OldNews


Highlights of Previous Months' News

If you want to see what has been news in the 541 community in the past months, take a look below. Each month I'll take the best of the news items and preserve them here.    Happy Browsing!         ** Warning - they are now out-of-date **

2010          2011          2012          2013          2014          2015


DECEMBER 2010

THOUGHT FOR THE SEASON
In our increasingly materialistic world, it was refreshing to read on the Forum the views of Darren, a 541 owner who recently sold his very rare Interceptor Coupe, for a price that many people criticised as "too low". His reply was:

For those who do not know me and my family, I bought the Coupé for a very fair price and it was only ever a gap filler until my FF or 541 were back on the road (they are very close). We have had 18 months of wonderful journeys and fond memories; in fact it has been a true stalwart but certainly no concourse entrant. It was me who set the reserve price, not [the auctioneers], which meant the car owed me nothing other than running costs in 18 months - how many cars can do that? In fact my new family car has lost more in the 4 months since I drove it out of the showroom than the hammer price on the Coupé and it’s a bland boring drive. Owning a Jensen is a privilege for me and my profit comes from the fun of driving them. I ask those who want our car values to rocket, 'why do you want to pay more on insurance, parts and service, and when you sell the car for a profit what will you buy when you can't afford another Jensen?'


Mystery Solved.
The October "Car of the Month" was a mystery - but no longer.

It has now featured on eBay, even more overgrown, and has been sold and moved. Consensus seems to be that it could be restorable but would need a very big wallet. Interestingly, it turns out to be one of the rarest Jensens - the mythical 541S manual. Only 20 of these were ever made, the rest being autos.

According to Calver, chassis S1027/102 was originally Black, registered 23/2/61 in the UK.
It has been the subject of discussion on the Forum. (opens in New Window)


The Good the Bad and...
"Autofahrer" from the Forum kindly points out an advert from the 1950's for a car which "looks like a small 541". I have to admit it does (perhaps the designer saw a Jensen and sketched it on the back of a crumpled cigarette packet) but it looks more like a Troll, which is what is was named.
Norway remains proud of the car, which is understandable as their only other manufacturer was the TH!NK electric car. After many false starts, creator Hans Trippel finally hit the right formula with the Amphicar amphibious car of the 1960's - built in Germany and looking nothing like a Jensen.



BATMOBILE(S)
A couple of months ago I enquired if anyone had heard of a 541 supplied, possibly from the factory, with fins at the back. It now appears that there were TWO such cars! One (TBC 94) was apparently in poor taste and had huge "Zephyr" rear lights and fins tacked on. Just for fun, I've mocked up what it may have looked like in the picture below:

I quite like the look! (The Ford's fins were designed by the Jensen designer's brother - see opposite!). Anyway, the real thing was apparently repellent enough to justify cutting off the fins and returning it to normal.
I've also been contacted with an old picture and some info about a second finned car which just might be the factory example we're looking for.


You may remember that our Club Membership Secretary, Keith Andrews, owned the most orange 541 you've ever seen, until he sold it this summer. Despite deserting the 541 camp for other Jensens, he has still won the Classic and Sportscar Club "Personality of the Year" award. Look on the main JOC site to find out more.


CHRISTMAS CARDS  - available from Regalia.
Still time to buy some JENSEN cards from the JOC Regalia shop - such as this snowy 541 card.

Link to JOC Regalia (new window)


EARLY CHRISTMAS PRESENT  

If you read the JOC Forum, you will be aware that some fiend decided to help himself to an early Christmas present by making off with a Jensen FF from a lockup in Ruislip, West London. Fortunately, perhaps, the car was virtually a wreck with every panel of its black body rusted through, but it had been put up for sale in hope of finding a new owner to restore it. With only 320 FFs built, it's rarer than a 541, so any help we can offer our colleagues to track down John Wild's FF chassis 119/036 would be welcomed.
Click here to read the story on the Forum (new window)



CHEEKY GIRLS (Touch my boot?)
I'm not sure whether this is taking this website off the wide and airy "A" roads of the Internet onto an unmarked backroad - but here goes. A Dutch artist named "Skodaman" has been creating posters featuring his favourite cars together with young ladies. The one with this 541S is presumably a feminist as she has rejected the idea of a bra under her dungarees. I'm not entirely sure this will encourage more females to get involved with 541s. He has more pictures on sites such as http://blog.seniorennet.be/skodaman2/ but I must warn you that some of the ladies featured have been even more forgetful with their clothing than this one!



COTSWOLD AIR SHOW, KEMBLE  18th and 19th June 2011
Our colleagues on the similarly named "Jensen541.co.uk" site will again be attending the Cotswold Air Show in 2011 on 18th and 19th June - which yet again clashes with the new, improved, International Weekend!

The new format for the Weekend should allow for lots of fun and games on the Sunday, including a meeting between the two groups, hopefully. Swindon and Kemble are only 20 miles apart down the A419 after all.


RACING 541  
Jack [Sears] had a relatively quiet 1957 and raced his own Austin A105 in a number of saloon car events, as this was before the advent of a British Saloon Championship. More often than not, he won his Class against cars such as the Ford Zephyr, but was concerned when he was beaten at Silverstone by John Webb driving a Jensen 541 which was really more of a GT car than a saloon. In those days, if it had a roof it became a saloon. From: Gentleman Jack: The Official Biography of Jack Sears By Graham Gauld, intro by Sir John Whitmore     Publisher: Veloce Publishing PLC: ISBN-13: 978-1845841515
Jack Sears in 1958
Brands Hatch
Look carefully and you can see the 541 he's racing!





A SHORT BIOGRAPHY OF THE DESIGNER
If Eric Neale were still with us, he would be celebrating turning 100! He was born on 26th September 1910, in Halesowen, Worcestershire. Eric was, of course, responsible for the shape of the Jensen 541 and also the 1950's Interceptor, the CV8, and the P66 prototype. Following a productive career, he enjoyed a long retirement during which he was happy to support numerous JOC events, before his passing in 1997. Stay on this page to read about Eric's extended family, OR click this link to find out more about Eric:


ERIC NEALE - FAMILY MAN
Eric was very much a family man.
While at Jensen he became a father and for a while carried the family around in an Austin A40 Sports, which he had designed. Eric said, "I ran the prototype myself, and at the time we had two small children and a baby; it was ideal and the car created great interest wherever we stopped." Pictured below is one of the two prototype A40 Sports that Eric used;  production models were little changed.

Later he was able to borrow from the factory a 541, and in the charming snap below Eric is shown holding youngest son Mike on a family holiday to Dorset:
This car had a complicated history, being apparently heavily damaged shortly after and then being sold from the factory a year later. It is now in the loving hands of enthusiast Barry Stone, heavily modified. By a strange co-incidence, the partner of a JOC forum member (Jonathan) is a roving reporter and she was sent to do an item on this car and another car owned by the Neale family. See the movie clip below!

Video Clip of the Month- thanks to PETRA SILFVERSKIOLD.
Click Play button (or follow link)
http://video.jpress.co.uk/editorial/NPL/jensen_0001.wmv (new window)
TEXT of news report (new window)


Eric's talent seemed to run in the family, as his brother Colin Neale was also in the car design business. (Colin was Briggs Motor Bodies chief stylist from 1950 so when Ford took over in 1954 he (with Terence Beckett) put together the team that designed some of Ford of Britain's most famous models, including the MkII Zephyr/Zodiac.)

His family continue to promote the 541 - two of his sons own matching red 541s, although on opposite sides of the Atlantic. (UK and Canada). In both cases, his Grandsons (Tom and Ben) are eagerly anticipating taking ownership of the cars when the time is right - a fine tribute to Eric Neale.

On the Left - #3 son Peter's car, UK.   On the Right - #2 son Derek's car, Canada



NOVEMBER 2010

CONNECTIONS
On this page, you can read about journalist Nick Baldwin and his love affair with a down-at-heel Jensen. What he didn't realise at the time was his childhood connection with the marque. His family had a substantial house neighbouring the home of the Reynolds family. They owned a large steel tube manufacturing company (which eventually became T.I.) and before the war had commisioned specialist lorries to carry this tube stock around the country at (relatively) high speed. The manufacturers of these lorries? Jensen of course!

While building a series of avant garde lorries for them, the Jensens became good friends with the Reynolds and the Jensen brothers' cars were frequently seen parked outside the house. In retrospect, Nick Baldwin wished he had talked to them about lorries and cars.

A lesson for us all? If you know anyone with interesting stories of Jensen history, ask them about it and get it written down.

Another strange connection is with the first 541 to reach Australia - it was serviced and tuned by Frank Gardner, who left Australia to become a very successful racer in the UK, winning out British Touring Car Championship 3 times!


HOW MUCH?!

A recent ebay sale of the chrome nose trim from a 541 netted over £ 620 for the German seller. And a 541S handbook is on at £ 95 from Rejen. With prices like that, maybe you should check out some improved security for your car...



BATMOBILE
I recently enquired if anyone had info on a "Jensen 541 October 1955, blue, specially designed tail, unique".
Mike Byrne has provided the following information from his friend Russ Grief:
"The first 541 I bought was the Batmobile mod. It had huge fins on the rear. You may remember I came down and bought a complete back end and bolted it on to bring the car back to original. It had the initial reg of TBC 94 and the plate was sold to The Boots Company, the chemist chain. Can't remember what the new reg was but the car was deep maroon when it went. No pics I'm afraid."


"For Our Tomorrow, They Gave Their Today"

On November 11th lies Remembrance Day, when all across Britain we think of those who lost their lives in the service of this country.


Through the medium of the Internet and the JOC, former allies and former foes alike are brought together and we hope that Members throughout the world are able to celebrate the Peace. In April, a group of Jensens took part in a rally at the new National Memorial Arboretum in Staffordshire, a focal point for memorials to those who have served, and continue to serve, our nation in many different ways, including the Police, Fire and Rescue services.
 


For those who wish to know more:
This is a place where current and future generations can wander and wonder. Link to National Memorial Arboretum (new window).
Covering 150 acres, the Arboretum has something for everyone. For some it is a wonderful place to stroll and enjoy the beauty of the trees; for others it's a peaceful and beautiful place to remember loved ones, particularly those who made the ultimate sacrifice for their country. The focus, however, is not totally military. There is a large area devoted to Police who have fallen while on duty, as well as other areas given over to the Fire & Rescue and Ambulance services. National charities that represent those who have died in particular circumstances, including children, and people killed in road incidents, are also to be found in the Arboretum grounds.





Jon Cleary    22/11/1917 - 19/7/2010



Best-selling Australian author Jon Cleary passed away earlier this year at the age of 92. He sold over 8 million books in various languages, several of which were turned into films. His 1957 book "The Green Helmet" is one of the most famous motor racing novels written, while "The Sundowners" made his name. Although he denied being a petrolhead he owned many fine cars, notably a Jensen 541 deluxe - reputedly the first of its kind in Australia.

He said that when he called to place the order, Jensen were most reluctant to make one available as there were no service facilities in Australia, no agents, only BMC parts, and the glassfibre body was untried in the semi-tropics. "I never knew it could be so hard to spend money. But now that I own the car, the factory are taking a tremendous interest in it - three or four letters."
A young Frank Gardner (famous Australian racer) maintained Jon's Jensen and commented, "It handles better than a Jag... I'd say that it is a superior car in all respects to a Jaguar."
Within weeks of ownership, the car set off for a 6,000 mile tour of Iron Curtain countries. On the way, it completed a timed run at Jabbecke at 132mph and gave an overall figure of 25 mpg.

  
His love of the car was obvious as he gives the handsome racing driver hero a Jensen 541 as his road car in "The Green Helmet".   He picks up a young lady in 'the blue Jensen sports saloon', and drives her to Earl's Court.
' "A snappy car", she said, admiring the sleek lines of the Jensen.'
Later, the star car of the book, the Wizard, is built in a backstreet garage. ' "We'd do the body in fibreglass", Richie said, "Like the Jensen".' Does anyone know of any other books which mention the Jensen 541?


LAKES WEEKEND   [Organised by the Yorkshire Area]

Keith Lee writes: "Thank you Mark and Brendan for arranging this great weekend. Jenny and I enjoyed every minute. I think the 541 has an advantage over the big brutes on the pass - you can see over the bonnet! But grip was a slightly exciting issue running on thin crossplies. Waking up on Sunday to a perfect sunny day in such a beautiful spot was a highlight."

Click here to view JOC Forum (new window)




2011 HET JENSEN GENOOTSCHAP HOLLAND
September 2-3-4, 2011      
30th Anniversary
**DATE NOW CONFIRMED**    Han Kamp says: 2011 is going to be a busy year for all Jensen lovers....... the JOC will be celebrating their 40th anniversary - Jensen Motors was founded 75 years ago and HJGH is organizing an international meeting to celebrate our 30th anniversary. Those who attended our 20th and 25th will no doubt remember what HJGH has offered in terms of hospitality and facilities, not in the least the very affordable cost. We are aiming to offer the same quality, if not an even better event in 2011....... Plan the weekend of September 2-3-4, 2011 in your diary if you'd like to come over........



NICK BALDWIN COLLECTION
My attention has been drawn to the British Motor Industry Heritage Trust, who have published the motoring collection and ramblings of Nick Baldwin, in particular the following about a 541 owned until 1994:

The Aston episode began in the early 1980s with a DB6 Vantage that I blew £4000 on that had just been inherited from a favourite aunt. I am not sure that she would have approved. Whilst I loved its engine sound and brute power it has to be acknowledged that its fuel consumption and servicing requirements were a cause for concern. Also the aluminium bodywork was extremely vulnerable to car parking mishaps (and falling bicycles when I failed to strap the historic Rover adequately in the rafters).

Veteran car owner Dick Pullman gave me an amazing fifty percent profit when I next ran out of money and I retreated to a bargain basement Jensen 541. This turned out to be a much underrated car that with very tall gearing and bags of torque from its 4 litre Austin unit was virtually as quick as the Aston with a lot less fuss. Admittedly the 325 gross bhp of the Vantage was amazing in a straight line but the car was too heavy to throw about!

So too in fact was the Jensen with its much less sophisticated chassis which felt too narrow and imprecise due to wear in its many idlers in its convoluted steering mechanism. However, it was very fast, easily shaking off an aggressive BMW on the long motorway rise at High Wycombe and it was pleasingly quiet and comfortable. I tried to address the inherent steering problems by buying a scrap rack and pinion type 541R but the complexity was beyond me. Studying the rotted out tubular chassis of the 541R made me realise that my working car straight out of a dump behind a garage was probably in an equally parlous state (one of the tubes acted as a servo for the brakes). Having lost confidence I sold the lot but years later encountered the original car still looking faded but by then on German registration plates and running lustily.


©  Text and photograph are copyright of the British Motor Industry Heritage Trust http://www.bmiht.co.uk/index.htm (new window)

1956 JENSEN 541 SPORTS SALOON
Date of First Registration 28 06 1956
Registration No. URT 451
Chassis No. 541 1055803
Engine No. ID - 10709MJE
Original faded Tampico Beige with red interior Sold Sept 1994, London.



No video clip this month - instead we have some audio clips provided by Lex Classics (Holland), who are selling Han Kamp's beautiful early 541 on his behalf.


AUDIO CLIP - Jensen 541 engine:
    Or click here to download

AUDIO CLIP - Han's Jensen on the move:
    Or click here to download


This is how Han Kamp found his 541

This is how it looked stripped


Go to Toolbox - Archive Pics to see what this car looks like now!



OCTOBER 2010

'CLUB LOYALTY?'
In the news section you will see we are already advertising next year's International meeting - and also an event that clashes with it. When I was contacting the group in the South-West about their event, they were surprised that we would consider publishing details of something that clashed with a club event. I’ve thought long and hard about this, as this site is financed by JOC member subscriptions (it costs about 1 ½ subscriptions a year in its entirety, in fact). However, both the Forum and the websites are open to all, in the interests of stimulating interest in our cars in the wider community, and it was my view that we should be as open as possible. As this event was NOT set up to deliberately undermine a JOC weekend, I’ve featured it. Of course, a lot of Club time and money is going into the International, and this could mean we could lose attendance. What’s YOUR view? Whether you are a Committee member or just browsing, I’d be interested to hear from you.
p.s. The good news is that, following a discussion with me, the Kemble Airshow group have put the International in their diaries and hope to visit it!


Manual
One of the most expensive components of our cars seems to be the Instruction manual. This slim volume regularly achieves very high prices on eBay and when one was offered on the JOC forum at £100, it was snapped up within days.
Mike Byrne wrote in the Forum: "If anyone wants a very good searchable and printable pdf version of the 541 (not R or S) manual, email me and I will sent one to you. This was produced by Remy Wiggers in Holland, so all credit goes to him!!"
He has since sent me a copy which I have posted for us all on the Toolbox webpage. Thanks Remy and Mike!




Happy Birthday, Mr Neale.

If Eric Neale was still with us, he would be celebrating turning 100! He was born on 26th September 1910, in Halesowen, Worcestershire. Following a productive career, he enjoyed a long retirement during which he was happy to support numerous JOC events, before his passing in 1997.
Eric was, of course, responsible for the shape of the 1950 Interceptor, the 541 and CV8.


Personalised 541 items are available from the JOC Regalia.
For instance, this 541 badged Folio will set off your car's paperwork a treat and carries your numberplate and details. Cost: £65 from Regalia.

  • Personalised engraved plate in polished chrome
  • Personalised title page
  • Turned and stitched, padded leather binder
  • 12 PVC-sleeved car record sheets
  • 3 self-adhesive photo pages
  • 2 heavy-duty transparent wallets to store and protect loose documents
  • CD-Rom to print out additional pages as required.




...and in a choice of several different colours.



COTSWOLD AIR SHOW, KEMBLE  18th and 19th June 2011
Our colleagues on the similarly named "Jensen541.co.uk" site will again be attending the Cotswold Air Show in 2011 on 18th and 19th June - which yet again clashes with the International Weekend!

As Swindon and Kemble are only 20 miles apart down the A419 I'm hoping we can all meet up this year. They've told me they've noted the JOC meeting into their diary, so let's hope.



VIRTUAL 541
Shown below is part of the remarkable work of a talented young man named Jasper Kort. He decided to base his coursework on an old car and, luckily for us, randomly came across the 541. Armed with nothing but a few old photos, skill and enthusiasm, he managed to create 3-D renderings of a 541S that capture its style very well. If you visit his site you'll see some more views of the 541. http://www.jasperkortfolio.nl/2010/06/60s-car/ (new window) Hint: click into the pictures to maximise them, and you also get high definition quality.



Jasper says:   Because this project was part of my school exam in 3D, I didn't have a lot of time to find all the reference I needed. Which is why I had to model the entire car based on photos and a side view from the Jensen 541-R, I believe. When I finally finished the body I didn't have enough time to model the inside, so I made a quick mesh for the chairs, dashboard and some details. The advertisement was part of the exam as well. I basically had to create a believable 60's car advertisement, which is why I took a render of the side of my car, a photo of the man standing somewhere outside and a background image. I put all these things together and made it look like a drawing, what I thought would make it look more 60's. I have to say all the text in the advertisement is not based on a real Jensen ad. I took it from a different car ad and modified the numbers and some text.



DUTCH WEBSITE  Het Jensen Genootschap Holland
Han Kamp, Chairman, says:       
Our new totally revised website is now on air.
www.jensenholland.nl (new window)





KOPENHAGEN, DENMARK   - PAST EVENT Sept 3-5th.
Dave Newby said "It was a truly international gathering with people from as far away as Australia, plus european colleagues from Germany, Switzerland, Holland and of course Denmark. Our Danish friends even mannaged to organise good weather for the whole time. The only problem that I suffered was that they kindly lent me a Jensen-Healey to drive but they omitted to put the steering wheel on the correct side"
Joerg additionally praised the Danish beer!

Click here for Denmark forum item  (new window)



UPDATE - PEKING TO PARIS
Austin 4-litre Engine in rebuild drama

The 541's robust Austin engine was used in far greater numbers in the Princess (and Sheerline) limousines.
One of these is currently battling from Peking to Paris in an endurance rally, and if you have been following it you'll know things haven't been going smoothly:


"The Princess has traversed all but 25km of Mongolia on the back of a truck and Colin has chundered across half of it.".

The engine needed a rebuild after the first day: "Meanwhile the mechanic, assisted by a local policeman, filed, scraped, and smoothed the journals and refitted the bearings using a piece of lemonade can to shim one and foil from a cigarette pack for the other."
Following a proper rebuild it is still going strong.
To follow the rally, click on the link below. We wish them good luck!
Click here for list of Entrants



FIRST TEST at this year's Classic Rhineland event


Jens Jansen reports from near Kaisersesch in the Eifel district: Car - 541S.     Distance - about 500 yards, target time 45 seconds. One must finish exactly on time (not early) and stop with the two target cones between the front and rear axle. Nothing wild, but of course, is the top of the gyro still a character that should not be overlooked .. [Sorry, couldn't translate that part].
Ute filmed this test; from the outside it looks like this:
YOUTUBE CLIP
Jen's information packed site - click here (new window)
Or for his main site - click here (new window)



SEPTEMBER 2010

'YOU TELL US...'
Later this year, it's hoped this site may feature short items about the following subjects:
* Early Glassfibre Cars
* Colin Riekie
* Eric Neale
* 541s with non-standard engines.
If you have any information which can help with this, please contact us. Also, if you have anything to add or correct on the current site, do let us know!



... and can anyone shed any light on this advert for a "unique" car?
Jensen 541 October 1955, blue, specially designed tail, unique, numerous expensive extras, absolute showroom condition, £1,750. No offers. Phone, Liverpool Garson xxxx   The Motor, June 26th 1957



LATE LATE NEWS
1957:    "The CRYSTAL PALACE MOTOR TRACK was engaged recently by Bardahl Products, Ltd., 39 Craven Road, London, W.2., to stage a practical demonstration of their products. The programme allowed participants to try out this well-known additive in their own cars, or in cars provided by a car hire firm, under controlled test conditions. In spite of the weather on March 6th when this demonstration was staged, a large gathering of motoring correspondents from the trade and national press ... were present, and in an almost continual downpour, took an active part. Amongst well-known motoring personalities were Eric Richter of B.R.M., Wing Commander Lester, A. F. Rivers-Fletcher, F. C. Davis and John Young. ...   A Jensen 541 with a petrol consumption of 15.5 m.p.g. on the first circuit, attained 20.3 after the addition of this lubricant."



BUYERS GUIDE

If you already own a 541 you might want to skip this, but there is a Buyers Guide on the homepage (index2).



HOT FUZZ

Practical Classics are continuing their 541 restoration diary. Fuzz Townsend is in charge of it and guess who he turns to for advice? (recently on Gearbox mounts and paint colours)

Yes, he is a member of the JOC Forum.
Join the Club, join the Forum, use the Forum!



SMALL SCALE, BIG PRICES?
This site has recently been spotlighting the new 1:76 scale Oxford Diecast models of the 541. For those who are not aware of the importance of this model release, here is a (hopefully) complete history of model 541s.
When the car was still new, Spot-On models selected it for its 1:42 range. (Dinky and Corgi generally made their models "handsized" which meant changing the scales of bubble cars and Rolls Royces until they were similar in dimensions. Not so Spot-On). It came in a handsome cardboard box, with an illustration inside it, and a wide range of colours - many in typically 50's two-tone pastels. After 3 years, it was withdrawn.

These models fetch a minimum of £20 in poor condition on eBay, and over £100 at auction for a good one. To give you an idea, an empty reproduction box sells for £8! For its period, the model was reasonably accurate and of good quality.


Many years later, as company called "PP Copy" of Brighton made some models based on the old Spot-On casting, also in 1:42 scale. I don't know much about them, but production was minimal.


(Corgi Chief Designer Marcel R. Van Cleemput made a prototype model of the 541, but it was unfortunately never produced.)

We now have to skip forward to 1986 when a new company, Pathfinder models, chose the 541R as its first model, PFM 01. This was much more detailed, and a collectors model (nominally 1:43rd scale) but could look a little ungainly from some angles. It is highly collectible and frequently traded, and will fetch over £150. Most models have remained mint and in their box.


Finally, Oxford Diecast have made Jensen rather a speciality with numerous accurate releases of Jensen Interceptors in 1:43, and finally the delectable 1:76 miniature 541R in a range of colours. I personally cannot find fault with the proportions, and the detailing is superb although the wheels are "generic" rather than accurate wires or hubcaps. They are loosely based on real vehicles. In contrast to the other collectible 541s, cost is around £3.50!


NOTE: Thanks to Dave Turnage for help with identifying the above.
The photos shown are the actual models, despite some trim differences.

That's the full extent of models I know of. The Product Manager at Oxford Diecast told me: "The 541R would certainly make a lovely 1:43 model so you never know!".
Unfortunately, I do not know of any 541S or early 541 models. However, Club members will have recently received the July/August magazine showing how an enterprising modeller has created a 541 from an Oxford 541R!



PEKING TO PARIS?
Austin 4-litre Engine faces Tough Challenge

Recognise this?

It's the 541's engine in its original guise as engine of the Austin Princess A135 limousine. Generally, it has a reputation as being reliable and long-lasting, which is fortunate as two brave souls intend to use it as they drive from Peking to Paris in September. Here's a picture of their car undergoing testing.


To follow the rally, click on the link below. We wish them good luck! Click here for list of Entrants




ANOTHER YOUTUBE CLIP - showing off a 541S:
After the slick professionalism of the TV advert from last month, we bring you something different. This video is designed to help sell the car featured, but I'm sure its creator would agree that it could do with a little editing. Basically, after the first 30 seconds it vanishes into a small dot on the horizon for 1 minute and 20 seconds. On its return, it then hides behind the house for a further 10 seconds!

(If you are in the market, Google "541S for sale")

AUGUST 2010

"You're never alone with a Jensen..."
What better car than a Jensen 541 to introduce you to all sorts of Classic Car owners? Links to Austin, Healey, Sunbeam, Volvo - constructors of lorries for about 30 years - luxury V8 supercars - owners of glassfibre cars like Reliant and Lotus - and a heritage that extends to beyond 1976 to the 80's S4, the SV8 of the 2000's and the recent Inteceptor S; is there a better-connected marque in the world? And if the only enthusiasts in sight are driving Scooby WRXs - just quietly drop into the conversation who first imported and sold Subarus in the UK... The Jensen Parts & Service organisation, of course, that arose from the ashes of the '76 bankrupcy and needed something new to sell! Today, International Motors is still based in West Bromwich and is worth millions as it imports Subarus and orther marques.
Int Motors



"No fat fenders here"

In 1955, Jensen apparently pointed out (with a West Brom accent and American terminology) "This arrangement lets you see what's what without straining over fat fenders"!




WEB SITE IMPROVED
Cropredy Bridge have been using a very basic web page, but it has now been fully upgraded to allow access to Parts, Service, Sales pages. In addition, you can play around with the screen settings to get classic Interceptor colour schemes for the site. Mine is Tangerine and Black... To check on the full range of Jensen specialists, pick up the latest issue of Jensen magazine. If any of them update their website, I'll mention it here!



FRINGE BENEFIT?
Keep the sun (or the rain) off with a 541 hat from the JOC Regalia
Please not that is NOT my hair sticking out from under the hat!




From a website called AutoFiends: 1970's picture of 541 and owner is labelled:
"That’s a pretty damn cool ride! Most people only know Jensen for the Interceptor….this almost looks like a british version of a MB Coupe from those days….and look at the driver—–PIMPIN!"

The driver is Mike Byrne, in full 70's hair mode...

Nowadays the hair may change but Mike is still working with 541s:
Mike Byrne is considering an exciting step forward, and has put a message on the forum:
"Steve Knowles and myself are having some castings produced for the bonnet clamp hand wheels and also the half wing-nuts which should be used to lock the turn wheels.(These are often missing) If anyone is interested in a pair or more of each, please contact me with a pm or email. I shall have a rough idea of price when we have the trial castings back from the casting company. Mike."

A trip to the Ace Cafe in NW London was successfull in every way except one - it poured!   The Turnages' 541R took pride of place in a huge row of Interceptors.




"Hot food and hot engines - a perfect combination"


Click here to open Ace Cafe London.com/ (new window)

Click here to open link on JOC Forum (new window)


Further (lower profile) meetings are scheduled - check Forum for details.



In July the Club arranged a Successful LeMans trip:




Tim said:
"Thanks to John Donegan for organising in immaculate detail, what was a truly epic Classic Le-mans."




LEADED PETROL IS BANNED IN THE UK - TRUE OR FALSE?

Surprisingly perhaps, the answer is false. Providing the amount sold does not exceed 0.5% of the total, fully leaded petrol can still be sold and there have been up to 200 fuel retailers registered over the last decade. However, reports the FBHVC, the demand for leaded petrol has dwindled as owners have found alternative ways to avoid fuel-induced engine damage.
Drinking 4 star at the last chance saloon... Only the following fuel stations (listed in alphabetical order of postcode) were registered with FBHVC as retailers of leaded petrol to BS4040 at the end of 2009. At the time of writing, (mid 2010), there is concern that the point may have been reached where the distribution of leaded petrol may no longer be economically viable. Unfortunately, FBHVC is not always informed when a garage ceases to sell leaded petrol, so it is wise to check availability before travelling.

Scroll down for full list of Petrol stockists:
L.Bennett & Son Limited AL1 5JR 01727 855879
Broomfield Garage Limited B65 0QG 0121 559 1217
Fosseway Garage BA4 6TA 01749 830132
Bridge End Service Station CA5 7BH 01228 710491
Woodbine Garage DE24 9HW 01332 766074
Maple Garage HU11 4NA 01964 670392
Patrington Garage HU12 0RD 01964 630371
Wyard-Scott Limited IP30 0HJ 01284 828209
Grizebeck Filling Station LA17 7XH 01229 889259
Redhall Garage Ltd LE67 8HG 01530 222323
R E Mills Motor Engineers LE7 7NU 0116 230 2295
Renlut Properties Limited LL12 8DY 01978 352428
Marian Garage LL21 9SP
Central Garage LS23 6BH 01937 842283
Barnards of Wisbech PE13 5DR 01945 583082
Stoke Row Garage RG9 5QL 01491 680411
Reigate Heath Garage Ltd RH2 8AB 01737 244146
Park End Motor & Engineering SE13 6TR 020 8697 2865
Whitehorse Service Station SG7 6PD 01462 893295
The Mount Service Station SY3 8PF 01743 369623
Greenway Garage TA5 2AX 01278 423261
Spring Hill Service Station TF1 3NA 01952 251888
Imperial Motors TR3 7JE 01872 863353
H J Taylor WR12 7PL 01386 852338

-end-





RESULTS OF THE 2010 JOC CONCOURS
The results are now on a separate page
Click here to open results from the International Weekend

The winner of the Gold category was Keith Lee, and his early 541 is shown below in the golden evening light of a wonderful International Weekend meeting.



ANOTHER YOUTUBE CLIP - a glossy TV advert for GHD hair straighteners (I thought girls went to great lengths to make their hair wavy?):
I fall asleep after the first 17 seconds when the car disappears.



... previous featured car pictures are stored in an Archive page.  Go to the "Toolbox" tab to find this.


JULY 2010

"New kids on the block..."
Jensen541.com has competition! There is another new website out there called Jensen541.co.uk, so be careful what you type. Only Jensen541.com is an Official JOC website.  However, it's nice to see another enthusiast site on the Internet, run by the Bristow family who are serial collectors of 541s.  I'll add their web address to the LINKS page; please note this does not constitute an official JOC approval for any car they may have for sale.  Just remember to come back to the oldest & best site afterwards - Jensen541.com.

hudson



"Old Block on the Skids..."
STOP PRESS - I reported the proposed sale and probable demolition of the old West Brom 541 factory building on the Forum, and suggestions have been made that we try to get the building protected. Click and drag on the picture below to view the factory and the road from any angle, and zoom in or out. Open it in Google Maps to see the location.
View Larger Map
Click to contribute to the Forum about the fate of this site! (new window)




Mike Byrne is considering an exciting step forward, and has put a message on the forum

"Steve Knowles and myself are having some castings produced for the bonnet clamp hand wheels and also the half wing-nuts which should be used to lock the turn wheels.(These are often missing) If anyone is interested in a pair or more of each, please contact me with a pm or email. I shall have a rough idea of price when we have the trial castings back from the casting company. Mike."




It's a Small Small World
Wonderful though it is to meet up with enthusiasts at the International meeting, most 541 contacts seem to be done online these days. I met someone who remembered seeing my car in the 1980s (!) and he has promised to try to find the photos he took and email them to me. He does not use a computer himself, but a younger colleague will hopefully sort things out. Let's hope it goes as smoothly as another contact - an "online friend" missed me at the International, but used the forum to contact me on his return - I'd given him a lead for the part he wanted within 10 minutes and within 12 hours he had ordered the item!
Join the Club, join the Forum, use the Forum!



ANOTHER YOUTUBE CLIP FROM GERMANY, this time featuring a 541S belonging to keen JOC Forum member Jens Jansen:
Perhaps Jens can assist with a translation of some of the German commentary as I know only a few words and he could be saying "this car is rubbish compared to a Mercedes of the period"!



CAR OF THE MONTH:
...an occasional series of feature cars...
... this month - Jens Jensen's 541S (see Links page for Jens' website address).   





OXFORD DIECAST - In the news for the third month running!

And for a very good reason... I have mentioned the virtually perfect 1:76 model 541's made by Oxford Diecast, but I had not appreciated the depth of research that goes into them. A recent newsletter highlighted their model of the Austin Princess (the one with "our" 4-litre Austin engine) amd the MD had this to say:


"This is a new version of the Austin Princess... I am quite guilty of not pointing out some of the model differences that appear across the different version. At first glance some of our models can appear to be the same, but look further, check interiors, bodywork, pillars, lights etc - you will find quite a few differences. Below {CLICK LINK} is a small part of the initial research which is carried out by our team of engineers. We generally listen to the experts, but ultimately we make our own judgements. Having run several factories over the years, I know from experience that ‘odd’ variants will appear purely in the interests of costs, or production pressures."

Model Types Available:   1952-54  1954-58  1959-68

If you are a Phillistine like me, you probably considered the Princess to come in three types: "Restored", "Wedding Car Hack", and "541 Engine donor". If Oxford can be bothered to record so many details, I live in hope of a 1:76 model of an early 541 and a 541S to match their 541R.




SAVING THE CAR, ONE PIECE AT A TIME
There are lots of fine restoration and repair shops out there dedicated to restoring Jensen 541s. However, only one had the panache to turn up to the International and spread his wares out on the grass! "Chassisman" Ron Everitt-Clay had brought what seemed like all the chassis panels of a 541 (actually a mix of 541, CV8 and Interceptor) in the back of an Espace and explained that, now he has the patterns, he can produce panels made to original specifications before the customer's chassis even arrives at his workshop for repair.



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