By on September 20, 2011

As the Saab/Spyker/Swedish Automobile mess falls deeper into chaos and hopelessness, Saab’s erstwhile knight-in-shining-armour, Vladimir Antonov has been slowly backing away from the ugly scene. Indeed, his firm CPP Holdings was supposed to buy Swedish Automobile’s Spyker Supercar division, but that deal has been on hold while Swedish Automobile concentrates on keeping Saab alive. And though the Birmingham Post reports that CPP still plans on buying Spyker eventually, it’s clear that having washed his hands of the Saab situation, Antonov is looking elsewhere in order to secure a Victor Muller-free future. But could Britain really offer a loaded young Russian an appealing sportscar brand to sink his hard-earned (or not, whatever) cash into? Anyone know what TVR is up to? Actually, it seems Antonov has gone one better than TVR, and has secured the right to make an “all-new” Jensen Interceptor from the ex-Jaguar plant at Browns Lane, Coventry. Does it get any more wealthy-Russian-trying-to-make-his-mark-on-the-British-sportscar-scene than that? According to Autocar, the new Interceptor will feature aluminum chassis and bodywork, with an attendant “ultra-exclusive” pricetag, and will be shown sometime next year ahead of a 2014 rollout. Because, oligarch.

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13 Comments on “Vladimir Antonov: Screw Spyker, I’m Building A Jensen...”

  • avatar

    Looks like the unholy spawn of a Porsche 928 and a Ford Mustang.

  • avatar

    I actually see a mashup between the final Jensen Interceptor and the old Bertone Jaguar Pirana concept, which, in turn, influenced the Lamborghini Espada.

    • 0 avatar

      There are some similarities to the Pirana concept, but it really is a modern interpretation of the Interceptor. Hope they call the AWD version the Interceptor FF …

      As to the Pirana and Espada, both were Bertone designs originally shown in 1967 (the former commissioned by a newspaper — The Times maybe?). The original Espada concept (Lamborghini Marzal) had uber-cool glass doors but the production version picked up most of the Pirana design from the A-pillar back.

  • avatar
    jonny b

    Correct me if I’m wrong but wasn’t part of the appeal of British sports cars the fact that they weren’t “ultra-exclusive” compared to their continental counterparts? Were MGB’s, TR6’s and Spitfires exclusive? I thought the whole point was they were cheap and somewhat cheerful (when they worked).

    There are a lot of sad stories in the history of the automobile, but few tear at my heart more than the death of the British sports car. These gaudy resurrections don’t help.

    • 0 avatar

      You might be thinking of the Jensen Healey. The Interceptor and all previous Jensens were expensive cars. In the early ’70’s, an Interceptor was $20k while a Corvette was about $7500. They still get good press in the UK. The Interceptor R is being built as a small run of fully restored Interceptors with GM LS3 engines and Jaguar-related IRS. It sells for about $150k, so apparently there’s some market for it.

    • 0 avatar

      I say, old chap, you may have forgotten the Bristol Fighter grand touring car! Exclusivity is all (since beauty is in the eye of the beholder). And it has been some time since Morgans were cheap.

  • avatar

    Jonny b: You’re correct about MGBs, TR6s and Spitfires being the Miatas of the 1960s and 1970s, but the Jensen Interceptor was a totally different animal. During that same timeframe, there were a number of European Ferrari, Maserati and Lamborghini rivals/wannabes that were powered by American V8s, and the Jensen Interceptor was one of the bunch, with Iso Rivolta and Grifo, De Tomaso Mangusta and Pantera, Monteverdi, Bristol and Intermeccanica some of the others that come to mind…

  • avatar

    The Jensen Interceptor possesses one of the coolest car names ever. But a resurrection must be done right, and I have my doubts this one can be done properly.

  • avatar

    It must have a Chrysler V8. 465 hp should do quite nicely.

  • avatar

    Needs a hemi

  • avatar

    Maybe a Coyote would fit. Say it, “Jensen Police Interceptor”.

  • avatar
    Mike C

    Back in the day (60s) Ford was so pissed off at Ferrarri after Enzo backed out of a deal for purchase of the firm and Enzo going to Fiat for money..that Ford decided to GIVE engines waay at such low prices many small firms took the bait. Chrysler ..not to be out done did the same but since MOPAR engines where a lot heavier few chasis in the UK and NONE in italy were suitable but bristol and jensen went for it.

    The total number of car made with these small block ford motors from AC, Sunbeam (built by Jensen) , and TVR were about the number that would fall of the deliver trucks in a single day for ford that the old man did not car. He just wanted to irk ferrari.
    To some extent it worked to a lot it didi not. The Mark 4 did push ferrari out of sports car racing to F1. and the cheap V8 did force Ferrari up the food chain..Did it work in total. Dunno it depends…ford is independant ..Ferrari is now run by FIAt and if you check the milae these cars get…well they are bought to look good in the gargae. Iwas in the market and the average I see in Southern Cal is about 2000 miles a year until the first service then about 1000 per ear after that. The number f 328 QV with under 20K miles is astounding.

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