Despite costing more than an Aston Martin DB6 when new and more than twice that of an E Type, Interceptor values have not so much trailed these two cars as stuck rigidly to terra firma like so much discarded chewing gum. All that has begun to change. A car you could easily buy for £10,000 a decade ago is now scratching at the door of £70,000.
The reasons why Interceptor values have taken so long to ascend aren't hard to see. Jensen, in a bid to out-run bankruptcy, churned out a lot of Interceptors - over 6,000 compared to the few hundred cars Aston tended to build of each model. And they weren't always built very well - the combination of corner-cutting and hand-building meant that the Interceptor gained a reputation for being unreliable and also costly to restore. It didn't help either that despite its movie-star looks, the Jensen's most famous client wasn't James Bond but Cliff Richard.
Great Escape Cars we know just how strong that affection is - an Interceptor was one of the first two cars we added to our fleet and, 12 years on, remains one of our top 5 most popular cars.
Such nostalgia hasn't, until recently, translated into high values. Despite various efforts to rejuvenate the Jensen brand and create 'new' evolutions of the original car, you could still pick up a decent Interceptor for under £15,000 until as recently as a couple of years ago.
Not so now. Accelerating values for similar British classics like the E Type as well as Aston DB6s and V8s seems to have had a trickle down effect on the Jensen. After all, if you can no longer afford an Aston there are few British grand tourers of the 70s that deliver a similar experience quite as well as the Interceptor. In fact, anyone who's driven both cars might reasonably argue that the Jensen is by far the better car.
The Jensen arguably looks better and certainly drives much better than comparable Astons. A well sorted Interceptor handles neatly, rides not unlike a Jaguar saloon and is supremely comfortable. All that is before you get to the thumping Chrysler V8 that burbles better than anything that has every burbled before or since.
Elsewhere a lot of the components and running gear are from common British Leyland models. And while the Jensen certainly rots, rendering a restoration not for the faint hearted, it is cheaper to do than an Aston because Jensen specialists don't charge Aston prices.
There are now four simple ways to hire our Jensen. You can opt for traditional daily car hire, which starts at £299. Or try one of our Classic Tasters, which puts you behind the wheel for £59. And finally we run road trips, where you can put the Jensen up against several other classics on a great day out. Find out more at www.greatescapecars.co.uk or call 01527 893733.
In the meantime, we restored this Jensen this year and it's just been valued at £70,000. Here's its story.