The Jensen Interceptor III

If you’ve decided to start a family, one of the conversations that will be had will be selecting the name for your child. Some people may already have picked out their choices before they’ve actually decided to start practicing, others may have made their minds up long before they’ve even found their partner. Some appear to want to rise to the challenge in creating something unique. In a world with over six billion people on it, good luck with that.

Then there are people who have no originality or family tree that inspires them and so decides to follow the contents of Heat Magazine and name the kid the same as a celebrity child. In 2015 for example, there was 623 children name Harper. Clearly, inspiration from the Beckham household continues although the return to more traditional names such as Oliver and Amelia are standing firm at the top of the tree.

Meanwhile there will still be some poor sod entering the world innocently and will end up being called Stargazer Hemp Moonbeam Darcy Dishwater Jones. Now, I ask you. What life path have you just put them on? Well, I doubt that it will be leader of the free world but hey, what do I know?

Over in the car world, names conjure up quite an image before you see it so why are some so stratospherically shit? Today we have the forthcoming Bugatti Chiron and the about-to-be-delivered Bentley Bentayga but it isn’t limited to just new cars. In 1955, there was the snigger inducing Gaylord Gladiator and back in the ‘20s the Studebaker Dictator.

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A while back Vauxhall gave us the Adam and not content with just starting at the letter ‘A’ they’ve offered it with derivatives; ADAM JAM, ADAM GLAM, ADAM SLAM an ADAM ROCKS and an ADAM S. So, it would appear that this was named by the marketing department and signed off by a dribbling moron. That said, it is a decent super-Mini segment car and here in the UK it has shifted over 20,000 units but I still think that it is a naff name.

It suited one of the lead characters in the Bible but doesn’t exactly flick my pea in terms of excitement in a car. ‘I’m heading out for a drive in the Adam.’ I’ve got a mate called Adam and I’m not sure he’d appreciate me shouting that over my shoulder as I walk out the door.

On the whole, I prefer to keep names of people and cars separate. The VW Sharan for example. I can’t see the Rolls Royce Colin anytime soon but I can make one clear exception. Jensen. As if that name isn’t solid enough by having just two syllables, it is aligned with an inspirational surname. Interceptor. Now this is a name you could be proud of as a moniker. To back it up though, it adorns a car that I’ve always found to be a simply stunning looking design.

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For that, we have Carrozzeria Touring to thank. 1966 was the year of production starting and that huge rear curved glass still gets admiring glances here in 2016. The first generation Jensen Interceptor was back in 1950 and with only 88 of those made, it is more rare but to me, this is the Jensen Interceptor of my youthful lust.

Today, Matt is showing me around his car and immediately I love it.

It has one thing that I like massively, presence. The fact that it is black on black, which gives it an air of wrong side of the tracks about it, only heightens my feeling. Unfortunately, it has been slightly blocked in where it’s parked and we need to ask Oliver who is thinner than us to reach in and release the handbrake. Once rolled out the recent passing shower has given way to some sunshine just in time for a drive.

Getting inside it you realise this is most definitely a GT car. Sitting low down but comfortably reclined in the soft leather the smell inside this thing is pitch perfect. But that’s not the half of it for laid out in front of you is something that no modern cars seem to have – dials. Gauges inclined toward to the driver to let you know that you are good for electric, oil, temperature and fuel. Air vents below with a central clock before dropping to the centre binnacle of switches. Proper switches. Just in front of the gear stick is the air conditioning controls, the vinyl covering adding to not only the ‘60’s feel but also the ‘60s smell.

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The three spoke, drilled steering wheel being mainly silver and trimmed in black is so much more satisfyingly designed than something that contains an airbag and has controls peppered all over it.

Driving out into the sunshine you can feel that this car has some weight. Admittedly it isn’t going to be something that you expect to leave a trail of fire behind you with when you put your foot down but that creamy Chrysler V8 up front delivers you an eargasm when you prod the loud pedal. Within five hundred yards of starting off, I can’t help but say that I wish the back shelf had my weekend suitcase on it and I was off to the Italian lakes.

Alas, we’re off to a Northamptonshire country house to use as a backdrop for some photo’s and then skinny Oliver will be driving a chase car for me while I clamber in the boot to grab some shots of Matt driving the car around the country lanes on the return journey.

Heading out into the countryside, the car soaks up the dodgy road underneath it and people we pass turn and stare. This is a happy car to see and be seen in and I can testify that if you have the fortune of seeing one, make the effort to look at it and enjoy the sound it leaves in its wake.

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I can guarantee that you won’t do that with the sodding ADAM GLAM.

Upon arriving at the house, we are quickly joined by onlookers of the car. The way it makes the men want to stand and discuss how they saw one when they were young, the stories of someone else who’s friends father had one for example, only confirms that this is a special car. The way that women comment on how they love the curves and looks just add that this is a great design. And the one thing that happens is that everyone who looked at it took a photo of it solidifies this car as a classic.

Prices are starting to rise in the market on these cars and Matt has also shown me an SP variant that we hope to feature here in future because when you see that, complete with the original 8-track stereo, you are going to be blown away.

For now though, please do as I did and enjoy this Jensen Interceptor III. And if you have a child and call them that, in my book at least, you’re ace.