The Jensen dials have been packaged up and sent for refurbishing by world renowned restorers Speedograph Richfield Ltd.
Within a couple days we’ll touch base with them, by which time they would have fully assessed the extent of work that will need to be carried out.
They are the experts in this field, we have trusted Speedograph Richfield Ltd with the majority of our major dial restorations for some time.
It is truly amazing how they can bring these dials back to life.
[vc_row][vc_column][vc_column_text]With the engine now out Asa and John are concentrating their efforts on removing the dashboard this afternoon.
Before any work is carried out we have taken a number of pictures which we can use to cross reference when we look to refit it later on in the build process.
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[vc_row][vc_column][vc_column_text]Today’s the day we are removing the engine ready for our engine rebuilder Don Warman to work his magic on her.
Initially the engine was going to stay in the car until the carbs had been rebuilt so that Don could run her in situ but he has since decided that it needs to come out.
Over the coming months the entire engine and gearbox will be rebuilt so before we on this huge task, first, we need to take a number of pictures as reference for when it returns in a number of months.
As we mentioned before, when restoring a car or taking on any project it is vital to take lots of pictures as you go along. You may never need them but if, one day, you’re questioning the position of something you know you have images to fall back on.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column][vc_gallery type=”image_grid” images=”8207,8208,8209,8210,8211,8212,8213,8214,8215,8216,8217,8218,8219,8220,8221,8222,8223,8224,8225,8226,8227,8249,8250,8251,8252,8253,8254,8255,8256,8257,8258,8259,8261″][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column][vc_column_text]A successful morning in our Ipswich workshops and Asa and John, together, managed to lift the Jensen 541S engine and gearbox out of the car.
[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column][vc_column_text]Here we have the huge Jensen 541S engine and gearbox. Now fully removed from the vehicle she’s ready for Don to inspect and guide us one what his next stage will be.
[vc_row][vc_column][vc_column_text]The 541S was manufactured between 1960 and 1963 by the Jensen Motor Company and with only 127 produced, available parts, as you can imagine, are very few and far between.
With our 541S almost stripped, the chrome work is now ready to be re-chromed and polished.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column][vc_gallery type=”image_grid” images=”8128,8129,8130,8131,8132″][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column][vc_column_text]The winged badges are in reasonably good condition however the shields are in need of refurbishment.
Our previous Jensen 541S restoration required the full set of badges to be refurbished.
This time round we have managed to secure a brand new set of original badges which is very exciting for us. Finding original parts are always exciting…[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column][vc_gallery type=”image_grid” images=”8133,8137,8136,8135,8134″][/vc_column][/vc_row]
In preparation for the body shell to be completely removed from our 1960 Jensen 541S, the engine needs to be removed. In order to carry out this huge task we have removed the bonnet and at the same time have taken off the side doors.
These can now be prepared ready for paint.
[vc_row][vc_column][vc_column_text]The week started out with a visit from our engine builder Don Warman. He came over from Maldon in Essex especially to inspect the engine of our Jensen. Don built our 1961 Jensen engine so there’s no one better to perfect the running of this engine than Don.
Before he even started the engine he made the decision to take the carburettors and distributor back to his workshops to rebuild them. Once these are rebuilt he will return to run the engine properly, only then will he decide the next step for this engine.
In the meantime Lauren has been busy stripping our 1960 Jensen 541S prototype of all removal components ready for the shell to be removed and the chassis to be repaired.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column][vc_gallery type=”image_grid” images=”7735,7736,7737,7738,7739,7740,7741,7742,7743,7744,7745,7746,7747,7748,7749,7750,7751,7752″][/vc_column][/vc_row]
[vc_row][vc_column][vc_column_text]It’s the news we were hoping not to hear but unfortunately the chassis is in need of attention.
With the car in full working order and with all panels in place the chassis is barely exposed on the Jensen 541S. It is not until you remove the outer sills do you fully expose the chassis which was one of our first tasks on this restoration project.
From first impressions the chassis looked good so we were all very hopeful that once the sills were removed we’d be looking at a similar condition but luck is not always on our side…with the sills fully removed it was evident to see that we were not working with a solid, acceptable chassis. What makes the Jensen 541S chassis very unique is that, in parts, it is also used as a a vacuum chamber for the braking system.
So our order of work has altered slightly, now to include the repair of the chassis. When you are looking at a car as beautiful as this and even more so, when it is one of the very first three ever to be built you know that all the hard work it will take to get this back to it’s best is well worth it.
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Last month we welcomed a familiar face back to Bridge Classic Cars…the very beautiful and very rare Jensen 541S. Back in 2015 we discovered a 1961 Jensen 541S in a barn in Boxford, Suffolk.
With only 127 Jensen 541S produced we set out to restore this beautiful creation.
Last month we saw the arrival of another Jensen 541S. This one is very very special indeed.
1 of the 3 prototypes (experimental models) built and the first to be personally owned by the Jensen brother’s themselves. Our new arrival is this 1960 Jensen 541S. Originally pearl grey with a black roof she was the very first automatic model to be built and is in with us at Bridge Classic Cars ready to be taken back to her original routes.
We were joined last week by owner Ronald, he had travelled over to see us from Belgium to have a look over his wonderful Jensen but this post is not actually about the Jensen, instead I would like to discuss the future!!
When I hand the reigns of Bridge Classic Cars over to my children and they do the same to their children this incredible machine would not look out of place in the Bridge Classic Cars carpark…the Tesla Model S.
This is the future and I am so grateful that I got to drive it and experience it.
The Tesla Model S is designed from the ground up to be the safest, most exhilarating saloon on the road. With unparalleled performance delivered through Tesla’s unique, all-electric powertrain, Model S accelerates from 0 to 60 mph in as little as 2.5 seconds. Model S comes with Autopilot capabilities designed to make your highway driving not only safer, but stress free.
Model S is a driver’s car. The cabin combines meticulous noise engineering with Tesla’s uniquely quiet powertrain to obtain the sound dynamics of a recording studio. The gem of the interior is the 17 inch touchscreen, which is angled toward the driver and includes both day and night modes for better visibility without distraction. It puts rich content at your fingertips and provides mobile connectivity so you can easily find your destination, favourite song, or a new restaurant.
Thank you Ronald for the amazing opportunity to drive your Tesla.
Stay tuned for updates and details on the progress of our 1960 Jensen 541S…
This car is the original Prototype 541S by Jensen Motors manufactured in 1960. There were only 3 prototypes made, two were manual geared and this was the only automatic. It carries the unique experimental chassis no. JM/EXP/101. This car was used by the Jensen brothers as their demonstration car and was exhibited at the Earls Court Motor Show in October of that year and the Geneva Motor Show in March 1961. Her logbook shows that the Jensen brothers used her a s their own personal car before being sold in 1962. During this period she was also the subject of test reports within the Autocar and MotorSport magazines 541S series replaced the 541R being some 4″ wider which Jensen found made for better comfort and handling.
Price new in 1960 – £2185
There were only 127 541S car ever built.
Her new owner currently resides in Belgium but before she takes the trip to her new home she has arrived with us here at Bridge Classic Cars for assessment.
We have been instructed to check over the car (inside and out), advise on any engine and gearbox work that may be required and together, with her new owner, we will decide on what the next stage will be on this beauty.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column][vc_gallery type=”image_grid” images=”6533,6534,6535,6536,6537,6538,6539,6540,6541,6542,6532,6585,6586″][/vc_column][/vc_row]
[vc_row][vc_column][vc_column_text]At the start of the 1950s the Jensen Motor Company had a financially sound business producing commercial vehicles and building bespoke bodies for other manufacturers. As is often the way with successful entrepreneurs, the Jensen brothers enjoyed having their name on their products and having been involved for years prior to the war building small cars in conjunction with Standard, Austin and Wolseley, their attention turned again in the late forties to the possibility of creating a rather more exclusive Jensen. Richard Jensen was joined in 1946 by Eric Neale and they jointly penned the sleek (and expensive) Interceptor which remained in production from 1950-57. The bodywork was mostly aluminium, but as an experiment Jensen had started making the large boot lids in a revolutionary material formed from hair-thin glass embedded in a resinous gel, ‘Glass Fibre’.
Eric Neale’s influence was immediately obvious in the, new for 1953, Jensen 541. He first created the distinctive ‘mouth’ shape, anticipating the cold air requirements of a possible big V8 although the Austin 4-litre straight six turned out to be the engine of choice, and the rest of the body flowed back from that point. A lattice of wooden body formers provided a reference over which skilled craftsmen beat a skin of aluminium. The finished car was exhibited at the 1953 Motor Show but there was one trick left up Jensen’s sleeve, production cars were to be constructed from glass fibre! As production of the 541 settled down the options available increased. A package incorporating the most frequently chosen extras was applied to the car which was then marketed as the ‘541 Deluxe’ and rack and pinion steering followed shortly in the ‘541R’.
In 1959 work started on creating a slightly larger 541, which would be better suited to long-distance cruising. This car was to have an auto gearbox as standard and was wider and taller than its predecessor, and so was born the new 541S. Some 4” inches wider than the original 541R, while also offering increased headroom and greater luggage capacity, the ‘S’ version was generally considered to be a more practical machine and certainly more comfortable for touring. In addition to a general increase in size, the body styling changed at the same time with distinctive ‘scallops’ being added at the rear and on the bonnet and a new grille. Less apparent initially were the improvements these modifications made to road holding, stability and ride.
In the 541S, Jensen used their own powerful version of the Austin DS5 4-litre straight-six engine featuring triple H4 SU carburettors, a high compression ‘Weslake’ head, custom-made twin exhaust manifolds and an alloy baffled sump/oil cooler. A total of 127 cars were hand-built between 1960 and 1962 at Jensen’s West Bromwich factory, most having GM-licensed Rolls-Royce ‘Hydramatic’ gearboxes. This was unusual at the time as most performance cars were fitted with ‘sporty’ manual gearboxes but the automatic suited Jensen’s criteria for the 541S of effortless speed and luxurious long distance cruising, although twenty-two were fitted with Moss manual gearboxes at their owner’s request. The 541S is also notable for being the first British car to have seat belts fitted as standard equipment and the pioneering use of Dunlop disc brakes on all four wheels was carried on from the ‘Deluxe’. Other safety equipment included a padded windscreen surround, fire extinguisher and a first-aid kit and each car was fitted with a quality Motorola radio as standard.
Due to arrive at Bridge Classic Cars very soon.
Chassis Number ‘JM/EXP/101 is almost certainly the automatic 541S used by Jensen in 1960 on its stand at the London Motor Show at Earl’s Court. There were three experimental (EXP) cars built, (‘pre-production prototypes’), two being manual and one automatic. ‘101’ is automatic and was registered 750 CEA although the photographs from the show display the car with ‘JENSEN’ on the number plates. It was finished in Pearl Grey and looks superb sat on Stand 134.
This car was registered to Jensen Motors for a period of some two years. A letter in the file from them confirms that during this period it was used for road tests, demonstration purposes and as an experimental car, and according to the letter was no doubt driven by the Jensen brothers and carefully looked after by the Engineering Department. It was featured in ‘THE MOTOR’, October 19th. 1960 and ‘AUTOCAR’, Feb 3rd. 1961 road test reports. Whilst currently registered 377 HWT, there is verification from both DVLA and the Jensen Owners Club that 750 CEA was its original registration. An expression of interest has been lodged with DVLA to repatriate this number rightfully back to this car. An extensive history file accompanies the car and includes the original London Motor Show 1960 Guide, press cuttings of the day, old photographs, past invoices and letters. The show car was originally Pearl Grey but at some point has been changed to its current colour of Maroon, but inside the engine bay an area of original colour has been deliberately left, presumably to aid a return to its factory finish.
First registered in September 1960 this most beautiful Jensen 541S, chassis number JM/EXP/101 is currently reading an unwarranted 75,800 miles.
The fibreglass body is described as being in good general condition, with the paintwork reasonably good but would benefit from some future attention. The Burgundy interior trim appears to have been replaced more recently and, from the photographs, looks to be in good condition. We are told the engine runs well and starts easily and the automatic transmission changes gear well but the ‘kick-down’ is a little hesitant at times. The brightwork has recently been refurbished and all the tyres were replaced last year. The car will be offered with a fresh MOT Certificate at the time of sale.
This extremely rare and beautiful car is offered with fantastic provenance. It was one of three prototypes for the 541S, the final iteration of a model that was very important to the long-term health of Jensen. It was a fetéd and much admired Motor Show car and an important part of Jensen’s history, and on top of all that, it’s a super British classic sports car that would be welcome anywhere.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column][vc_gallery type=”image_grid” images=”6506,6507,6508,6509,6510,6511,6512,6513,6514,6515,6516,6517,6518,6519,6520,6521,6522,6523,6524,6525,6526,6501,6505″][/vc_column][/vc_row]