's Great British Cars – Jensen Interceptor FF

Sun 25th Nov 2018

Great Britain, great cars. The UK motor industry is respected the world over, and though many of the vehicles are actually owned by foreign manufacturers, there can be no doubting of the fantastic heritage of the British motor.

To celebrate Britain’s famous history is launching a series looking back on some of the most famous vehicles the UK has ever seen.

Jensen Interceptor FF
Where the Audi Quattro claims to be the first four-wheel drive performance car, there was a vehicle which pre-dated that boast by some 14 years. Developed by Jensen Motors, who had been building high-end sports cars out of West Bromwich since 1922, the Interceptor was a grand tourer which came with a host of technological advancements, including the aforementioned four-wheel drive and also anti-lock brakes.

These technological developments were deemed so important that the letters FF come from Ferguson Formula, or Ferguson Research who had invented the Interceptor’s four-wheel drive system. The anti-lock however was as equally innovative though and had been developed in partnership with tyre manufacturer Dunlop Maxaret and only previously used on racing car and aircraft.

Jenson had previously released a similar looking rear-wheel drive Interceptor, but the FF was longer and obviously more advanced. First launched in 1966, the FF came with a V8 engine and three speed gearbox, whilst the interior showcased leather-covered bucket seats, real wood trim and wool carpeting - a real luxurious grand tourer.

Unfortunately the high-spec of the FF came at a price, in more ways than one. The actual price of the Interceptor FF was way higher than the previous standard Interceptor, and was costlier than some of the more fashionable and prestigious GTs on the market at the time. Perhaps the ultimate and costly problem for the FF was the fact that all this technology had not accounted for left-hand sided steering, gear and braking system - which severely limited its export capabilities, ruling it out of the American market entirely.

Still, the Jensen Interceptor FF enjoyed a five year run of success, with a limited run of 320 produced, ensuring that the car is a true collectors item today, and in good condition can demand six-figure sums at auction.

Years of manufacture: 1966-71 
Price when new: £5,249 
Price now: £80,000-£100,000
Engine: 6,276cc 8cyl petrol, 330bhp
Top speed: 140mph