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1960 Jensen 541S (The Prototype)

Prototype confirmation from Jensen Car Company

Original documentation from the Jensen Car Company to confirm our 1960 Jensen 541S was indeed one of the prototypes.

‘Congratulations on your acquisition. Your car was one of the three experimental chassis built to prove the 541S, and they were numbered JM/EXP, JM/EXP/101 and JM/EXP/102. Only EXP/101 had the automatic gearbox.

There are a few remaining records of the 541S, but we can supply the following on your car:

Chassis number: JM/EXP/101

Engine number: 40/A/11058

First registration: 750 CEA

Colour: Pearl Grey, Black Roof

Trim: Red

Invoiced: 11 January 1963

First owner: E.D Robinson

The car was used for road tests, demonstration purposes and, as an experimental car, was no doubt driven by the Jensen brothers and carefully looked after by the engineering department.

In addition to three experimental cars, 124 production examples of the 541S were built. Most appear to survive.

You might like to contact Keith Cerrino of the JOC for any further information on this car. His address is: “Dalkeith”, Village St, Harvington, nr Evesham, Worcs, WR11 5BQ (tel. 0386.871009)’

Jensen 541S Windows In and Badges Fitted

We are now making fantastic progress on our 1960 Jensen 541S as we fit up the exterior parts.

The windows are now back in to position.

The badges are on and the bonnet vent is also in place. The bonnet vent is original and is in fantastic condition. During the detailing process at the end of the restoration we will further clean up the bright work to bring back the original shine. The badges we produced brand new as the existing badges were beyond repair. Although the 541S is a very rare car parts are still available for them and Appleyards stock a great selection on the shelf. They helped us hugely with the our 1961 Jensen 541S restoration back in 2015 and I’m sure we’ll calling upon Andy for the future projects we have lined up.

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The brand new Jensen steering wheel arrives

Although our current gel coated steering was in better than average condition we needed to look at freshening it up so that it did not stand out against the rest of the car once the restoration was complete. This task proved very difficult as there are very few companies that are able to offer the gel coating. Other companies could offer the ‘next best thing’ but that was not what we wanted.

We heard rumours that the Jensen 541S steering wheel matched that of an Aston Martin DB5 but not only would be just as difficult to find, it was also incorrect information as the DB5 wheel is a different dimension. Albeit the same look.

We then stumbled across the guys at Classic Car Restoration Services, they were able to produce a brand new wheel to perfectly match the wheel from the Jensen…and offer a gel coat service in their factory. They are one of those fantastic finds that you know will come in very useful for many years to come.

 

 

Fitting up the Jensen’s lights

Whilst the car has been away in our paint shops John has been busy preparing for the rebuild. Now that the car is back with us the newly refurbished parts can be fitted back up and the car can start to take shape once more.

We are rebuilding the car to the original factory specification so you’ll see no more red exterior paint anywhere, instead the car has bee completely transformed in the pearl grey with black roof finish.

We’ll soon be in a position to reinstate the stunning red leather interior that came with the car. Tommy is just in the process of re cutting the new floors.

Let the rebuild commence

Our 1960 Jensen 541S is now back in our workshops having undergone a full colour change respray. Now finished, once again, in her original factory spec Pearl Grey and black exterior, the time away in our paint shop has given us the opportunity to fully prepare ourselves for what we hope will be a relatively simple rebuild. All loose components are fully refurbished ready to be refitted so we are now hopefully looking at the last big push before she’s back on the roads travelling around Europe.

1960 Jensen 541S painted and being polished

Our 1960 Jensen 541S is once again back in the original Pearl Grey finish as it was when new.

The final polishing is yet to be completed and we should see her return to our Ipswich workshops sometime later this week.

Fitting up the sills and bonnet

The bonnet has been primed and ready for the final paint.

All panels now prepped and painted John and Tommy have been fitting up the sills and bonnet ready for transportation back to the Bridge HQ.

We are now on to the final phase which is the full fit up before we can officially sign off the car and let her go back to her owner ready for the summer shows.

It’s off to chrome we go…

The majority of our chroming work has already been carried out by Tony and the guys at Wyatt Polishing in Thetford but having found a couple of extras on both the Jensen 541S and Jaguar V12 E-Type it’s another trip over to get these started.

Repairing our Jensen bonnet for paint

All repair and preparation work has now been completed on our 1960 Jensen 541S bonnet. Next step will be to spray the bonnet in pearl grey to match the bodywork before returning it back to our workshops for re-fit.

Repairing the Jensen’s fuel tank

Having blasted the exterior of our 1960 Jensen fuel tank ready for paint it revealed a couple of tiny pin holes that go unnoticed to the eye but a pressure test reveals that something is not quite right. These holes need correcting prior to paint.

We have called upon the skills of our colleagues at Sheldrake & Wells, Ipswich to repair the original tank. A brand new tank is available but for a slightly lesser price we can strip and completely overhaul the existing fuel tank. The treatment required is very specialist and needs to be carried out by a company who knows how to complete the works properly because once repaired and coated both internally and externally this treatment will come with a long guarantee.

It may be easier to purchase a new tank but more often than not it’s best to keep original.

We are expecting to see the tank returned to us in 2 weeks time so I will update you with more pictures of it looking shiny and new.

Building up the Jensen 541S dashboard

John’s continuing to progress very well on ‘Project Prototype’ as he fits up the Jensen 541S dashboard. The top has now been re-covered, the newly refurbished dials are now back in to position and the interior mirror is securely fitted up.

New Exhaust Now Fitted On Jensen

The brand new, bespoke exhaust system is now complete and fitted to our Jensen.

A fantastic job by our good friends at Demand Engineering who told us of having a very special visit from a journalist who loved seeing our car.

Fitting up the new ceiling cloth

The reproduction of the new ceiling cloth is now complete and Kim is currently fitting back up to our 1960 Jensen. Apart from one piece missing from the front which will tighten up the cloth it is in position and looking amazing.

Manufacturing the Jensen’s new stainless exhaust

Being a rare car to start and with the unusual set up of a single down pipe to a double exit it is not the kind of exhaust system that is readily available on the shelf so we have called upon the help of our friends at Demand Engineering in Stonham, Suffolk to re-manufacturer a stainless exhaust system.

Source Demand Engineering:

Demand Engineering was started in 2011, by our current Managing Director, Exhaust Guru and Engineering Graduate, Dan Dew.

Ever since then, we’ve been on an epic ride to become one of the industry’s most innovational and inspired businesses. We love what we do.

At our premises in Stonham Aspal, Suffolk we have made exhausts and components that have ended up all over the world. Our workers are passionate skilled people with an eye for detail.

Dan’s vision from the beginning was a range of hand crafted products based on a strong foundation of knowledge – the science behind an exhaust. To this end, you don’t just get an exhaust when you come to Demand, you get quality advice on exhaust design, always based on your requirements. Just don’t get him started on the theory of scavenging and wave reflection. If you need a manifold, he’s your guy.

Since the beginning we’ve had strong links with Longlife Exhausts, and we spearhead their brand throughout East Anglia. We can custom build an exhaust for almost anything, and through the Longlife Network, the products we turn out are backed up by a forever warranty. They’re the only guys that do this.

From the Mandrel Bender we have a strong line of Stainless Steel Mandrel Bends that are sold through our online shop, and have always got stock ready to be shipped out to trade or public.

Currently we are on a mission to develop our own Production exhaust systems, which will be sold fitted or not. Concentrating initially on the Land Rover Marque, with a unique Demand twist, the first few systems are nearly ready for market.”

 

They have already done wonders on the original exhaust flange. Rather than re-manufacturing the flange they have managed to strip back and clean the original. It’s always best to keep original as much as possible so well done guys.

We can’t wait to see the new exhaust system in position.

Jensen 541S – Refitting the engine

It was a tight squeeze but our 1960 Jensen 541S prototype engine is now back in the car ready for the ancillaries to be fitted back up.

All of the brake and fuel lines are in as is the gearbox, axle and propshaft.

Today, John has been fitting up the carbs.

New rubber on the gearbox mounts

As the existing rubbers had perished on our 1960 Jensen 541S gearbox mounts we have stripped, cleaned and re-manufactured with new rubbers.

Here they are rebuilt before and after primer.