1974 Jensen Interceptor Series III Sports Saloon

Courtesy of Bonhams

With the Interceptor saloon’s introduction in 1967, Jensen had switched from glassfibre to steel for its car bodies. Underneath, the preceding C-V8’s robust chassis, running gear and 6,276-cc Chrysler engine remained substantially unchanged. With around 280 bhp on tap, performance was more than adequate, The Motor recording a top speed of 140 mph with 100 mph arriving in 19 seconds. Four-wheel, servo-assisted Dunlop discs looked after the braking, while ride quality could be varied by the Armstrong Selectaride dampers’ dashboard control.

Leather upholstery, reclining front seats and walnut veneer were all standard features, with automatic transmission the choice of almost all buyers.

The Series II incorporated revised front suspension, Girling brakes and a redesigned interior, while the Series III, introduced in 1971, came with a 7.2-liter engine, better seats, central locking and alloy wheels.

For 1974, Jensen adopted an improved, 330-bhp version of the 7.2-liter Chrysler V8 on the “J Series” Mk III, which also gained all the equipment, including air conditioning, that had been standard issue on the now-discontinued Interceptor SP. The major development that year, though, was the introduction of the convertible, which debuted at the Geneva Motor Show in March.

By this time, most other manufacturers had abandoned the convertible ahead of an expected United States ban. When the latter failed to materialize, Jensen was left in a strong position, selling 506 convertibles in the next two years.

YXE 900M was purchased by the current owner in late 2012. Between 2006 and 2007, the car had been subject to an extensive restoration and rebuild at a recorded mileage of 51,000 when it was completely dismantled, all corrosion removed and subsequently bare-metal repainted in Rolls-Royce Royal Blue Metallic, the process being photographically recorded.

At the same time the interior was comprehensively retrimmed in full cream leather with blue piping and new Wilton carpet. The engine was fully rebuilt while the car was dismantled, since when it has covered a further 3,422 miles.

Paul Hardiman

Paul Hardiman - SCM Senior Auction Analyst

Paul is descended from engineers and horse thieves, so he naturally gravitated toward the old-car marketplace and still finds fascination in the simpler things in life: looking for spot-weld dimples under an E-type tail, or counting the head-studs on a supposed Mini-Cooper engine. His motoring heroes are Roger Clark, Burt Levy, Henry Royce and Smokey Yunick — and all he wants for next Christmas is an Alvis Stalwart complete with picnic table in the back and a lake big enough to play in.

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