Our lovely silver 1959 Jensen 541R has been completed and is leaving the workshop today. Although that’s one less Jensen in our workshop, we have plenty more still to be worked on.
We’ve been working on securing the 1959 Jensen 541R’s rear axle frame. New rear axle straps have been manufactured by hand in the workshop and bolted in place to avoid unwarranted pressure being applied to the shock absorbers. This also ensures that the rear axle doesn’t move. Our Jensen didn’t originally have these so we’ve had to remove the exhaust lines to fit the straps.
The new front suspension springs have turned out to be too long so we’ve resorted to fitting the old ones back in be recomissioning them by painting and sandblasting them so theyre back to working order.
We’ve also discovered a hole in the front axle which has been welded and fixed before this classic Jensen swiftly leaves us this week.
Some of you may remember we mentioned our busy Jensen workshop last year, and it hasn’t slowed down in 2021. We’ve become the Jensen Specialists of the UK with a constant set of Jensen 541R and 541S projects passing through our doors on a regular basis. With projects ranging from full nut and bolt restorations to small fixes and services, we’ve been inundated with Jensen’s, and we love it!
2020 saw 8 Jensen’s in at the same time, which led to this amazing shot of them all lined up. Our technicians are now well versed in Jensen mechanics, electrics and bodywork as we’ve still got 6 of them in the workshop plus another stored at Bentwaters waiting to find a new home.
With only 193 Jensen 541R’s ever made and 127 541S’s made, and even fewer still on the road, we’ve had a large quantity of them in the workshop.
Pictured below is the Silver 1959 Jensen 541R recent wiring ammends. John had found that when wiring up, the overdrive didn’t engage. After an investigation, John found it was because the solenoid had overheated and melted the terminals, meaning a new solenoid was fitted.
A new stoplight switch has also been fitted because the old stoplight had seized and wouldn’t turn off.
Tom has been working hard to finish the wiring looms on our silver 1959 541R Jensen. He’s linked the main loom to the dash loom and connected up the front loom.
Tom has been concentrating on re-wiring all the wiring looms in our 1959 Jensen 541R. Currently he is working on the rear and middle looms, laying down fresh wires to link the two underneath.
Tom has been working on re-wiring the wiring looms in the 1959 Jensen 541R. He’s recently completed the lights and has now started on the dashboard.
There are 5 wiring looms in total. Two have been completed, two are partially completed (which are the two looms within the dashboard) and the last connects the front looms to the rear. Jensens are known for complex and sophisticated electrics, making the re-wiring a time consuming process.
The front suspension has been finished and fitted back in. The brakes have also been bled.
Tom has been working on rewiring the rear lights, indicators and front lights too.
Our lovely silver 1959 541R Jensen brake pipes have been refurbished, as well as the kingpins and bushes rebuilt by our technician Paul.
The work on this beautiful silver 1959 Jensen 541R will be commencing in the coming weeks. It’s going to be a full re-wiring of the harness, meaning all the electrics are needing to be replaced and rewired.
It goes without saying, 2020 has been tough for everyone but there have been some positives! Bridge Classic Cars turned 16, we welcomed in more unique and interesting cars, expanded the team and took new ventures.
This year we introduced our competitions back in May. With an uncertain year ahead of us, we wanted to provide some excitement to our followers, and what better way than to offer the chance of winning a car for less than £20! It wasn’t easy at first, but now with over 21 winners and up to 4 competition cars running at the same time, we’re doing better than ever. So far we’ve given away £561,197.00 worth of classic cars!
This week we’re delivering our latest winning cars, our 1974 VW Beetle that was won by Colin Knight and our 1995 Jaguar XJ6 who was won by Nick Nicola just before Christmas! We’re being careful to make the delivery as safe as possible, complying with tier 4 guidelines but we can’t wait to see Colin and Nick’s reactions!
Its been a long restoration, but we were delighted to announce the completion of our very own project, our 1967 Jaguar E-Type Series 1 Race Car Replica. Its come a long way from the decrepit shell we started with in 2017. Every detail, right down to the colour has been custom made and designed. This truly is a Bridge Classic Car. You can see it’s story here.
We love every and any classic car and are in turn, we’re equipped to fix and restore any classic too, but 2020 for us was the year of the Jensen. We’ve had eight 541R/541S’s in this year, some of which are still with us being completed. With only 193 Jensen 541R’s and 127 541S’s ever made worldwide, to have so many in at all really is outstanding, let alone all at the same time.
The 541R models were manufactured between 1957 and 1960 when they were later replaced by the 541S that ran from 1960 to 1962. Whilst each car is incredibly unique with its story and bespoke restoration, they are also very similar, and as you can imagine, with 8 very similar cars in at the same time, it took a while to get our heads around which was which when referring to them.
2020 saw the birth of the Trim Shop. Whilst we’d had individual trim specialists working with us before, we were yet to dedicate a department to it! Last year saw the creation of the Trim Shop, giving the speciality its own workshop and team which continued to grow throughout the year. Originally just Kath and Brian, we have welcomed a new face to the team recently. Lydia has now joined us and is another much-valued member of the trim shop. Having our own trim department allows us to continue keeping all our restorations under one roof, limiting the outsourcing as much as we can.
We’ve also had Ellie join this year, adding to the marketing department. Previously we had just Freddie, and briefly Charlotte doing our marketing, but as the company started to grow, we found the need to take on another set of hands for our marketing and visuals.
We’ve had some very unique cars in this year, including this original 1972 Chevron B20. Its seen top racing drivers, international races and a big crash in its lifetime and nowWe’re selling this on behalf of the owner but in the meantime, we’re enjoying housing this incredible special car. You can find out more about its history on our blogs.
The latter part of this year saw us start shooting some of our cars in a more editorial and creative style. Whilst we’ve always organised high-quality shoots of all our competition and for sale cars, we decided to add models to some of the shoots to make them a bit different.
Now we have both Freddie and Ellie on shoots, it means we can also get behind the scene insights into our shoots.
Another interesting and heartfelt restoration this year was our 1972 Jaguar E-Type Series 3 that we restored. In memory of their late uncle, the owner paid to have a commemorative plaque fitted by the handbrake. We also embedded one of their Uncle’s favourite cufflinks above it as well. As we always say, each restoration is special and every car carries its own stories, but this one was particularly special.
Last January, we had our open morning car show that proved to be incredibly popular. After having to cancel our 2021 January open morning show, we hope to organise one for later this year.
Another busy week was flown by again, with lots of new drop-offs to the workshop and big progressions on current projects!
Our trim shop expert Brian has been working on our grey 1957 Jensen 541R. He’s been marking out the leather for the rear parcel shelf and then glueing leather.
When the fabric has been marked out and fitted, the next stay is to trim off the excess around the window edge. The leather for rear quarter panel pockets has also been cut out and glued into the pockets.
The same process has happened for the side window surround panel which included screwing the parts in place and fitting the ashtray.
Our engine specialist Ady has taken about the engine on our 1934 Austin Nippy. We’ve identified that there seems to be an issue with the cylinder bores. After further inspection, Ady diagnosed the issue as possible broken or cracked piston rings. This is a relatively quick job and Ady told us he hopes it’ll be done in the next few days.
We often find that even after an issue is addressed, it may not be solved as it’s common to find teething problems afterwards. We hope this quirky nippy will be back to working order again soon!
Our black 1960 Jensen 541R has had another layer of fresh paint and imperfection corrections that it’s acquired from knocks and bumps in the workshop. Gaining imperfections like this are common when parts are regularly being fitted and moved.
This beautiful gold 1971 Jaguar E-type V12 Series 3 had picked up some sort of contaminant that had rusted the inner engine and wheel components. Our skill technicians addressed the issue by applying acid rust killer and cleaning down all of the parts. They were then re-painted and reassembled. Some of the nuts and bolts were also completely replaced.
Painted by hand by our bodywork technician Chris who taped the sides to guide his hand and carefully applied the red paint.
We’ve had two more Jensen’s arrive this week for restorations, adding to our already growing collection! We’ll be sure to let you know how these restorations develop!
This beautiful 1961 Navy Jensen 541S:
And this sleek silver 1959 Jensen 541R that’s in for some electrical works: