The people who are buying them are not going to use them every day. Many of our cars go straight into collections. One customer, a banker, got his car from us the day after he collected a new Aston Martin Vanquish. “Why? He had simply always wanted a good-as-new Interceptor. I heard so many people ask me before we started the company: why can’t we have a Jensen Interceptor that drives brilliantly, reliably, rides well and stops as it should? We are fulfilling that dream.”Ah yes, dreams. He’s right. Just like every little boy who has watched the Red Arrows through the generations since 1965 when the British Empire was coming to an end but post-war realities were just starting to bite. The Reds gave the baby boomers something to be proud of, to aspire to. So can these two icons survive, the Red Arrows and the Interceptor? Well, we can dream. I once dreamed of flying, of being a Red Arrow, and I still dream of owning an Interceptor.

On one bright, wintry weekend I got as close as I possibly could to making both dreams come true.

Don’t wake me…


Not long ago I went to a National Lottery bash and met 200 or so past winners. Listening to their stories, I was fascinated by the first things they bought with their megabucks windfalls. It’s never what you think. One bloke won £26 million and bought a fridge and a cooker. Another bought a new front door. One bought a duvet. Far be it from me to question, but seriously – a duvet?

I know what I’d get: a private plane. At this precise moment I’m very sure of that, because the fat bloke in front of me keeps bashing his seat back, jamming my tray into my ribs while I’m trying to write and spilling the teeny-tiny can of cola that the orange-skinned stewardess with eye-watering perfume gave me. Yes, if I won the Lotto I’d never fly economy again.

That just shows that lottery dreams are personal. It’s what you need, what’s missing in your life, that counts. That explains the door and the duvet. Those blokes must have been muttering about them for months, and winning a fortune meant they could finally replace them. I like that.

After a while, though, you’re going to have replaced every bit of your house and if you like cars you’ll have had one each from Ferrari, Lamborghini, Porsche… What do you spend the rest on? What you want is a deep, dark need; something that’s been missing from your life for so long you’ve almost forgotten, but getting it will make you as happy as a kid at Christmas.

I’d forgotten about the Jensen Interceptor. Back when I was a nipper this car was über-cool, mega-stylish and if you were a millionaire playboy in the decade between Sgt Pepper’s and punk rock, this is what you’d buy.

Jenson Interceptor S's steering wheel

Italian-designed but built in West Bromwich with a massive 7.2-litre American V8 up front, it was more expensive than an Aston Martin, more powerful than an E-type and rarer than a Bentley. It was so legendary that Jenson Button’s dad named him after it (getting the spelling wrong). And then it disappeared.

Dozens of car firms went to the wall while I was at junior school and with its small, costly output Jensen was never going to survive, so by the time I was putting car posters on my wall it was a distant memory. In a way, it’s just as well it faded into history. The reality of cars from those days is that they always, always broke down. So I’m very glad that the one I’m driving here is not what it seems.

 Jensen Interceptor S's retro control panel

Resurrected less than a year ago by a group of Jensen-loving businessmen, what you get when you order an Interceptor now is the body from an original 1976 donor car stripped right down to its skeleton by a 12-man team in a shed in Banbury – restored and rust-proofed to modern standards, resprayed and then rebuilt with a brand new engine, gearbox, suspension, propshaft, exhaust, wheels and electrics.

Jensen Interceptor S's leather seatsThe leather seats.

While they’re doing this you can have a say in how everything’s set up, from the throttle response to the leather, making each one as individual as a Savile Row suit. No wonder they only make 18 a year.

A recent buyer let me borrow his, and he’s specified a £20,000 sound system in the boot: turning up The Cult’s She Sells Sanctuary and burying the throttle pedal was one of the best driving experiences I’ve had all year.

This is due to many things, the engine being one – a cutting-edge General Motors 6.2-litre V8 that chucks out 429hp.

They’ve also replaced the old three-speed box with a four-speed GM auto, added limited-slip differential and given it independent suspension. The ride is 100 times better than it would have been in Harold Wilson’s day.

From the outside, though, it looks no different – unless you’re eagle-eyed enough to spot the AP racing brake callipers – and it’s the same on the inside. The seats use new leather to the old design. The gauges are identical to the Seventies ones but new. Just as well, as they never worked properly, either. You can have a sat-nav put in, but I think it would spoil the effect. All this loving care isn’t cheap, starting at £105,000 and climbing.

So what’s it like to drive an Interceptor after 35 years in limbo?

Well, the first thing you notice is the speed. It’s quicker than the brochure stated and at a deep-throated 2,000 revs I was easily overtaking BMW M3s. When you put your foot to the floor, it drops a gear and blasts ahead with a whine like my old Corvette. But I actually preferred it in town: it’s easy to handle, and I’ve never driven a car on test that turns heads like this. Even without the sound system, people were flocking around it in droves when I parked in Chelsea.

And who can blame them? I love cars like this. In fact, I once bought the shell of an old Mustang and filled it with brand new workings, similar to this, and it was massively rewarding both during and after. It’s a way of bringing something beautiful back to life. Sure, there are some tiny problems with the fit and a few rattles inside, but they’re easily forgivable.

I wish the blokes behind this resurrection all the best. It’s brilliant to see Jensen back on the road. To think that all these years, I never knew I missed it.

James Martin


“That’s us,” I mutter with gleeful, smirking and barely contained expectation, betraying an attempt at nonchalance, as a deep, rumbling bass burble disrupts the otherwise quiet mid-morning Barnet residential street, like Barry White gargling through an amplifier. Pulling back the curtain with my eyes darting between window and security monitor, the long, low-slung, slinky and sultry, maroon-painted source of excitement edges into sight outside my Anglo-Italian friend’s North London flat. Promising modern V8 muscle and refinement with untainted classic style and elegance, the re-engineered, refurbished and hand-built Jensen Interceptor R elicits an anticipation last reserved for the Jaguar F-Type or Ferrari 458 Spider.

A niche car even in its 1970s heyday, the Interceptor was the epitome of cool elegance, indulgent luxury and unpretentious sophistication, with its eclectic roster of famous owners including no less than Frank Sinatra, Clark Gable, Tony Curtis, Dusty Springfield, Farrah Fawcett, Mick Fleetwood, Princess Anne and even Cliff Richard and Darth Vader – or at least David Prowse, the man under the black helmet and cape. With effortless charm and an air of edginess and recognition for those in the know, the Interceptor is enduringly desirable, and has now been resurrected and modernised by Oxfordshire-based Jensen International Automotive (JIA).

A gracefully gorgeous grand tourer with uncomplicated but aesthetically pleasing lines, the Jensen Interceptor has its own Anglo-Italian roots, and was penned by Milanese design house Carrozzeria Touring, with early bodies being built by Vignale coachbuilders in Turin, before production moved to the now-defunct Jensen Motors headquarters in West Bromwich, UK. Stylistically, the Interceptor’s moody demeanour and dynamic tension is more reminiscent of Italian contemporaries such as the Iso Grifo than British sports cars and luxury coupes of its milieu. And, like many niche Italian and British exotics, the Interceptor is powered by good old, uncomplicatedly effective, American V8 firepower.

Recapturing a bygone charm and character for clients well able to buy the latest Aston or Rolls, the Interceptor R improves a much-loved formula rather than unceremoniously dragging it kicking and screaming into the 21st century. Formed by Jensen-enthusiast businessmen and engineers in 2010, JIA is led by Tony Banham, with substantial backing from Charles Dunstone, of Carphone Warehouse fame. With modern-day handling, performance, refinement and reliability, the Interceptor R makes a convincing case for itself as a viable daily driver.

Though undoubtedly to benefit from the gloriously bastardised Interceptor hot rod driven by Michelle Rodriguez in this year’s movie Fast and Furious 6, the Interceptor R is, however, a much classier affair. With a £150,000 (Dh852,760) price tag and a 26-to-30-week build time, JIA sources or uses client-provided 1971-76 Mk3 or 1969-71 Mk2 donor cars. Stripped down to its shell and thoroughly inspected, the shell is then restored, repaired, seam sealed, primed and painted to the client’s preference. Mechanically, a modern General Motors LS3 6.2L V8 replaces the original 6.3L and 7.2L Chrysler engines, while the live rear axle is swapped for independent rear suspension.

Virtually unchanged in appearance, eagle-eyed observers will, however, notice the lower front air dam, small round indicator lights replacing the original rectangles, black grille slats, larger air intakes and wire mesh intake and side vent covers. Also included are re-chromed details, wider exhaust tips and new steel bumper, sill covers and kick plates. Larger, bespoke, 17-inch replica alloy wheels are also faithful, and accommodate contemporary brake discs and performance six-pot AP front callipers, along with wider, lower-profile 235/55VR17 tyres.

With an indulgently long bonnet, slinky and alluring low waistline, huge upright glasshouse and rounded and airy rear hatchback, the Jensen Interceptor not only has the perfect name for such a dramatic yet unpretentious GT, but exudes a predatory edginess and sense of almost aristocratic class. Narrow and low, with thin pillars, the Interceptor offers terrific visibility and enables one to place it more easily on the road than a modern GT, despite its long bonnet. Front headroom is generous and rear seats accommodate medium-sized adults, while the R’s luscious, double-stitched, reupholstered leather seats are most comfortable for long journeys.

Hunkered down and sitting close to the fixed steering wheel and slightly pressed against the door, the far side electric “period” mirror doesn’t offer ideal visibility, while the seat belt – anchored behind the rear seats – is tight around portly drivers. The Interceptor R can be fitted with front B-pillar-anchored seat belts and rear belts on request, but this should be standard. Interceptors originally came with different indicator stalks, and the demo car’s are slim, long and delicate. In addition to lush reupholstery, the Interceptor R gets an aircraft-like line of new gauges, set in its leather-lined, refurbished and upright dashboard.

Full of classic charm and detail, the Interceptor R’s cabin features large, user-friendly buttons, rotary dials, chrome-tipped dials, a brushed aluminium console panel and leather-bound, three-spoke period steering wheel. Less conspicuous upgrades include new electricals, refurbished window and door seals and recessed original-style quad halogen lamps. Dramatic, luxurious and exotic, the Interceptor R radiates presence and a sense of occasion. On British roads, it draws admiring looks, courtesy of other motorists and a “stop and chat”, in diametric opposite to the unwarrantedly hostile comments, gestures and behaviour that a similarly pricey, modern, luxury GT might attract.

Replacing the lazy and heavy cast-iron Chrysler V8, the Interceptor R’s GM-sourced V8 – of Corvette, and Camaro SS fame – is a compact overhead valve design, with lightweight all-aluminium construction. An evolution of the classic American V8, the LS3 keeps the Interceptor’s character and is mounted farther rearward behind the front axle for a balanced within-wheelbase, front-mid configuration and weighting. Robust and good bang for the buck, the dependable and easily serviceable LS3 makes the Interceptor R easy to live with. It also gets six-speed auto or manual options.

Coughing to life with a press of the new centre-console starter button, and with less soundproofing than a sanitised modern GT, one better enjoys the deep, fruity burbles and insistent, thumping, bass-heavy growls and bellows as the revs rise all the way to its full 435hp at 5,900rpm. Weighing a modest (by contemporary standards) 1,600kg, and with 574Nm under-bonnet, the new Interceptor’s fat rear tyres dig into the tarmac as it rockets off the line to 100kmph in about 4.5 seconds. Effortlessly muscular, the engine’s deep reservoir of torque is fully available by 4,600rpm, a generous helping of which is always present.

Rich and abundant, the Interceptor R’s torque and progressively muscular power build-up ensures flexibility on any occasion, with overtaking manoeuvres brutally dispatched on kick-down along narrow country lanes. Devastatingly quick at full chat, it relies on seemingly boundless torque for brisk on-the-move, real-world acceleration. Pulling away with freight-train confidence from 2,000rpm, the LS3 V8 isn’t bothered by strong winds or 1960s aerodynamics as it stretches its legs on the motorway.

The most significant trick up the Interceptor R’s sleeve is, however, its more modern, Jaguar XJ-S-sourced lower wishbone and twin-damper independent suspension in lieu of the archaic original live rear axle set-up. Able to compress and expand on one side without affecting the other, the independent suspension delivers better refinement, smoothness and handling than ever. Driven on a variety of town, country and highway roads, it rides elegantly and comfortably without being detached, distant or mushy. Instead, the refurbished Interceptor is supple and fluid over imperfections and roughness.

With a more tangible and natural feel and fluency than heavier modern GTs that rely on electronic management to take the edge off huge alloy wheels, ultra-low profile tyres and firm suspension rates, the re-engineered Interceptor is involving yet relaxing, and well reconciles a GT’s luxury, long-distance and sporting aspects. The brakes are highly effective, but the original servo assistance requires firmer pedal depressions.

With new suspension, springs, bushes and tightened-up and firmer steering, the new Interceptor feels responsive and well-connected for a 1970s luxury GT, while the steering has a meaty feel and decent feedback, with a longer than modern, though not exaggerated, ratio. Turn-in is sharper than one expects, while through corners it leans more than a modern car, but feels balanced, controlled and reassuring. With a natural and progressive feel for its high lateral-grip limits, this JIA Interceptor settles well through switchbacks and sudden weight transfers, with a confident highway ride that’s both stable and refined.

JIA also offers an Interceptor R Supercharger version with more than 600hp and 800Nm of twist on tap, good for a 0-100kph dash of 4.1 seconds and a 270kph top speed. Convertible versions are available, too, but build time increases as donor cars are less common. There might also be a re-engineered Jensen FF on the cards – the car that beat Audi and Subaru by a decade to become the world’s first four-wheel-drive production car.

The Interceptor, much like the AC Cobra, simply refuses to die, kept alive by enthusiasts who can’t imagine a world without them in it. Unlike the AC, however, the world is not overflowing with replica Jensens, and to see one on the road, to hear and feel the bellowing of its politically incorrect engine, to know that its reliability and rust-prone construction have been sorted, is truly wonderful. What JIA has done with this undisputed icon of 1960s/70s British glamour and sophistication is remarkable and, should your pockets be deep enough, if you desire a capable, individual GT car that marks you out as someone with class and impeccable taste, you need look no further.

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What is it?

The latest offering from Jensen International Automotive, creator of the GM ‘LS3’ V8-powered Interceptor R, a version of which we drove in our modernised classics feature at Goodwood in the summer.
Unlike that car, the modernisation of which was largely outsourced, the £180,000 Interceptor R Supercharged you see here was almost entirely rebuilt (starting with a full shell refurb) by JIA’s five workshop staff at its new base in Banbury. Only retrimming and painting took place elsewhere, the former at long-time marque restorer Rejen near Winchester.
The ‘Supercharged’ bit comes thanks to the installation of the LSA engine – essentially a blown LS3 – which makes 556bhp (a full 127bhp more than the ‘R’ we drove) and 551lb ft, dispatched via an upgraded prop shaft. This tune matches that of the LSA-powered Cadillac CTS-V. The six-speed GM auto gearbox seen here is now available in all ‘R’ models; our previous encounter was with a four-speeder.
The R Supercharged also demonstrates a host of refinements that JIA is introducing to its range. Changes include a bonded windscreen in place of the traditional rough and leaky rubber seals, electric front seats and column stalks sourced from a Jaguar XJS, larger, body-coloured heated door mirrors in place of the fiddly little chrome jobs, an effective single wiper replaces the pair of flappy originals and there’s upgraded air-con.
The split-prone black vinyl dash is replaced with a new custom-designed, two-tone leather layout, and two rows of illuminated aluminium toggle switches adorn the revised centre console.
What is it like?
The trim changes transform the cabin into a luxurious habitat of leather, Wilton carpet, chrome and aluminium. There’s even quilted hide on the ceiling and in the sizeable boot, while the ‘new’ seats, which manage to be at once squashy and supportive, fit in well and provide an appropriately laid-back driving position. Only the worn, Jag-sourced column stalks (which are on the snagging list for a makeover) and seat controls detract from the opulent cabin.
But what of the beast that lurks under the car’s bespoke aluminium bonnet bulge? Well, there’s no muscle car shimmy at start-up – the R Supercharged is rock-steady at idle. Amble through town and the blower’s never-ending soundtrack morphs from space age-warble to under-bonnet gale, but the car neatly obeys the nicely weighted steering’s inputs, and while the ride sometimes suffers niggles, it rarely gets worse than that. Unlike the R we tried, there’s no bittiness from the throttle, either, just smooth transitions and nippy step-off.
Break into open road, though, and the LSA ups the tempo in a heartbeat. Floor the throttle for instant torque and the softly sprung Interceptor rears up like an angry brown bear before throwing itself down the road at a fantastic rate. By the time the ’box interrupts with a sub-6000rpm upshift, the engine sounds like a demonic machine gun and you’re going much more quickly than any early-70s GT has the right to.
Yet the firecracker engine never overwhelms its host – the steering is tuned for stability, roll is evident but stays manageable, and the car exhibits an affable floatiness that shames many modern equivalents. At 1800rpm at 70mph, there’s nothing more than a gentle thrum from the exhaust.
For the moment, there’s no manual override for the gearbox, but you don’t miss it: kick-down comes on request, shifts are executed smoothly but smartly, and there’s none of the mid-corner ratio-hunting that blighted the four-speed.
The stoppers generally work well and are progressive, but pedal feel is limited, and significant levels of dive mean the nose doesn’t feel as tied-down as you’d like under heavy braking. It would be possible to improve braking confidence with the addition of ABS, but the cost of the type approval such a system would necessitate makes it unviable.
The new nods to practicality work well. You can actually use the door mirrors now, the wiper clears the screen, the electric seat controls are handy and the air-con now does what it’s designed for. There’s less wind noise from the ’screen than before, but the Interceptor’s chunky brightwork means there’s still quite a commotion from drag, albeit awareness of it fades after half an hour or so. Traction control will be added shortly, but the 255mm-wide rear Pirellis fare pretty well without it, even off the line.
Should I buy one?
There are plenty of reasons to be tempted by the Interceptor R Supercharged. Unlike modern contemporaries, the Jensen avoids the millstone of being expected to deliver razor-sharp dynamics, leaving it to focus on traditional GT virtues. Sure, outright engagement is lacking, but the combination of pace, style and comfort means that fun certainly isn’t.
JIA sells a naturally aspirated Interceptor R with the six-speed box for £149,500 – add the upgraded dash, air-con and wiper kit and that becomes £155,500. While the shock factor of the R Supercharged’s pace – and the ease with which it is incorporated into such an easy-going host – is impressive, the naturally aspirated car is plenty quick and brings a layer of refinement more in line with the Interceptor’s character. In such spec, it is comfortably one of the finest modernised classics money can buy.
Jensen Interceptor R Supercharged
Price £180,000; 0-62mph 3.8sec; Top speed 174mph (est); Economy19mpg (est); CO2 na; Kerb weight 1725kg; Engine V8, 6162cc, supercharged, petrol; Power 556bhp at 6100rpm; Torque 551lb ft at 3800rpm; Gearbox 6-spd auto.