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         ** Warning - they are now out-of-date **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

APRIL & MAY 2012

NEVER BEFORE PUBLISHED

In a tribute to the 1st April, I published a "scoop" picture of what was claimed to be a prototype replacement for the 541.


If you want to see what the CV8 could have looked like, catch up with the April fool here:
Prototype CV8 / 541 MkII

WINDSCREEN YPRES

While flicking through eBay I noticed an intriguing advert, which showed a 541 dashboard!


It was a for a sheet of self adhesive vinyl labels to identify various instruments and switches on any classic car. As well as the usual labels it had WIPERS and YPRES, as a tribute to the Great War soldiers, and also EJECT as a tribute to Mr. Bond!

Further investigation showed that the seller was Alan Froy, owner of the 1958 541 De Luxe shown recently with electric power steering, as well as a 17" Kenlow fan, seat belts, alternator that looks like a dynamo, refurbished brake servo, new Dunlop tyres, new cam followers, titanium taped exhaust manifod, H4 headlights, dash-mounted dip switch, interior heat insulation, etc. etc.

Searching for "dashboard instrument labels" on eBay will display any for sale. "Other dashboard instrument labels may be available"!


OPEN DAY COVENTRY  Event Report

Picture credit: Zac Marshall

The (free) Open Day at Coventry motor museum (Sunday 4th March) saw an impressive turnout of Jensens parked outside for the Coventry citizens to admire, and Richard praised the "really useful information from the technical questions session".
And Zac said: "very impressed with the turnout as the weather was truly atrocious, I was sure the event was going to be a complete wash out; as someone said just goes to prove our cars don’t dissolve in the rain!"

The 541 pictured is the recently auctioned "ex-Judas Priest" car - glad to see the new owner joining in.     Forum link.


SPRING WEEKEND  Event Report

Picture credit: Zac Marshall

The Cheshire area organised the successful Spring Weekend break, which included rambles across muddy fields and clay pigeon shooting.
Several 541s attended.     Forum link.



IN THE GROOVE    UNIQUE MODEL

A slot-car enthusiast from Vancouver has scratch built a model of a 541, with the eventual aim of producing a mould from it.
Ron, known as "Manitouguy", said "this one has been, with all its curves, a real challenge for my beginner skills. I have quickly added some plasticine for the rear detailing and front head lamps, and a temp balsa stick above the front fender".  Even at this stage it looks very impressive.





He last worked on it a couple of years ago but this week told me "I fully intend to complete it or a version of it - as a nice styrene body kit (hopefully with working air dam [bonnet flap]) but am very slooow at my projects - will get there though as I am passionate about that particular car"


541 RACER    ON TRACK THIS EASTER







Racing Picture credit: PlaneteGT.com

The pictures above show the evolution of "WLC 422" over the years, from sitting quietly in an English playing field, with its original interior, to posing in Monte Carlo, to historic racing.

The team campaining the car this year (R W Racing Services Ltd) have let me know it should be on the track shortly: "The first race of this season will be at Castle Combe on Easter Bank Holiday Monday, and then at Donington in early May in the Pre '63 GT Series; Malcolm’s Co-Driver in the two handed races will be Denis Welch."

This ties in with the engine work being carried out by Denis Welch of Austin-Healey fame. They are now getting 241 BHP on the rolling road with around 275 ft lbs torque. As most Jensen people probably know, the 6 cylinder Austin Sheerline engine in these cars is effectively the 6 cylinder version of the Healey 4 cylinder 100/4 engine. It is totally compliant to Appendix K/HTP requirements, with the original 1 ½” SU carbs. They have invested in an all steel crank, which, of course, necessitated quite a bit of expense due to creating tooling, but it does enable the engine to be safely revved to 5000 – 5500 rpm. The biggest problem is finding uncracked cylinder heads and they have asked if the Club can help with this. I have let them know that the heads are extremely rare; the regulations may let you remanufacture certain parts if they are completely unavailable so maybe Mr. Welch will be able to create a new batch?

Having now spoken to Malcolm Verey it seems that the car was chosen because it was rare on the track and relatively cheap to prepare. He thinks that for a fraction of the budget of the front runners he can finish in the top third of the finishers, and can use their Healey expertise to prepare it. He rates the brakes (discs all round of course) as excellent, the handling very good and the power as adequate, so they have to concentrate on keeping up speed through the corners. The front end is sorted but the back can be further lowered to prevent oversteer. He said that originality was important to him and they have altered the car as little as possible - it does has a full roll cage and bucket seats, which have been trimmed to match the original interior.

If anyone is at Castle Coombe, action pictures would be welcomed by both jensen541.com and by Malcom Verey and the R W Racing Services team.
Castle Coombe information



UNIQUE 541 FINDS NEW HOME  V8 TO BE FITTED

You may remember a couple of years ago that JOC member Chris Holman had been researching the history of his 541 and found that, as a test bed for Jensen Motors, it had spent a year with what appears to have been a Chrysler V8 fitted! A normal Austin straight six was fitted before it was invoiced to its first owner, but it is hoped that this can be reversed and a 331 Chrysler hemi fitted.
Now enthusiastic new owner Felix Kistler in Switzerland has taken over and with the help of Derek Chapman and Andi Kries it is hoped to restore it to its former glory, with a Firepower 331ci V8 similar to that pictured.

To give you an idea what this engine can sound like with an open exhaust, play the clip below.



If your browser will not play the clip, go direct to sound clip




CAR OF THE MONTH:

   ...this month - awaiting a V8!

SEA 770 has been carefully stripped of almost all components and now awaits restoration.


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


PART OF THE MONTH:

   ...the 541 has many interesting and unique parts... here's one of them...


SEA 770's original buff logbook, showing Jensen Motors as the original owner for the first year.


The engine number is not that of an Austin unit.
Come back in a month for another obscure part!




MARCH 2012

SUCCESS!

After much discussion and the personal involvement of Brian Galpin, we have hammered out a deal for the supply of Silicone hoses for the 541. The company in question, Classic Silicone Hoses will now take orders for the hoses at £101 inclusive. 541R owners can also buy hoses from this address.
Doesn't it look good?
Jump to the end of the Forum link below to check the details.



Join us on the Forum to find out more:
JOC 541 Forum (log in required)



FORUM UPDATE

Last month our Forum web hosting company updated some of its software. This suddenly meant we were unable to subscribe anyone new to the Forum unless we updated our own software. JOC volunteer Zac Marshall stepped in and swiftly upgraded the Forum and it continues to work well. You may notice a lot of posts about changes that have occurred with the update; please be assured that 95% of the Forum acts the same as usual. If you need a password reset please contact the moderators or the Jensen541.com webmaster.


COMING ATTRACTIONS

I have started work on listing the competition history of the 541, and am gathering any info or pictures on the following drivers: Malcolm Webb, Don Parker, Leslie Johnson. Also contemporary (2011) racer Malcolm Verey.

Another topic I am following up is that of famous saloon racer Gerry Marshall, who was apparently a huge fan (in more ways than one!) of the 541. Does anyone know for sure which cars he owned?


BOOK CORNER

As part of an occasional series of extracts from great literary works that mention the 541, I bring you "No Evil Angel" (1964) by Elizabeth Linington.





..."It's a Jensen five-four-one 'R' series hardtop, D'Arcy."
"And what the hell kind of car is that? I never heard--"
"Well, it's quite a nice piece of mechanics," said Maddox.
"British made, Jensen Motors, They claim a hundred and twenty-five m.p.h. maximum. More to the point, it sells new for somewhere around nine thousand bucks here, and as it isn't turned out in anything like mass production, I don't see Wray getting hold of one even almost three years old for less than around five thousand."

It's out of print, but anyone wanting to find out whether Wray was guilty can get a used copy from the States through the usual channels such as Amazon.

And if anyone doubts this is literature, then point out the title comes from Shakespeare...


REGALIA

Newly available this month, in limited quantities: An Original John Bull Tyre Gauge. Made of Brass and Heavily Chrome Plated, comes with its own case. John Bull was the chosen name for the Jensen Motor Company in car tool kit.

Buy yours via this Link to Regalia.





FOR SALE SECTION

The main JOC website has a Cars & Parts section which was UPDATED on February 24th.
Amongst the adverts is an extensive section for Tony Wilde in Australia, who seems to have built up quite a catalogue of quality replacement parts in stainless or bronze.
For example, nickel bronze castings for inlet and exhaust manifold clamping.





There is also an intriguing request from a Phil Williams for a 541 that "that needs a little TLC and sunshine" so he can participate in Club events. It sounds like he is offering a dog-walking service for Jensens!
Find out more on the JOC site:
JOC main site - adverts



727 BYK

Does anyone know the history or current location of this 541S?   I'm trying to find out a bit more about it. This green car, chassis no. 54, rolled out of the factory in 1961






DRIVE IT DAY  Sunday 22nd April

Hagerty International will be again running an event in support of the Federation of British Historic Vehicle Clubs. This year's route will start from Hagerty's home at Silverstone Circuit and will follow a scenic 80 mile route ending up at Donington Park.
Hagerty-Online site.
Find out more on the Forum here.


IRISH EVENT  25th to 27th May

Mark from Kilkenny says "This is a two day event. A static display on the Saturday in New Ross town along the quays, always some interesting cars. Then the 100 mile drive on the Sunday, this tends to attract more cars. The scenery is always good and the weather the last two years has been great."
Wexford Sports and Classic Car Club.
Find out more on the Forum here.


ENFIELD PAGEANT OF MOTORING  25th to 27th May

As you can see, the CV8s and Interceptors were out in force last year. How about a few 541s to show them what it's all about?
There is often a dark blue 541 exhibited on another stand.
Not only are there lots of stands but plenty of parking and a cracking autojumble too.
Find out more on the Forum here.


INTERNATIONAL WEEKEND  8th-10th June

Put the 2012 JOC International Weekend in your diary.   Located in the Midlands, the Weekend will be on 8th - 10th June at a large Hotel named Chesford Grange, Kenilworth, Warwickshire, CV8 2LD. Rough timetable will be:
• 8th June Meet and greet.
• 9th June AM - AGM
   > John Lane (0151 9249621) general-john@joc.org.uk
• Followed by classic run or shopping
• 9th June Evening - Dinner/Dance
   > Tony Davies, (01270 761444)  international@joc.org.uk
• 10th June Concours
   > Richard Streeter (07717 674670) concours@joc.org.uk

This year, the Concours will again be part of the International Weekend; more details on how to enter will be available later.
Find out more on the Forum here.


JAGUAR JEC INTERNATIONAL   24th June

Dave Newby says "The Jaguar Enthusiasts' Club have invited the JOC, as a guest Club, along to their International Weekend at Weston Park on 24th June. This date does not clash with anything in the JOC calendar and should provide a good day out seeing how "the other half" live.
Jaguar Enthusiasts' Club.
Find out more on the Forum here.



LUCAS L542    GASKETS



The distinctive Lucas lights, model L542, found on the later 541 and 541R models rely on a thick rubber gasket to keep them waterproof. With age, this rubber cracks and needs replacing. You can buy repro lights, but not gaskets on their own (although I did order a pair which turned out to be so thin they were completely unsuitable for a Jensen). A set of gaskets on eBay recently sold for a very large sum - almost enough to buy a complete repro light! Luckily, Mike Byrne has a small batch of these gaskets which he is willing to sell for considerably less; contact him via a Forum private message for details.
STOP PRESS:   All sold now. Mike says, "Don't know when I will get any more, but if I do I will post on forum."


LUCAS L542    IMPROVED OUTPUT



The Lucas rear lights mentioned above have two roles: one is as rear lights and the other is to illuminate the boot. If you open the boot with the head or sidelights on, light streams out of the BACK of the L542 and you can see the boot interior. However, this means that some of the rear and brake light brightness is wasted, and in today's busy traffic it is essential that every bit of brightness is utilised. Even worse, the alloy cover may be completely missing (as on my car). The solution to the first problem is to completely fill the back cover over the lights with an extremely shiny metal (in the same way that most lights work) and reflect 100% of the light to the rear of the car. Leave some gaps at the top to help hot air escape; this lengthens the life of the bulbs. You will also separate the hot bulbs from the boot contents, to the benefit of both items! A normal boot lamp can then be fitted in an appropriate spot, which will mean you don't have to leave your headlights on. If the cover is missing from your car, a replacement box is available from SVC for just a tenner a pair:



Please check clearance in your boot before purchasing as I have not tried this box on a Jensen.
I have also found a site that has published a template so you can make up your own box from metal sheet: 289 Register Tech Tip.


     TECH UPDATE:    WIRE WHEELS  

A recent forum discussion has been about wire wheels, and the strangely named "Curly" and "Flat" hubs have been mentioned. Here is a display of the contrasting styles of the pressed steel curly hub, which catches the light, and the simpler cast flat hub (right):

Picture credit: MWS Ltd.

Many 541s have the curly hub, but Han Kamp said that "MWS told me curly hub E-type wheels do not fit because of the adaptors needed on drumbraked 541s. I fitted Jag MKII wheels (painted!)"
Make your contribution to the discussion here.   (Forum membership required, login first).



VIDEO CLIP: CRUISING IN NEW ZEALAND

An evocative gentle drive down the open roads of Port Hills NZ in a 541R, with Chuck Berry blasting out in the background. One of the few times I wished I couldn't hear Chuck, as he masks the sound of the straight six engine!

Alternative link direct to video



The car in the video will be better known to many UK residents in its former mustard colour, as seen here.



And it will be known to even more people as the inspiration for the Oxford Diecasts 1:76 model, with "YXT 820" numberplate:






FEBRUARY 2012

LATCH PROBLEMS

Last Autumn, Keith Lee reported that his early 541 had a problem with the door latch: "This has gone "wobbly" which results in it only half catching..." Repairs have failed and he is now seeking a replacement. Can anyone help him?



More on the Forum (login reqd.)



GOOD HOME REQUIRED

This isn't an offshoot of AutoTrader, so I usually resist small ads for cars, but I made an exception for the following as it sounded intriguing

John Pym told me:

I run the South West Area for the JOC.
A retired gent has a 541R that hasn't been MOT'd since 2001, when it failed on the handbrake (suprise!) After around 40 years he's thinking of selling it. It's white with black interior , but has been resprayed from Red. He hopes to make it roadworthy before advertising it. It's garaged, started every fortnight, and the tyres are kept inflated.

Any bona fide enhusiasts can contact us. It's worth bearing in mind that JOC Members can usually get in touch with the Registrar who sometimes knows of cars that are coming on the market.


REGALIA

Guess what I got for Christmas? The amazing "All the Models" by Richard Calver. It does what it says on the cover, and has many surprises especially in the pre-war and commercial vehicle pages. Most of the 541 story is already known, so don't expect too many revelations, but look out for the period photo doctored to show the proposed Austin-Healey with a Jensen 541 front! It may seem a little expensive at first, but it's about YOUR favourite minority interest car, it's impeccably researched and packed full of facts and photos you've never come across before.

What price can you put on that? Well, £80 actually, or a cool £165 for a hardback Leatherbound version with a matching slipcover, which will stand up to the hard use this book should be receiving from any Jensen fan.
Buy yours via this Link to Regalia.




FIVE AYES

Not some sort of insult for spectacle wearers, but the repsonses to the request to place orders for 541 & Deluxe silicone radiator hoses. A minimum order of 5 is required, and now 5 people have said "aye!" the hose will go into production. Future buyers can just ring up and order as the dimensions will be held on file. The price has been quoted at £93 for a set (Top & Bottom) excluding carriage; the bottom hose will be one-piece.



Join us on the Forum to find out more:
JOC 541 Forum (log in required)



PLATE HUNT

Put your deerstalker on and start sleuthing!   We are looking for a Mercedez Benz, 2498cc, white coloured and manufactured on 12th May 1967,   first registered in Yorkshire. The catch is that the DVLA say it has not been on the road since before 1978 and bears a voided number. Why would you bother looking for this wreck?
Because it carried the reg number 750 CEA, as seen below, taken from the prototype 541S automatic when it was sold off by Jensen in 1963.


The car now belongs to new JOC members Chris and Jenny, who would love to locate the earthly remains of the Mercedes, perhaps in a barn or garage.
Contact them via the Forum

As you may realise, the "EA" registration was local to West Bromwich and most Jensens bearing those letters have an especially interesting story to tell, often involving the Press.

Me
A tribute to the website editor's cat, who passed away in January.
As you can see, she never showed any interest in the site.




PAGEANT OF MOTORING  25th to 27th May

As you can see, the CV8s and Interceptors were out in force last year. How about a few 541s to show them what it's all about?
There is often a dark blue 541 exhibited on another stand.
Not only are there lots of stands but plenty of parking and a cracking autojumble too.
Find out more on the Forum here.


LIGHTING SOLUTIONS    A DELICATE BALANCE?

Throughout the year I have noticed some intriguing solutions to the problem of providing lighting to meet the needs of today's roads without spoling the looks of the 541.
Here are a few that I particularly liked:




Part of a large Danish contingent at the 2011 International, this owner had slipped a period shaped repeater light into the gap between bonnet and side panel. Neat work! This light fitment was apparently popular in Scandinavia when the law was changed to require side repeaters.






Italian 541 restorer Massimo Bottoli (see Car of the Month, March 2011) has cleverly used the torpedo shaped Lucas sidelights, L516, with tinted lenses.     They actually add to the beauty of the rear view.






Finally, we see Poul Jensen's high mileage car. This has travelled all over Europe, so it needs to be very practical. You can see the indicators are tidy enough, hidden under the bumper bars. The cleverest part is the high-level 3rd brake light, integrated seamlessly onto the top of the rear numberplate.




NEW LOOK    FRONT END LIGHTING

I recently came across an old picture on the "Pistonheads" website of a very intriguing 541 in the 1970s. I made contact with the owner's grandson who was kind enough to supply some further pictures, and I am pleased to say he still owns the car and has no intention of selling this family heirloom. The distinctive headlights will not be changed, as they are part of the character of this car. Unfortunately, following a mechanical problem it has been garaged for many years and snow damage to the garage roof has caused extra work before it can be returned to the road. Nonetheless, I hope a visit to a JOC event may inspire him to set to work on it.






He describes it as:-
"My grandad's Jensen 541R in about 1970, just after my dad had repainted it. Note the Austin A40 headlamp surrounds - the only 541R I've ever seen to have them fitted. This was a brute of a car, my grandad drove it as it should be driven - I lusted after this car when I was little, and still do, one day it will be back on the road (been in storage for years!)
It gained a set of wheels from an Alvis TD as the spokes in the standard wheels kept breaking. My Grandad Ernest Hawcroft, founder member #21, went to Norway on holiday in it and used it hard; it eventually shed a wheel at fairly high speed on a motorway, he had it repaired but never really trusted it again, only recently I discovered that one of the repairs the garage did was to stick weld the bit of the hub that holds the brake caliper on back to the hub!!!."


The car has also lost the wingtop sidelights and original front bumpers; the owners have always suspected that this one had lost its bonnet when fairly new, then it was repaired the A40 surrounds were grafted in.

As a comparison, see the picture below of an Austin A40.





VIDEO CLIP: SOUNDS GOOD TO ME

A very short clip of the glorious early 541 rebuilt by Han Kamp from a complete wreck, and sold by him in 2010. Sadly, there is a less than glorious story behind it as the clip shows the car arriving for an acrimonious court case. You can read Han's story on the Forum here and here.

Picture credit: By Wouter Duijndam, from Flickr

Alternative link direct to video







JANUARY 2012

A WARM WELCOME

A Happy New Year to all, whether in snow or 40 degrees on the beach in Australia.

To see a Jensen on the road I'm turning my sights from the grey skies of the UK to the warmer climate of Spain. Last month's lovely picture of a 541 in the snow caused some interest and I'm pleased to report that owner David Ancona has since updated the Forum with pictures of the car emerging from its lengthy restoration. The car has been driven as far as the street (see below) and the December weather meant that he could assemble all the body parts and trim and view it in the open prior to stripping it down again and painting.





More Images on Forum (login reqd.)




FUZZY DREAMS

Practical Classics contributor Fuzz Townshend has told me he is back working occasionally on his 541 resto; inspired by the NEC show, his dream is one day to have his car on the JOC stand.



VIEW FROM JAGUAR WORLD

So what do owners of other car marques think of the 541? Let's consult the gurus at "Jaguar World Monthly":

So let’s do the sums.
Basically, at today’s market values, that means you can buy four sparkling XK 150 fixed-heads or six perfectly decent ones for less than the price of one Aston Martin DB4 saloon in need of improvement. That’s fairly astounding value for money. It was also a winning formula when both models were current, as Jaguar produced around 9,400 XK 150s (total, all body styles)
to Aston’s 1,110 DB4s.
Once again Jaguar has proved a victim of its own success; if only the XK 150 had been less successful – like the DB4 – it would surely be far more prized today.
Yet there is one further nuance, for in turn the XK 150 also makes one other contender look like insane value, namely Jensen’s brawny four-litre six-cylinder glass-fibre-bodied 541 four-seater. Most comparable are the disc-braked 541R and S, of which just 308 were constructed from 1957 to 1963. Outright poise and pace wasn’t quite a match for the Jaguar or Aston, but there was no denying the 541’s road presence. With a standard-spec 541 yet to top £30,000 at auction (my highest stat is £26,125) that’s surely a class-leading  road-presence-to-pounds-spent
ratio.

Jaguar-World.com



REGALIA

It may be your last chance to order a custom made calendar via JOC Regalia, as they are not planning to arrange one next year.

Link to JOC Calendar.




LATE XMAS PRESENT?

Mike Byrne is preparing another of his famous Jensen 541 CDs.



It's not quite ready yet, but as a hint I can tell you it will especially appeal to anyone without a full set of JOC magazines right from issue 1 in 1972... Full details will appear here as soon as they are available.



HOSES

A chance for the Forum to shine, as it was the location of a long and complicated discussion regarding Silicone hoses. An enthusiast-run business now stocks longlasting silicone hoses in authentic original finishes for the 541R, but not yet for the earlier models.





To join in with the meandering conversation, and perhaps place your request for a set of hoses, join us on the Forum:
JOC 541 Forum (log in required)




NO SALE

Spurred by reports that Potters Bar based "Museum"  Studio 434 was about to sell its Jensen 541, I hastened down over the Holiday to see this gorgeous machine.



Luckily the owner was able to re-assure me that there had been an admin error and it was NOT for sale, but remained available for photoshoot/ film hire. The same applied to the collection of other Jensens on display, from pre-war to SV8.





JOC INTERNATIONAL WEEKEND 2012    8th-10th June

Put away those summer holiday brochures! Don't book anything until you have marked in your Calendar the 2012 JOC International. Located in the Midlands, the JOC International Weekend will be on 8th - 10th June at Chesford Grange, Kenilworth,Warwickshire, CV8 2LD.
Rough timetable will be:

  • 8th June Meet and greet.
  • 9th June AM - AGM
    John Lane (0151 9249621) general-john@joc.org.uk
  • Followed by classic run or shopping
  • 9th June Evening - Dinner/Dance & trade bookings
    Tony Davies, (01270 761444). international@joc.org.uk.
  • 10th June Concours
    Richard Streeter (07717 674670) concours@joc.org.uk



This year, the Concours will again be part of the International Weekend; more details on how to enter will be available later.

Chesford Grange:    The hotel itself (pictured) boasts all the usual facilities & there will be a room price arranged via the Club. Watch the Forum events diary for updates.






  1950s TECHNICAL UPDATE:  GEARING  

Motor published this overdrive test in January 1956

FUEL SAVINGS WITH OVERDRIVE
SHORTLY before Christmas [1955], the Laycock Engineering Co. hired Silverstone for a day to enable Royal Automobile Club observers to make some interesting fuel consumption tests. Seven British cars were sent to the course by their makers, each in turn being fitted with a small test tank and driven four times around the three-mile circuit, in direct top gear for the first two laps from a standing start, and then in overdrive top gear for the next two laps, using similar cruising speeds throughout.



Figures which have now been published, referring to five of the seven cars tested, provide interesting confirmation of the fact that, as engine friction accounts for much of a car's fuel consumption at cruising speed, any reduction in engine rpm through higher gearing can bring a substantial saving in fuel. The fact that on a cold winter day not all cars had their rear axle oil warm when starting the first (non-overdrive) run did not appear to influence the results unduly. Published results were as follows:-

  • Humber Hawk (overdrive gives 22%fewer rpm), 22.84mpg at 37.2mph without overdrive, 27.54mpg at 37.85mph with overdrive; 17.1% fuel saving (at 1.7% higher speed) .

  • Jensen 541 (overdrive gives 22% fewer rpm) , 22.43mpg at 43.33mph without overdrive , 29.04mpg at 41.10mph with overdrive; 22.8% fuel saving (at 5.1% lower speed).

  • Rover 90 (overdrive gives 22% fewer rpm) , 26.01mpg at 37.84mph without overdrive, 31.22mpg at 37.06mph with overdrive; 16.7% fuel saving (at 2.1% lower speed).

  • Standard Vanguard III (overdrive gives 22% fewer rpm) , 32.21mpg at 32.38mph without overdrive, 34.69mpg at 33.68mph with overdrive; 12.8% fuel saving (at 4.0% lower speed).

  • Triumph TR3 (overdrive gives 18% fewer rpm), 32.86mpg at 47.02mph without overdrive, 37.46mpg at 48.52mph with overdrive; 12.3% fuel saving (at 3.2% lower speed) .

An Armstrong Siddeley Sapphire "236" and Bristol 403 with Laycock overdrives were also at Silverstone, but tests results for these two cars have not been published.



Shown below is an annotated diagram of how the Laycock overdrive works: it basically consists of two clutch surfaces - a spring and hydraulic pressure work against each other to determine which surface is engaged.





And here is a contemporary Laycock press release showing an engineer's cutaway drawing of a Type "A" overdrive.





CHARIOT OF THE GODS    Celebrity update

You may remember that last month a 541 belonging to a member of Black Country "heavy metal gods" group Judas Priest was sold at auction.
The auctioneers have arranged for a press release to be sent to several papers, including the one below in the Shropshire Star:

"Two cars owned by former Judas Priest lead guitarist KK Downing have gone under the hammer for a total of nearly £63,000. The vehicles owned by Mr Downing, who lives near Bridgnorth, were two of 67 cars sold at the auction. Auctioneers Brightwells said "... his somewhat scruffy 1959 Jensen 541R made a huge £26,950, almost twice the pre-sale estimate and showing what great gains this rare model has made in recent years.”"

Shropshire Star Dec 2011

The interior of the little-used car is shown below:





POWER STEERING    NEW OPTION

An advert for electrical power steering suitable for the 541 sparked a debate on the Forum. Alan Froy from Southend has kindly supplied me with a picture of his installation by the company in question.



If your first comment is "where IS the power steering?", he has proved a point! Alan says: "I can confirm that it does not get in the way of feet or legs, does not make any noise, and is not noticable unless you look for it! I think my mechanic had to make a small hole in the undertray but nothing major. It cost €1550 plus about €35 postage. Plus fitting if you do not want to do it yourself." See more on:-
JOC 541 Forum (log in required)




VIDEO CLIP: SUMMER IN THE NETHERLANDS

The weather may have been mild recently, but it's still not really classic motoring weather. While we wait for that to return, here's a 20-second reminder of what it is all about - last summer's Dutch Jensen club celebrating its 30th anniversary September 2-4th, 2011.

This extract is from Han Kamp's 10 minute YouTube video



CAR OF THE MONTH:

...this month - a treasure hunt!

Jason Anderson Palmer (" JAP900", email address on Forum) contacted me to ask if I could provide any recent information on his father's ex-car,   NSK 788, sold at Auction in Buxton in 1996 and taken to Germany. I was able to provide him with the auction details and some photos of the car with continental plates (Belgian?) "B.042204" - does anyone know where it is now?  It has a very distinctive maroon vinyl roof.


Link to JOC forum topic

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






TO CONTINUE BROWSING, RETURN TO TOP AND CLICK ON BUTTON FOR MONTH REQUIRED