First shown at the London Motor Show in 1966 the Jensen FF was the first time an all-wheel drive system had been fitted to a non all-terrain production car. Using a system designed by Harry Ferguson, part owner of Massey Ferguson tractors and known as “the father of the modern farm tractor”, Jensen stretched the wheelbase of their Interceptor platform and fitted the ‘Ferguson Formula’, hence the model being called the FF. Another first for the FF was the fact that it was also the first production car to be fitted with ABS.
Powered by the same 6,276cc Chrysler V8 engine as the Interceptor but on a longer wheelbase, in fact the entire car was 5 inches longer than the Interceptor. Although cosmetically similar there were a few subtle differences the main one being the twin diagonal air vents behind the front wheel arches. Another big difference was the price, which was 30% more than an Interceptor at a whopping £6,017 in 1968. To put that into perspective, in the same year a Ferrari 365 GTC, of which just 150 were built, was £7,900 and an Aston Martin DB6 was £4,500! So the FF was squarely aimed at only the most discerning and wealthy of clients.
To justify this price the car had to impress on the performance front and be well finished. In the performance department, the FF did not disappoint; power output was a heady 325bhp which allowed, a top speed of over 140mph with 100 arriving in just 19 seconds, pretty impressive for a car that weighs 1,750 kg. The interior was very well appointed with reclining leather seats, a walnut dashboard and an automatic transmission, all directed very much at the gentleman who needed a sporting GT car.
This particular example is chassis number 119/022 and was bought new in February 1968 by Lieutenant-Colonel Richard Seifert, the famous architect responsible for many of London’s commercial buildings, including the Centre Point tower block, a Grade II listed building in Central London. In 1987 the car was bought by newspaper magnate Eddie Shah who enjoyed the car for a couple of years before consigning it to a Sotherby’s auction in 1990 where it was bought by an Aston Martin collector. The current owner bought the car in 2015 and took the car to marque specialists Cropredy Bridge in Oxfordshire asking them to go through the car and recommission anything that was in need of work so that the car performed faultlessly, detailed invoices on file that add up to over £20,000 account for the work which included reconditioning of the gearbox, rebuild of the front suspension, new brake discs all round with upgraded calipers, upgraded alternator, upgraded starter motor, new fuel lines and some re-wiring to name a few.
Now very much ready to be enjoyed and in lovely condition with its original interior and in fine working order, this car is a fantastic opportunity to buy a quintessentially British muscle GT car in it’s rare AWD guise and with a lovely history file going back to the 1980’s.
Undoubtedly one of the inner-circle of famous Jensen FF cars. The Jensen FF press car, chassis number 119/117, achieved fame after motoring journalist, Harold Dvoretsky had loan of the car in 1969......