Jensen Motors – The 541 model reaches 60

The car that we now know as the Jensen 541 was first shown at the October 1953 Earls Court, London, Motor Show. That car had aluminium body panels. In the following year a number of engineering changes were made, the most notable and ground breaking was to produce the body in Glass Fibre. The final version of Eric Neale’s stunning design (Jensen 541) was launched at the October 1954 Motor Show, hence the designation.  

Therefore the 541 model is 60 years old this year and the Jensen Owners Club decided to celebrate the occasion during the week – end of 1st to 3rd of August 2014. All members were welcome but of course owners of the three 541 variants, the 541, 541R and 541S and their cars, were particularly welcome. 
Members met at a Hotel in Stratford – upon – Avon on the Friday evening and went for a tour, in their cars, around the historic and beautiful Warwickshire countryside on the Saturday. 

On Saturday evening a Gala Dinner was held and on Sunday all the cars, plus others that had arrived just for this part of the event, were put on show in the car park at the Heritage Motor Centre, Gaydon (renamed the British Motor Museum in 2016 after an extensive overhaul). That is the part of the event that I went to but only as a voyeur because I do not own a Jensen. I did design the front subframe and front differential carrier of the ‘FF’ model when I worked for Jensen, at its Kelvin Way factory, between 1964 and 1967. I had also worked at the Carters Green factory, as a junior draughtsman, between 1959 and 1961. Here are some photos that I took at the anniversary event.

Jensen 541s All Present and Correct


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Stuart J’s immaculately restored C-V8 Mk1
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A beautiful 541S

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Ian P’s superb 541 S

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Another immaculate car, this time a genuine ‘Birthday Boy’ – a 541
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Still the current holder of the record time between London to Paris by car.

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The first 541 sold – to Tommy Sopwith

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They came from near and far – this 541R from Switzerland

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Also this C-V8

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What a story this car has to tell, or, at least its owner James J (a charming and knowledgeable young man) has. Bought originally for spares to be used on another 541R, the roof was chopped off and turned into this delightful cabriolet. I didn’t ask James if he intends to restore the rest of the body to its former glory.                                                                       

Note added later –                   

I forgot to mention that James showed me the reinforcing beam that he had installed under the body section forward of the boot. In telling me that he answered my un-asked question about loss of body rigidity as a result of removing the roof. It was a neat and well executed solution.




 A very well turned out Jensen FF. 

For as long as this and other Jensen FFs exists they will carry a bit of me (the front sub -frame and diff carrier) with them.  

Next to it can also be seen a Volvo P1800 which was also built by Jensen. This car also carries some of my handiwork – the throttle linkage, the steering wheel and the spare wheel clamp (I was only a trainee draughtsman!).          

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A rare Jensen SP (Six Pack – an opportunity for you to do some research)

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This is Chris R’s Interceptor, recently returned from a very interesting trip to The Netherlands. I had a good chat with Chris; he told me of his philosophy of maintaining his car in the best possible condition as a non restored forty plus year old car could hope to be in. “Good on yer” Chris.


Jensen GT very well presented.

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 Jensen – Healy soft top, also in very good condition.

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Links –
The Jensen Brothers and their cars –

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