We’re steadily starting to part ways with our beloved Jensen collection as each project is finished and finds its way back to its owner. The most recent departure is our 1961 Jensen 541S that was collected today.
Although we’ve recently said goodbye to a handful of our Jensen’s, we’ve still got plenty to be getting on with as our Peony Red is progressing well, our Grey 1957 541R is almost out the door and its partner car, the black 1960 541R awaits it up at Bentwaters.
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 1961 541S Jensen was having issues with over-heating, but luckily, our classic car technician Paul, put his mind to investigating the issue. He found that the wax seal in the thermostat had gotten stuck. To address this he applied a freeing agent that was left overnight so that he could ‘un-stick’ the seal the next day.
The thermostat opens to allow the engine coolant to flow through when it heats up, allowing for the cyclical movement up to the radiator, down through the radiator and round to the thermostat again. With the wax-seal seized closed, hot coolant couldn’t run through the engine, meaning it was overheating.
The thermostat works by regulating the engine temperature. As coolant flows around the engine, it collects excess heat. On leaving the engine, it travels to the radiator, where that excess heat is removed. It then makes a few more stops along its way through the cooling system and finishes back in the engine.
A new handbrake cable has been fitted to the 1961 Jensen 541S by our classic car technician Paul who has handled the re-build and re-fitting of the handbrake.
The photos below show the hand brake cable after being removed by Paul and ready for repair.
Paul has been working on some of the mechanisms in the navy 1961 541S Jensen. He’s stripped down the front suspension ready for new parts.
He’s also sorted through the hand brake components which are now ready for assembly. The new brake pipes have been made and fitted to the rear brakes and run from the master cylinder to the rear.
Its Jensen central here in the workshop! Our other Navy Jensen is currently undergoing some more work after the owner gave us the go-ahead to continue their restoration.
Paul has cleaned the brake discs, removing existing grease sat on the elements. Paul has also taken apart the disks and taken out some other debris that had sat in there. We’ve also fitted new brake lines and callipers on the back. The brake pipes have been redone, as well as the kingpins and bushes replaced. The front brakes have be been upgraded and the new brake lines have been fitted.
The 1961 Navy Jensen 541S is up and running for now however we are waiting on the client to see if they would like any more refurbishments done as this Jensen has been their own project which we’ve helped out on. It currently doesn’t have any brakes and there are a handful of other components missing that need fitting. Watch this space!
Much like our Jaguar MKVII, Ady had to link the battery to the coil to get the Jensen started as there was a diagnosed wiring fault between the ignition and the coil.
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.
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:
It has been a 12 year project for the current owner having carried out almost all of the restoration works himself. The car is 99% complete and we have been asked to go over the car and do a final commission to ensure everything is as it should be.
We look forward to see the car in at the beginning of December.