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** Warning - they are now out-of-date **
At the International meeting, a special 50th Anniversary cake was cut to celebrate, while club Chairman, Shaun, made a short speech.
Power steering, that is.
Several people have recently fitted a power steering kit from EZ Power Steering UK (no affiliation with the JOC),
and reported good results on their rack and pinion cars.
(This does not count as an official endorsement by this website). I believe the kit originates from the Netherlands.
Forum user Frankoid reported:
It took about a day to fit the EZ but you have to be a contortionist to get in the footwell and everything is very tight,
but with patience and gently easing certainly doable for those with an engineering bent
Click on the image to enlarge it
While looking at a radiator top hose at the International,
I was reminded of the silicone replacement hoses made available by Classic Silicone Hoses Ltd, almost a decade ago.
Sets are still advertised for the 541, and 541R & S, in classic black or "old-style" wrap finish. There is a note:
"the downside to offering 300+ hose sets in 5 finishes is that a lot of them are rare and will be made to order, in the UK"
It appears that the business has changed hands:
Classic Silicone Hoses was started by Dave Gee from his need to find good quality hoses for the classic restorations he does as a hobby. Friends got to know and so a range started to develop.
I met Dave and Mary at Race Retro while looking for hoses for my AH Sprite and came back to them for hoses for my Rover SD1 Vitesse, over a number of phone calls and meetings I found out they wanted to retire.
I purchased the company in early May 2019.
In August the JOC arranged an Open Day at the National Space Centre in Leicester.
It had been planned that a talk would be given by 541 specialists Bridge Classic Cars but sadly
medical problems meant that the Director, Gordon Ranson, was unable to attend.
Wishing you the best of health, Gordon.
541 Brains Trust win Open Day Cup
While at the Space Center our Club Chairman had planned a quiz on Jensen.
A hastily formed team of three 541 owners (Stan Schlesinger, Colin Wood and Stephen Carter) beat several larger teams and secured... er, third place.
But the third prize was literally a very nice JOC cup each
One of the first major events after the end of official Lockdown was the London Classic Car show, held outdoors at Syon Park.
The JOC stand was packed with cars, but I felt the jewel in the crown was Lennie Boulton's 541R.
Parts, Parts & more Parts
Brian Galpin has recently taken over Andy at Appleyard's supply of 541 parts.
He can be contacted via his website:
Amongst the quirkier items he has for sale I spotted this interesting piece of memorabilia:
a piece of a bus destination board naming the home of the Jensen marque, priced at £48.
Ideal for a man-cave.
VFK44 on the move
Closure of the current storage site meant that VFK 44, my 1958 Jensen 541 de luxe, had to be moved, if only across town.
Luckily the new site is warmer, drier AND cheaper.
I won't show shots of its new garage companions as some people might be worried about their car's security.
(Click for closeup)
541 styling cues
The umpteenth in an occasional series about cars that look like a 541...
In 1952, the Aston Martin DB3 was one of the most desirable chassis available,
and some stunning open bodies were built on it.
There were also some coupes, with slashed wheel arches that exposed the rear half of the front tyres.
And then there was this coupé with strangely clumsy looks, although it is rather endearing.
The wrap-round rear window would have been designed around the time of the original 541. Was it perspex?
Would Eric Neale have been influenced?
Long-time Jensen owner Phil Fish has recently become the owner of a 541.
Fired up with enthusiasm, he has gathered together resources relating to the model:
A few years ago I put together a collection of articles from the online JOC Magazines and Torque
as well as some other publications.
This was initially put together for members of the Southern Area (who luckily got a hard copy version)
and entitled JOC Southern Area Jensen Interceptor Tips and Techniques Manual.
Subsequently the whole document was added to the
downloads section of the website
from where different sections have been downloaded 100's of times.
Over the last couple of weeks I've put together a 541 version, which runs to over 350 pages
(amazing how many of these are 541 articles that Mike Byrne has written in the last 45 years).
Clearly there are fewer 541 articles in the magazines than for the Interceptor so I've "fleshed out"
the Manual with restoration reports and Owner's Stories.
I've also taken some of the "Stickies" from the 541 Forum where appropriate.
The 541 Registrars, David and Jane Turnage, have reported that retired dentist George Hamill,
owner of 541 "5441 HP" for over ten years, passed away on Friday 3rd September. They added:
He hadn't been ill and there were no medical warnings. Our sincere condolences go out to his wife Sue.
Many of us followed the progress of his car's restoration on the JOC Forum, where his numerous 541 related chats were to be found under the username "jjorg".
JOC INTERNATIONAL WEEKEND 10th - 12th September 2021
Only 15 months late, the JOC International Weekend went ahead at Alexandra House, Wroughton, near Marlborough Wiltshire.
Although we sadly lacked any of our usual overseas contingent, and the 50th birthday aspect was slightly muted, an enthusiastic
group of Jensen owners and admirers turned up throughout the weeked. As a proportion of the total cars present, the 541 owners did relatively well.
I'm not going to reveal who won prizes in the concours, under an agreement with the JOC magazine not to steal their thunder,
but I'll just say "watch this space".
This 541S was the concours champion some years ago and now has a new owner.
It is shown outside the pub selected for our Sunday Drive.
Danny Bristow's 541 was as smart and stylish as the man himself.
Phil Fish's much-travelled 541 having its earth strap sorted by Steve Payne
Alistair Thomas (light blue polo shirt) explains how the recent beautiful respray
is slightly darker than before.
Andy Parsloe showed how his car's bonnet and roof had been seamlessly repaired
after a recent mishap. Unfortunately he had to leave early.
Lennie Boulton's attention to detail extends to the display sign.
The open bonnet showed the immaculate engine compartment.
And finally a reminder of when we last used the hotel 10 years ago,
with a European 541S taking centre stage.
Picture credit: "S Carter, JOC Wroughton 2011"
HYBRID MEET 2 Motorworld Kemptthal 2021
Ettore Bugatti was very emphatic that his cars were "Pur Sang" - pure blooded. But many motoring enthusiasts know there is
often more fun to be had with a car where the engine is bought-in from elsewhere. Before the current crop of electrically assisted cars,
these creations were known as "Hybrids".
Motorworld Kemptthal on August 14, 2021. The main focus was on British, Italian, French, German and Swiss small-series cars
powered by American V8 or in-line six-cylinder engines.
But other interesting classics, which gathered on the site of the former Maggi factory when the weather was nice, were also welcome.
Picture credit: "https://www.zwischengas.com/"
COMMERCIAL CORNER: PERIOD PHOTO
Remember when we could jump into our cars and tour the continent, with nothing but cash and a passport?
Here's a reminder of what it was like when the 541 was young and pandemics unknown.
Jensen 541R (1958) VLX 988 outside French Cafe probably early 1960s.
** No connection between this vendor and myself or the JOC **
Photo available in the following sizes:
10x7 inch (250x175mm) £4.99
7x5 inch (175x125mm) £1.99
Newly printed up in a commercial photo lab from the original amateur snapshot.
Copyright wording does not appear on the actual photo.
For some decades the Jensen world has been aware of a 541 that was imported to the USA in 1957
and then modified by Najjarian Auto Sports in 1967.
It was fitted with a new Chevrolet fuel injected small block, with 375hp from 327 c.i.
Picture credit: "All Images supplied to me by Peter Becker"
Purchased in 1977 by shameless self-publicist Peter Becker, it terrorised the neighbourhood for a year,
proving almost unbeatable in street racing, before high speed suspension failure caused it to be retired for restoration.
However, despite a long list of work that had been carried out,
the restoration stalled for many years and some doubted that this legendary machine would ever run again.
It was then acquired by a new German owner who soon arranged for all the work to be completed. He even got in touch with the
garage that did the original work and found that the man responsible was still alive and remembered the car!
The car, fully restored by Bridge Classic Cars, is now our Car of the Month, and Video Clip!
VIDEO CLIP: Loading the Najjarian 541
Video credit: "Bridge Classic Cars"
CAR OF THE MONTH:
NAJJARIAN V8 "RS"
This Chevy V8 engined car looks quite normal on the outside, but there are clues to how special it is,
like the blue bonnet badge,
the grille in the side vents instead of the chrome strip, and the
"RS" letters on the bonnet flap.
Picture credit: Bridge Classic Cars
... 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...