Our 1957 Jensen 541R/S is having some final adjustments to its engine and mechanics. We’ve just fitted heat protection to our plug leads, made a bracket to secure the alternator, made a gear leaver and re-bled the clutch and breaks.
Chris has been working to re-apply the black raptor paint that was applied on the underside of the wheel arches which is used as a sealant. He has also been fixing a few cracks in the fibreglass where the rubber was too thick for the boot door and closing it had caused some stress cracks.
Our classic 1957 Jensen had it’s test drive today and came back with the all clear. John just wants to bleed the brakes and clutch but otherwise its running smoothly! Just listen to that exhaust note from the V8 Corvette engine…
Our lovely 1957 Grey Jensen 541R/S now has its new speedo fitted into the dash. It’s also had its steering centralised. John is now going to start it to see how it runs and to see if there are any teething issues which he will correct accordingly.
During testing we established a fault in the steering however we have since rectified the fault.
Due to the Corvette engine, the manifold previously went over the bell housing however when we removed the exhaust to gain access to fit a new modified oil pipe, we changed the manifold to go under the bell housing.
Our 1957 Jensen 541 R(S) is currently being worked through its snag list, which is essentially a list compiled of areas that need to be checked and tweaked before its finished.
John is going through all the electrics to check that everything is live and works, and modifying wiring as he goes. He is also readjusting the bonnet lift lever as traditionally it would sit a little too close to the throttle peddle.
Kath is modifying the boot lid trim as the rubber and material is causing some irritation against the metal sills. Kath is currently taking the material off the metal to modify.
Scott is altering the bonnet pin so that the screw fits in tighter as the hole is currently slightly too small as the screw is getting caught mid way.
Due to the V8 Corvette engine that was fitted in Boston in the 1960’s, the owner of this Jensen has decided to have his own personalised model tag fitted to this Jensen that describes it as a 541 R S as it has features of both models.
Owner of our 1957 Jensen 541 restoration project, Joerg has sent us this handwritten note from Sarkis Najjarian. Sarkis was responsible for origianlly putting the Corvette engine into the Jensen back in 1969 when in a previous life our Jensen was over in America.
It’s wonderful to hear Sarkis has seen the restoration work we are doing on the car now and thank you to Joerg for sharing this lovely piece of history with us.
We’ve entered the finishing stages for our 1957 Jensen 541R. John is currently carrying out a thorough wiring check as we’ve had to modify the wiring to compensate for the V8 Corvette engine. We’re assembling the last bits such as the fuel pump which we’re waiting to arrive before we carry out a last service and test for teething problems.
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.
Our oldest Jensen, the 1957 541R has had some issues with its left side front passenger door. We’ve been working to modify it to allow it to sit more comfortbly in line with the rest of the body. With the alignment sorted, we also needed to address the ill fitting door car before it could be dressed.
One of our engineers has worked on making the inside of the door frame deeper so that the door car could fit inside.
The process of restoring a car is rarely linear, but that’s all part of the car’s journey. The plan for the 1957 Jensen 541R was to have original chrome pieces installed onto the side of the doors however our client decided that he didn’t want these pieces and to leave them off for now. We’ve welded the holes closed and will begin to paint over them. It’s crucial for us that our clients have the ability and freedom to pitch in ideas and change their minds, after all, these restorations are all bespoke for a reason!
The Grey Jensen is having some small alterations made to its doors. Currently, as they sit, the doors are slightly too wide to fit into the B-post, so we have managed to make some subtle alterations to the door and the aluminium trim to allow the door itself to fit more comfortably into the body.
Our lovely Grey 1967 541R Jensen has had some alterations done to the doors. We have cut the lip of the nearside and outer-side doors so that the door cards will fit. We’ve then re-welded and re-fitted the outer-side door chrome and made sure the door closes and opens, and the windows slide up and down.
Our 1957 Grey Jensen is progressing well in its restoration journey with the majority of its interior trim fitted. It still needs its windscreen and Perspex back windows fitted as well as the door panel trims but the current job in hand is to re-align the doors.
We noticed the inner panels of the door were not sitting correctly so decided to investigate and found that some of the elements need refurbishing.
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.
Our 1957 Grey Jensen 541R has had its dash pad rail, roof pad and boot refurbished by our specialists in the trim shop.
Brian has removed the old cover of the dash rail, added more foam and wadding, glued on a new cover, added leather around the brackets and fit it all back onto the dash board.
The ceiling pad has also been refurbished. The old cover has been removed, as have the brackets and vinyl. New wadding has been glued into place over the original foam. Fresh vinyl has been cut and glued on, the edges folded over and the brackets refitted. Once these steps were completed, the ceiling pad was fitted back in again.
The boot lid has had new foam added into its indentations. The carpet has been glued onto the boot lid, leaving holes for the boot support rods and latch.
The grey 1957 Jensen 541R has had lots of small details added whilst in the trim shop such as the new carpets being measured out, glued in, the edge bound and fitted into place. A hole for the gear lever has been made as well as a gaiter to fit around the gear stick. The gaiter has then been sewn onto the main tunnel section.
Others fittings include the sills that have be bound and fitted, the rear matt has been made, and the boot has been marked out, bound and fitted.
Sound deadening has been applied to behind the pedals underneath the carpet.
The seat belt holes have been made and accounted for with the new carpet as well.
The final step on laying the carpets is to attach fasteners and studs to the flood panels and material to allow the carpet to stay fixed down.
Another week has flown by! Once again we’ve had photoshoots, new arrivals and spectacular developments on our current projects.
On Tuesday we shot the second half of the content for our 1967 Jaguar E-Type Series 1 race car replica. For this, we took it to the track at Bentwaters where our skilled F1 Test Driver, Mike O’Connor, put it through its paces.
We’ve also shot our new competition car, the Jaguar XJ6. Here’s a sneak peek at the XJ6 in motion. For these kinds of shots, we often get Ellie to drive and Freddie to shoot the car in motion. This allows moving shots to be done efficiently when it’s separate to a staged shoot with a model/talents such as the Jaguar race car above.
The XJ6 has already gone live and has proved to be incredibly popular with almost a quarter of the tickets having sold out in one day! Get your tickets quickly as the launch sale is ending soon!
A stunning Jaguar XJ6 auto and a classic 1979 Daimler 4.2 Sovereign XJ6 Series III Automatic have also arrived this week, ready to be a competition cars. You can find more about the Jaguar and Daimler here!
The sill and footwell carpet has been cut and glued down as well as the carpet around the gearbox tunnel. Brian has fitted the front and rear footwell carpets on the passenger side too. Metal rails & air vent covers have been fitted to the scuttle panels. The passenger side scuttle panel and front footboard have both been fitted in place this week.
Although a lot of the carpets and back seats have been made, there’s still the front seats to make and fit.
Upon inspection, we identified some modifications needed on the grey Jensen’s doors to make sure all components align correctly.
Our 1973 Triumph TR6 has had new speakers and speaker holders made and installed by our technician Mauro who’s been working exclusively on the TR6. Adam, our auto electrics specialist has also been doing some work on the TR6, changing the sidelights to indicators to comply with UK road laws.
The new bonnet has been attached on the 504, the latches have been modified, gaps lined, bonnet painted and now fit! It’s so rewarding seeing this beautiful car looking whole again!
We’ve had a rubber mystery in the workshop, but luckily enough Gordan used his detective skills to figure out a nifty solution! The Peugeot 504 was in need of new rubber sills however we couldn’t find anywhere that sourced them. By matter of chance, in our Amphicar box of spare bits and bobs, we found some rubber extras that fit the 504 perfectly! A tip for anyone looking for Peugeot 504 rubber sills, head over to Gordons Imports and get some Amphicar rubber!
The Peugeot 504 has also been started for the first time in quite a while! This was its debut since being reassembled and its sounding good!
The Morris Minor 1000 is ready for a test drive! It will be the first time it’s been started and driven in a while so it’s going to be an exciting development! To get the Morris ready for its start-up, our engine technician Ady has cleaned the carburettors and given it a pre-startup service.
Our trim team has been fitting the rear centre section in place, cutting out sound deadening and glueing it to bodywork behind where seats go.
The rear squab section has also been fitted in place, the carpet has been cut to be placed in front of the rear seat base, the rear seat section has been fitted in place, and the leather has been glued to the seat subframes.
Sound deadening has been installed in the rear footwell & tunnel sides, passenger side, passenger side bulkhead, and the front footwells.
The door frames are also undergoing some modifications so that the window glass sits more comfortably. The doors will need to be taken apart and re-welded back together.
Our Peony Red 1960 Jensen 541s has had new door catch fixing plates installed. Our technicians have also made a cover to go over them to stop them from falling down into the sills of the car. They have then been welded into position.
The Triumph TR6 is on the road to recovery with the final tweaks being done. The engine levels have been checked as have the gearbox and rear axels. This stage is mostly a pre-drive service to make sure everything is in the right place and ready for the car to be driven for the first time. The battery holder needs to be installed and the engine to be tuned. Once these last details are done we can turn it on and see how it drives and address any teething problems that may arise.
The Amphicar is currently going through another in-depth stage of troubleshooting the electrics. Much like the TR6, our technicians’ are applying the final checks in preparation for starting the car up for the first time.
The Peugeot 504 is almost finished! The exhaust and break lines have been installed as well as the seat belts which have been added by our technician Scott.
The black 1960 Jensen 541R has come out of paintwork recently to address the corrections made. All the chrome has now been re-installed so it’s looking shiny and new!
Our Lada is one of our most recent patients. We diagnosed it with rusting sills and floor, which is being addressed and corrected by one of our fabricators, Ant. These refurbishments are done through a series of stages that include welding and applying filler to resolve the ageing. Think of it like getting a dermatological facial!
Our blue jaguar e-type is awaiting its chrome bumper and new steering rack to be fitted. The sun roof has also been fixed. This included taking apart the faulty switch and cleaning the components and then insulating the terminal. Once fitted back together, the sun roof was back to working perfectly again.
Our gold and red 1962 Jensen 541S has had its oil changed and water purged from the engine by our engine specialist, Ady.
Ady is also working on the Austin 7 Nippy engine which is currently at COLTEC to be assessed.
The exhaust has been reinstalled into our Nissan as well as the link pipe between the two exhaust manifolds.
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: