On 7th Aug 2020 Stephen Groves gave a talk about early hybrid cars.
The hybrids he talked about, however, were not the petrol/electric hybrids that we’re all familiar with but luxury cars of the 1960/70s with a European body and American v8 engine.
After a brief introduction the three vehicles that he subsequently focussed on were the:
- Facel Vega II
- ISO Grifo
- Jensen Interceptor.
All had limited production runs and the expression “If you need to know the price then you probably can’t afford it!” seemed to fit well. In their day they were aimed very much at the super-rich, and celebrity market.
The performance data for all the vehicles revealed they out-shine the huge majority of vehicles on the road today some fifty years later – with the exception of fuel consumption and maybe reliability.
The talk included fascinating facts about the rise and fall of these companies. It also included mention of the issues involved in selecting and restoring them.
It finished with one of the stand-out UK offerings: the Jensen Interceptor which was specifically included because the World’s largest Jensen dealer / restorer is just down the road in Cropredy. (In post-pandemic times it may be possible to arrange a small group visit for Banbury Rotary members.)
After fielding a few questions he was thanked for a talk that was as entertaining as it was informative.