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Motoring: Jensen Interceptor - 1965

The Jensen Interceptor was a large but pretty motor car, a genuine European grand tourer, with ample room for four adults, and powered by a big American (Chrysler) V8. In 1965, at the Earls Court Motor Show in London, Jensen displayed a prototype of its first 4-wheel drive model with anti-lock brakes, but it was shown with the earlier (then current) CV8 body work. A year later in 1966, Jensen debuted its new Vignale-designed body work in both 2 and 4-wheel drive versions. The 4-wheel drive FF was revolutionary for the time, not only because it was the first sports car to feature 4-wheel drive, but just as importantly, it was the first vehicle ever to feature anti-lock braking, previously the exclusive domain of the aircraft industry.

The two models were visually similar, but there were several detail differences, all from the windshield forward. The front bodywork was 3 inches longer in order to provide extra space for the front differential and front brake shafts. The FF's front wings also had a concave indent running along the horizontal edge, which ran forward and down to the front bumper. There were also 2 narrow side-wing vents on each side, instead of one slightly wider example on the regular Interceptor. Although the new Interceptor used the chassis from the previous CV8 model, the outer rails of the FF chassis were moved further outboard in order to accommodate the positioning of the four wheel drive unit. The FF engine also slanted up and canted over to make room for the prop shaft to come forward and drive the differential.

A total 6977 Interceptors of all types were built between 1966 and 1976. Included in this number, there were a total of 320 FF's. The FF was produced in 3 different versions. There were 196 Mark I FF's built. This was followed by the Mark II model that featured many mechanical and electrical upgrades and visual improvements, such as raising the bumpers 2 inches (featuring new overiders), a revised turn signal arrangement and grill surround paint treatment. The most obvious change however, was the completely redesigned interior. There were a total of 109 Mark II cars built. The Mark III FF of which only 15 examples were built, featured a revised interior with new seat and door panel designs and wider alloy wheels with wider tires.

Jensen Interceptor FF
Model Type: 2 Door Coupe
Body Designer: Vignale
Engine: Chrysler 6.3 Litre V8 (6276cc)
Horsepower: 325 bhp at 4600 rpm
Torque: 425 lb at 2800 rpm
Transmission: Torqueflight 3-Speed Automatic
Front- Independent, twin coil springs, telescopic dampers, wishbones, anti roll bar. Rear- Live axle, Semi elliptic dual rate springs with rubber button inter-leaved separators, Armstrong Selectaride adjustable telescopic dampers, Panhard rod.
Top Speed: 130 mph

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