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1960 Jensen 541S (The Prototype)

Fitting the newly built rear axle

When our 1960 Jensen 541S (the prototype) arrived in our workshops back in 2016 we discovered that the rear half-shaft was 20mm too short and not only that but the nut at one end was only secured by 3 turns.

Something somewhere was wrong. The previous owner has since been in touch, his father owned the vehicle many years and and even back then the rear set up had issues. It has been a huge challenge trying to source the correct half-shaft for the job but we are now very pleased to say the challenge has been completed. The correct half-shaft is now fully restored and the back axle has now been fitted to the car.

We have a car on it’s wheels!!

Fitting up the front assembly

Work is now well underway on refitting our Jensen 541S with the front assembly now reattached.

John has been busy re-wiring the loom this week.

Manufacturing new gearbox mounts

Due to heavy corrosion on the rubbers of our Jensen 541S gearbox mounts, it is simpler and more cost effective for us to re-manufacture the mounts ourselves as brand new are non-existent and good second hand will be more work than is necessary.

This is not the first time we have had to reproduce the mounts as our previous 1961 Jensen 541S restoration had the same issues. With the help from the guys at Walker Rubber we were able to manufacture new, relatively easily, using existing components as the moulding/shape to work to.

Unfortunately Walker Rubber no longer work out of a unit in Ipswich but the guys at the Norwich branch have taken on the project instead so we are still using relatively local companies where we can.

 

Fitting the Jensen doors

The doors have now been temporarily fitted up as this is safer than having them wrapped up and away on shelves. Within the coming weeks we’ll be able to show you huge progress on the car as we start to build her back up.

Classic pictures from the archives

Here we have some classic pictures given to us from our good friends.

It’s lovely when we have visitors with stories to tell and pictures to show.

We carried out some work on Trevor Murray’s 1949 MG TC  last year and whilst here he was thrilled to see the prototype 1960 Jensen 541S we had in undergoing a full restoration. Trevor was once the solicitor for the Jensen Car Club Limited and he owned a 541 himself. Here he is with his sons beside his Jensen.

And another fantastic archived picture brought to us, this time, by Asa’s dad Paul. Here is Paul and the family enjoying a summer holiday in they VW camper.

1960 Jensen 541S back from the paintshop

Today we accepted delivery of the prototype 1960 Jensen 541S, now back in its original factory colours of pearl grey with a black roof.

Now the rebuild begins!

1960 Jensen 541S – Pearl Grey and Black

So the moment has finally come!

The original Pearl Grey and black finish that our 1960 Jensen 541S prototype wore when she left the Jensen factory all those years ago is now back.

We still have a bit of correcting to do and a full polish but the transformation is definitely well on it’s way.

 

 

Re-chroming the Jensen Rocker Cover Cap

As we start to refurbish the rocker cover we realised that we had missed having one piece of bright-work chromed, the rocker cover cap.

Not to worry, it’s now over with Tony at Wyatt Polishing to have the chrome treatment.

It’ll soon be back to us looking brand new.

Jensen 541S prime is now complete

The two stage primer is now complete and she’s ready to be transformed back to the original factory colours. Soon to be Pearl Grey and Black.

 

Our Australian Parcel Has Arrived

The eagerly awaited Australia package arrived with us this morning from Jensen Spares.

Here we have the brand spanking new interior metal covers. As is often the case with classics and certainly the Jensen 541S’s certain parts are only obtainable from one source.

The metal trim covers are very rare and Tony at Jensen Spares in Australia owns the tooling that can manufacture these parts. Similarly, here at Bridge Classic Cars we have produced the tooling to manufacture the front grille and have subsequently been able to supply a number of them all over the world to fellow 541S owners.

More pictures of the Jensen in prime

As I took in impromptu visit to the paint shop today here we have some more pictures of our Jensen 541S in prime ready for paint.

The shell is due to be painted next week so the next set of pictures will be hugely different. It’ll be lovely to see this prototype Jensen 541S back to how it was on day 1.

Refurbishing the Oil Filter Housing and Steering Column Sleeve

On one of the hottest days of the year our newly painted Jensen 541S oil filter housing took no time at all to dry.

Along with the steering column sleeve, work on refurbishing the loose components is really picking up pace. The shell should be returning from the paint shop very soon and the parts are almost ready to be fitted back up.

Jensen 541S primed and ready for paint

Here we have the first pictures of our Jensen 541S in prime ready for paint.

The original colours have now been approved and the car is ready to be transformed from maroon back to the original factory Pearl Grey with a black roof.

1960 Jensen 541S ready for primer

The big day is almost here…the day our 1960 Jensen 541S body preparation is complete and ready for first stage primer. Within the next few days we’ll have the first pictures of the car in primer.

As one of 3 prototypes original built and the only one to be built as an original automatic, our 1960 Jensen 541S was personally owned and registered to the Jensen brothers themselves.

As we have mentioned before, it left the factory in Pearl Grey with a black roof but over the years has been altered to Pearl Grey with a maroon roof before finally settling as a full maroon car.

The car will be taken back to the original colours but we can’t pass this milestone without crediting whoever resprayed the car to maroon.

Having taken the shell right back to bare it is very difficult to find anywhere where the car was originally Pearl Grey. A fantastic job was done on the respray, however, a couple of questionable areas have been discovered. Questionable, as in, why were these simple areas missed in the first place when so much time and effort had been spent on the more difficult areas. Great for us to be able to discover the originality of it. As you can see, behind the rear lights and across the front both show signs of the original Pearl Grey.

Reuniting the Jensen body with the chassis

The body of our 1960 Jensen 541S has been successfully refitted back on the newly painted chassis.

With the original colours now confirmed we can continue with the body preparation ready for the full respray.

Extra images from Trevor at the paint-shop…

The Jensen Chassis Is Painted

With all of the chassis preparation now complete, the gloss black finish has now been applied.

We can now move forward with refitting the body that we removed earlier in the build. Once this is fitted we can progress to the paint shop for the fill respray back to the original, factory set, colour.

Seam Sealing our Jensen 541S Chassis

The final task to undertake before the chassis is finished in it’s new gloss black coating is to seam seal all of the edges. Good seam sealing will prolong the life of a vehicle after restoration. Virtually all rust problems on a car will start in the seams.

Here is a very informative article written by Brian Martin of Auto Body Store in Southampton, New Jersey. He explains the importance of seam sealing a car and demonstrates the best methods for applying seam sealer to body panels.

Jensen 541S Chassis in Primer

It has probably seemed a little quiet recently on our 1960 Jensen 541S project but be assured we’ve been very busy making the final tweaks to the chassis ready for it to be painted. Before the chassis entered our paint shops it was so full on for Tommy and Asa working on both the chassis and body shell so the time in our paint shop was also going to seem a little steadier for us.

The chassis is now primed and ready to be seam-sealed before it will be finished in gloss painted. After which, the body shell will be re-fitted ready to be prepared for paint.