We left Shaw Hill Golf and Spa Hotel mid morning to continue with our journey up to Cumbria. As we climbed higher and higher up
Our Jensen 541R restoration project, currently owned by our director, Gordon, is currently getting new seats made by our trim shop. Most recently the tubs have been stripped to be recovered. All the old rails have been removed and old patterns have been measured up next to the tubs to see if they fit or if the designs need to be modified. Parts were then marked out in new white leather to cover the seats, including the seat skirts, side panels, and front section of the seat. Piping along the edge has been made and all the parts have been laid down over the tub.
Recovering the rear side panels and rear side window surrounds included cutting out dark blue leather to cover the wood and glueing them to the front of the wood followed by wrapping around the underneath, trimming to shape and glueing down.
Making the new sideboards on the front squab seats for the Jensen included sewing up the corners first to fit over metal bars, stapling them onto the seat around the back, gluing the front of each sideband onto the foam, trimming away the excess leather and then the process is repeated for the other squab.
Ady has almost completed fitting the engine back together after its full re-build, part of which was done here and part of which was done at Scholar.
The engine was originally stripped down and inspected for issues when Ady found that the engine needed to be re-bored to suit new pistons. The crankshaft was also reground and new bearings were fitted. Ady also fitted new oil pumps, rear seal conversion on the rear of crankshaft, new core plugs, new timing chain and new camshaft followers. The cylinder head is currently at Coltec, having an unleaded conversion and a reface.
Lydia has started on remaking the headlining on the lilac Jensen project. She first cleaned up all the metal poles that go into the loops across the headline and then inserted the poles inside the loops.
Lydia has also been working on the front seat squab. She began by marking it up so she would know how the pieces go back together, beginning by taking the back of first and then the front covers and adding in 3mm of foam. She then glued in some calico onto the back board to strengthen it when sewing. Lydia then made and added piping to go around the back board and covered the front of the backboard with new white leather. She then glued and sewed the piping in place. She then started making the pocket by drawing around an the original one onto the new leather, sewed the elastic in the top and tacked the folds in place at the bottom. Lydia then folded the edges under and glued the pocked onto the backboard.
Brian has also been working on this Jensen alongside Lydia and has bade the rear seat centre section of of the new leather. He begun by marking out the fabric, adding in extra foam and gluing the cover over the centre, pulling tight the leather over the sides. He’s also re-glued the foam back in place for the front seat squab which was done after he removed the old foam. Brian then made the new wood section for the bottom of the seat frame and added new foam to the side sections. New foam has been added to the middle section for the back of the squab.
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.
As some may know, Gordon has a 1960 541R Jensen that’s being restored with us. Much like the Peony Red Jensen, this full restoration has been nicknamed as the ‘Lilac’ Jensen as Gordon aims for it to be done in a two toned Lilac finish, however that stage is a while off.
Chris has recently put the door frames into the paint bay to have epoxy primer added. With this step completed, it edges ever closer to becoming its namesake colour.
Gordon’s (soon to be) Lilac Jensen 541R is currently being prepped for paint. Trevor is smoothing out any bumps and cracks as well as applying spray on primer and filler before the first layers of paint is applied.
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 director Gordon, Craig’s father, also has a car in with us at the moment, however it doesn’t look much like a car currently..
This is a 1960 541R Jensen which will, when reassembled, be painted a two tone purple.
So far its been welded and hand crafted in our fabrication bay. The rear arches and floors have all been hand fabricated.
We’re expecting to see the completion of this Jensen by the end of 2021.
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.
There’s been a lot going with week already and its only Wednesday! Take a look at what’s been going on s far.
One of our directors, Gordon, had his Range Rover Sport’s tyres refurbished, ready for the cold winter months ahead. Now fully refurbished, Gordon’s Range Rover is ready to take on the elements.
As seen in our blog yesterday, the 1967 Jaguar E-Type Race Car has now been finished! This has been an incredibly exciting project that has been in progress since 2016. Over the last few days, the finishing touches have been added such as the pinstripes on the bonnet and fine-tuning the engine. The bonnet itself has also be re-installed to make sure it fits after the recent engine works.
Our other director, Craig, is in the process of choosing the leather for the interior and the spray finish for the fuel tank. It’s deciding details like this that make classic cars so personal to their owners.
One of the more notable updates on the Morris Minor 1000 is the new hood. The trim shop has done a fantastic job yet again to make the perfect custom hood, allowing this Morris Minor to be more usable throughout the changing seasons. Our technician Scott has also been trying to figure out the reason for the play in its front wheels. The mystery is yet to be solved…
The front suspension has also been tightened, the curtesy light wiring is being installed and Adam is troubleshooting the electrics.
Lots of little updates for the Grey Jensen 541R such as preparing the door rim before it goes to the trim shop, stripping the bonnet ready for paint, made the curtesy light switch by hand, installed the hand brake cables and panhard rod as well as the speedo drive.
Our 1968 Triumph TR5 is awaiting its interior but it has had its heater installed!
Our blue 1973 Jaguar E-Type Series 3 is awaiting on a new steering rack, clutch slave cylinder and bumper to be fitted. The parts have been ordered so the E-Type should be looking good as new in no time!
This lovely 1953 Ford Transit is almost ready to leave us now. We’re just waiting on some new 6 volt bulbs for the headlights and then it’ll be ready to go!
We’re giving the blue Jensen a general nut and bolt service. It came in to have its clutch, exhaust and breaks replaced which have been or are in the process of being fixed.
The Peony Red Jensen 542S has had its seats made up. The next step is to complete the set and install them. Our trim shop never fails to impress us with their stunning interior projects.
The Peugeot 504 has now had all its interior trim completed. The last few pieces include making and fitting the hood which had to have the leather glued to the frame once made up.
The black Jensen is visiting our paint shop for some touch-ups and corrections in the paintwork.
Ady our engine specialist has taken apart both exhaust manifolds on the Nissan 300ZX.
The fuel pump has been rewired, two bilge pumps are set to be added, the brakes have been bled, the grease nipples re-greased and the heater has been ordered.
A new gear stick gaiter has been made and fitted by the trim shop. Our range rover is making steady progress to be completed soon.
Although we don’t have the Black Spitfire back with us, we do have the task of replacing the half shafts. We’re hoping we can order in new pieces however we may need to take these apart instead and refurbish them ourselves.
This week the centre console trims have been made and fitted in the 1960 Jensen 541R. The first step was to make the top piece, which was sewn and piped by our interior trim technician Kath, before passing it over to Brian.
Once the leather top piece had been passed to Brian, our other interior trim technician, he added foam padding and made the rest of the centre console.
Now assembled, it can now be fitted into the Jensen.
As ever, it’s been a busy week here at Bridge Classics. We’ve had new cars arrive like the Mini Clubman, we’ve had a new winner announced yesterday and lots of new developments with our current projects. Here’s what’s gone on throughout the week!
Our engine specialist Ady has been working on the 504’s engine by fitting the flywheel and couch before fitting it back into the Peugeot.
The Peugeot has also had a recent trim shop appointment, with new carpets being made and fitted by our expert, Brian.
The Black Jensen has had new sills made and fitted to give the finishing touch to the bottom of its driver’s door.
The Nissan Micra has now been finished! The paintwork has been completed, bumps and scrapes were taken out and it’s pretty much ready to go again! This endearing little Micra would make the perfect first car for someone learning to drive!
The Nissan 300ZX has come in recently and appears to have some rather severe rust issues on the lower door sills. Among other restorations, that rust and those holes will have to go! You can see the rest of the work here.
One of our technicians, Scott has been working carefully on the Morris Minor’s dazzling red interior. The door cards, handles, and carpets have all been fitted.
This Jensen actually belongs to Bridge’s director and founder, Gordon Ranson, and is now starting its restoration journey with us! There’s a lot to do but we can’t wait to see the final product!
One of our technicians Anthony has been working on the body, hand making a lot of the elements such as the boot floor.
Barn finds are like hidden treasures and we love them when they come in. Currently, we’ve got two prospective projects that need cleaning up and assessing before we know what needs to be done. We really hope we’ll be able to work on these two cars!
This Austen Healey 100 BN1 is currently residing in America but could be ours soon! Keep an eye out on our website and social media pages for updates!
When you work with classic cars all the time, sometimes you want to mix it up a bit. That’s exactly what our Director Craig has done! He’s recently acquired this 3 litre speed boat. Fingers crossed for nice weather soon then!
Another prospective project has been viewed recently and it’s a beautiful red e-type that needs some TLC!
Our 1960 Jensen 541R has had another round of interior fittings measured up, made, and installed by our talented team in the Trim Shop. This time it’s the Jensens boot that’s been fitted.
Each piece of the boot carpet has been measured by hand, stitched, and fitted in a bespoke pattern. No trim is ever the same.
Chris has completely painted our Jensen 541R in epoxy primer, this will weather seal the car until it is ready to be prepared for paint.
Ady, Bridge Classic Cars’ engine specialist has begun work on our Jensen Engine restoration. He’s stripped down the engine ready for cleaning, refurbishing and then rebuild.
Having completely restored several Jensens in recent months, we’re very familiar with these wonderful classics.
Does your Jensen need restorative works? Get in touch to see how our Jensen specialist mechanics can help.
We left Shaw Hill Golf and Spa Hotel mid morning to continue with our journey up to Cumbria. As we climbed higher and higher up the hills we quickly begun to realise that our decision to pass the previous fuel station without stopping, thinking ‘we’ll go to the next one’, was not the best decision to have made.
The roads were getting smaller and smaller and gauge was getting lower and lower.
Eventually we stumbled across a small village called Alston and as we entered the village we were welcomed by the bright lights of a Spar fuel station.
High up in the North Pennines, Alston claims to be the highest market settlement in England, being about 1000 feet above sea level. It is also remote, about 20 miles from the nearest town. From every direction Alston is approached over a broad, heather-clad Pennine landscape which has been designated an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty. Set on the upper reaches of the River South Tyne, it lies within the Eden district of Cumbria.
Alston has a steep cobbled main street with a distinctive market cross, and many stone buildings dating from the 17th Century. Next to the entrance to the Church, is a building dated 1681. The Angel pub to its left is dated 1611, and the white building left of the pub is dated 1687. It is a bustling town, with a reputation for delicious locally made specialities such as Cumberland Mustard, and Alston Cheese.
Alston Moor grew as a lead mining community over four centuries ago, with Alston town serving the mining families. You can see the history of the lead mining industry in the area at the Nenthead Mines Heritage Centre, nearby.
Alston is the starting point for the South Tynedale Railway, England’s highest narrow gauge railway.
St Augustine’s Church was built in 1869, but records show a church has existed here as long as 1145 AD. Inside the church is an interesting clock, brought from Dilston Hall, the home of the Earl of Derwentwater.
The Gossipgate gallery, displaying regional arts and crafts, is housed in the former Congregational Church.
The A 686 from Penrith in Cumbria to Corbridge in Northumberland, which passes through Alston, was chosen by the AA Magazine as one of their ‘Ten Great Drives’. Between Alston and Melmerby, the road climbs the Hartside Pass to a height of 1904 ft, from where there are magnificent views across the Solway Firth to Scotland. This long and steep climb also forms part of the Sea to Sea Cycle Route.
Part of The Pennine Way long distance walk is through East Cumbria, from Alston, and Garrigill, over Cross Fell (which at 2930 feet is the highest point on the Pennine Way), Great Dun Fell, towards Dufton, then on to High Cup Nick and Cow Green Reservoir, on the border between Cumbria and County Durham.
Whilst filling up our truck we were approached by a very smartly dressed gentleman impressed by our trailer and intrigued by the logo as to what we may have inside.
The gentleman in question was Ian. After a brief conversation with Ian he invited us to take a look inside his workshops at his own collection of classics. Of course, we obliged.
Little did we know that Ian was in fact Ian Henderson from J.H Henderson and Sons and his collection of classics did not just stop at the 3 vehicles he had within his workshops. As he continued his tour with us into his own museum where he housed one of the most incredible collection of classic and vintage memorabilia we have ever seen.
If you are ever visiting the area on your holidays do be sure to pay a little visit to J.H Henderson’s Hub Museum and thank you so much to Ian and his team for welcoming us in with open arms.
On we went with our journey up the hill to visit the Jensen 541 convertible, the main reason for our journey…
Upon arrival, we were astounded to discover not 1 Jensen but 4 incredible Jensen’s to look around.
The main reason for our visit was to view a very rare Jensen 541 convertible. We are considering converting our Jensen 541R into a convertible and Mr Forster (owner) kindly invited us along to view his and talk through the options.
We can not thank Mr and Mrs Forster enough for their amazing hospitality. One of the nicest gentleman you could care to meet and his knowledge and passion for Jensens is an absolute credit to the Jensen brand. it was lovely to see his convertible and to discuss the options with him and we have walked away from the day almost certain that we will look to create the next 541 convertible.
Day 1 of our 3 day trip and it was a good start as we made our way up the M6, to Chorley, to view a lovely 1977 Ford Escort RS2000.
Our intention was to view 3 x RS2000’s during our trip. Working on behalf of our client, our objective was to source a good example within a budget. We were not looking for a show winning car and if work was required then this was also acceptable providing it stayed within the budget.
We had had several talks with the owner of our 1977 Ford Escort RS2000 and we were quietly confident that this was not going to let us down and it sure didn’t.
Yes, the paintwork could be improved in places and the original interior needed a little tidying but this car is an absolute stunner.
A successful first visit meant we did not need to view the other 2 vehicles. Now on to our hotel for the evening.
This trip brought back some great memories as we settled in to the Shaw Hill Golf and Spa Hotel for the evening. many years ago Gordon and Craig lived just 500 yards away from this hotel and Craig frequented the gym facilities there on a regular basis. We couldn’t help but visit our old home to look back at the fond memories.
Shaw Hill Golf and Spa Hotel is set in a beautiful location near Chorley in Lancashire, offering unrivalled Leisure Breaks, Golf Breaks, Weddings, Conference and Meeting Room facilities. This glorious stone mansion was built circa 1700 by the Crosse family and amazingly is still a family run business.
Awaiting restoration, we have our 1960 Jensen 541R with matching number engine. The Jensen Owner’s Club have confirmed the identity of the vehicle so she will be stored away until such time as a full restoration can begin.