I had one of these when I was just a lad… a Matchbox model as opposed to a real car – I’m not THAT old! But it’s great to see the Interceptor gracing the roads again after a 35-year absence.

Interceptor – there was something really cool about the name back in its heyday – this was around the time when Tony Curtis and Roger Moore in The Persuaders were vying for attention on TV against Joanna Lumley and Patrick Macnee in The New Avengers. Being a British Spy had never been so cool and Jensen’s Interceptor really captured the mood of the time.

But the Interceptor wasn’t just a sexy looking car, it was also one of the most technologically-advanced cars of its day. The original Jensen FF (Ferguson Formula) was the first mainstream production car to be fitted with four-wheel drive and it also sported such innovations as anti-lock brakes and traction control, which was as rare in those days as self-parking systems are today. If truth be told, the Interceptor was way ahead of its time and proved far too costly for Jensen to build, which led to Jenson Motor’s bankruptcy in 1976.

Jensen International Automotive backed by Carphone Warehouse’s Charles Dunstone

Fast forward to 2011 and deliveries of the new Jensen Interceptor R have just started at Oxfordshire-based manufacturer and restorer Jensen International Automotive (JIA), which set up business in May last year. The Jensen Interceptor R is JIA’s modern interpretation of the much loved British classic from the swinging ‘60s and glamorous ‘70s.

Each Interceptor R is hand-built from an original donor car, refurbished and treated to modern specifications, boasting a GM Corvette LS3 V8 engine, independent rear suspension, brand-new transmission and braking systems, and a luxurious new interior.

Each car is hand-built from an original Jenson Interceptor donor vehicle and then upgraded with the very latest 21st century tech.

Jensen International Automotive has the financial backing and know-how of Carphone Warehouse’s founder and chairman Charles Dunstone, who joined its board of directors earlier last year.

‘Seeing the first Interceptor grand tourers of 2011 being delivered is a great way to start the year,’ said Tony Banham, JIA’s Managing Director. ‘Our current production facilities are capable of achieving quality levels completely unattainable only a couple of years ago. We have managed to produce a modern Jensen without compromising on its spirit or heritage.’

The new Jensen Interceptor R, powered by a 6.2 V8 producing 429bhp, can reach a top speed of 160mph and hit 0-60mph in less than 4.5sec. Prices start from £105k, with a five-month build schedule once an order is placed.

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Steve Davies

Steve is an investor, private equity advisor and former Partner at KPMG, PwC and Bain.   Most importantly he's a life-long car enthusiast, mountain biker and active sports enthusiast. He designs and builds technology platforms and is the architect behind Transmission.

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