Britain has no shortage of iconic car marques. From Aston Martin to Jaguar, and Rolls-Royce to Land Rover, Britannia rules the roads like it once ruled the waves.
Yet one name in the pantheon of great British carmakers often goes unnoticed: Jensen. Its signature product was the Interceptor, an Italian-styled GT with Chrysler V8 power known for being one of the first road cars with four-wheel drive (in FF form), and for having the coolest name ever applied to a fender badge.
Sadly, a combination of poor build equality, a general downturn, and myriad other factors forced Jensen to close its doors in 1976. There have been a few attempts to revive the company, but obviously none has succeeded.
Perhaps that’s why the latest incarnation of Jensen is taking things slowly. Jensen Motors Ltd. has styled itself as the heir to the great brand, but for now it plans to focus on the restoration and upgrading of vintage Jensen models.
Based in Oxfordshire, the new company hopes to preserve those original Jensens as examples of Britain’s engineering heritage, recalling a time when making things was a larger part of the British economy.
That’s admirable. But what about, you know, actually making things?
Jensen Motors doesn’t appear to have any plans for a new car, but it did say that it will “produce eight examples of authentic Jensen models” to celebrate the carmaker’s 80th anniversary this year.
Those models could be resto-mods based on existing Jensen shells, like the Corvette-powered Interceptor that won over Jeremy Clarkson on Top Gear a few seasons back.
Either way, the more Jensens on the road, the better.