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** Warning - they are now out-of-date **
** First half of 2010 - for second half, click month button on left. **
In Practical Classics magazine, the Jensen restoration (WXM 54) continues, reaching the stage of reconstruction.
Restorer Fuzz Townshend was searching for information to remake a Panhard rod, and comments in print,
"I set about obtaining dimensions from the ever-helpful Jensen Owners Club forum members."
What's it worth, Mister?
An old question - and this month we may have an answer.
During May, two cars were auctioned, both off the road many years, mostly intact but in need of total restorations.
One (OEA 920) sold at a Fine Arts auction house for £4,300 (it had been hidden under newspapers for 40 years just 12 miles from the Jensen factory)
whereas the other was on e-bay: AKG 584A had a Jaguar 2.4 XK engine under the bonnet but reached a similar £4,100.
With immaculately restored cars fetching northwards of £30,000, this gives a nice range of prices for the enthusiast to become involved with 541 ownership.
NOTE: This is not a valuing service, just a market snapshot of a certain condition of car. Your mileage may vary. Your home may be at risk if you knock it down.
A new clip has appeared on Youtube, featuring lucky Herr Kleinknecht's 541R:
"18 April 2010 — It was love at first sight, says Hans Kleinknecht, looking into his garage. Only 192 units of the Jensen 541R were built in England in the 1950s. It's a truly lucky find for the enthusiast. With decorative chrome, soft curves and original plaques, this Jensen is a true original, though opinions diverge regarding its long nose and bumpy rear end."
OXFORD DIECAST - Choice of 3 Models now!
Oxford Diecast Models have made their first-class model of the 541R available in another colour - scarlet, or "Reno Red" as they call it, a colour picked from the original Jensen colour charts.
At only £3.49 each, you can afford all three!
RETRO STYLE WITH CARLIGHT CARAVANS
An event with a difference - last month saw a caravan company stage a show of its caravans through the ages, each one accompanied by a stylish classic car of the period. And the choice for the 1950's was of course the Jensen 541!
The 1959 541 of long-term enthusiast Fred Bailey has been owned by him for 40 years and took him 5 years to restore. He now hopes to restore another one.
The cars were displayed at the Tattershall, Lincolnshire, site of Vantage Caravans on behalf of the Carlight Caravan manufacturers.
What is Originality?
541 owner Chris Holman has "only" been waiting to finish restoring his car, chassis no.541/2223849, since 1971 when he bought it. Research via the Club records has revealed it was perhaps used as a V8 test bed for the first year by Jensen! He asks:
Did this "mixed up" 541 leave the factory looking like an "R" and are there any others like this?
The car has;
* 541R body panels bonnet, rear fenders, boot lid, frt.bumper
* Upright radiator
* DS5 engine, Austin gearbox (I think) overdrive, mechanical fuel pump and fan.
* Rack and pinion steering
* Red badges
* Dunlop Brakes with square pads
* Clayton Dewandre servo
* Ace wheel discs
According to the original buff logbook it was first registered SEA 770, belonged to Jensen Motors from April 1958 to May 1959, and the colour brown changed to crystal blue and indigo blue in 1968.
Jensen guru Richard Calver says: "Personally, I would see no problem at all in recreating the V8 setup, if you knew what it was. In fact, if you could recreate the V8, you would have the car in its original iteration anyway. Stuff the rivet counters."
If you want to have a (civil) discussion on this, why not log onto the JOC Forum and make a posting?
Or contact Chris Holman at firstname.lastname@example.org
Keith Hudson (posting as "Rock" on the Forum) said in May:
"541S parts a plenty -
I have a selection of used spares for the 541S left over from my rebuild.
Most came from a burnt out wreck so interior is not as new.
If you request it I will email a list to you." Left-overs they may be, but Keith's 541S was Winner at last year's International so they have good provenance.
View on Forum:
ALL CHANGE AT CROPREDY - BACK TO BASICS
Following the departure of the V-Eight business, the garage at Cropredy Bridge is returning to what it used to do - maintenance, parts, repairs and restoration of Jensens, and used Jensen car sales.
A new look website is coming soon at:
showing car stock. Or you can contact Bob Cherry and his men by ringing: +44 (0)1295758159.
Details of our other Jensen specialists are on the Links page:
INCREDIBLE NEW MODEL
We are lucky enough to have attracted the attention of Oxford Diecast Models who have made a first-class model of the 541R. In proportion and in detail it is almost indistinguishable from the real thing - and all this in 1:76 scale, which is slightly smaller than a Matchbox or Hotwheel car!
Available in Green or very dark Red, they are loosely based on actual cars. You don't have to contact the manufacturer - our own JOC Regalia section can supply you!
And the price? Well, that's the best bit - a laughable £3.49.
** late announcement - shortly available in bright red! **
While on the subject of "Diecasts", enthusiasts will want a copy of the magazine shown below, as it has a 4-page spread on cars that Jensen made. No, not the usual ones, but prototypes like a convertible 541 and Austin estates. The author has obviously made good use of Calver's "All the Models" and if a model is not available, he's made one himself by modifying existing models.
It was the May issue, which means it should have been replaced in the shops by the June issue in the first week of May - contact me if you need more details of this issue.
UNRESTORED 541 AUCTIONED ON 8TH MAY 2010 -
From Sale catalogue:
A 1956 Jensen 541 Series saloon motor car, 3993cc, registered on the 8th October 1956, registration number OEA 920. 78802 miles recorded. With damages and not running - sold as seen.
This car has been stood in storage for some time and, according to a hand-written and dated notebook kept by the previous owner, would appear to have completed just 912 miles since his last book entry of 25th May 1970.
£3000 - £5000
If you have any comments on this car, please post them on the JOC Forum:
...last month's car, URX 80, now in Germany ... happy new owner Ulrich Dohle has registered it S JR58H. It is now fitted with period mirrors for LHD traffic.
541 in the Papers
Dave Turnage reports:
"there is a brief article and photo of our Jensen 541S on page 38 of the current
(24 March 2010) Classic Car Weekly.
For some reason they have got my name wrong and rephrased some of Jane's quotes -
for those that know her, she is very unlikely to use the words "fab" and "useful stuff"
but at least the JOC got a mention."
Mike Byrne would like to point out that last month's "Part of the month", the bonnet
retaining nut, lacked the locking thumbnut. Make sure you have one!
Yes, that's your new 541.com Webmaster. It's been nearly 3 years since the site was last updated and it was drinking in the last chance saloon - a few more days and it would have shut for good. So, as a keen 541 owner, I volunteered to take over and keep it going, on behalf of the Jensen Owners' Club (JOC). You may have seen my own site (541deluxe - see "LINKS" page), or come across me as VFK44 lurking on the Forum. If you've got a good article or technical item - send it to the JOC club magazine. Want a lively discussion? Try the JOC Forum. Anything else - let me know!
Regular visitors will remember the occasional contributions by Peter Wallis, regarding life with his Jensen of over 40 years, URX 80. Unfortunately, Peter has had to sell his car and moved on, and is no longer a member of the JOC. In honour of his contributions when this site was set up, I made URX our Car of the Month. (See Archived Pics).
NEWSFLASH! CORRECT EMAIL - 541 WORKSHOP MANUAL CD
If you have been trying to contact Mike Byrne, his new email address is below. Mike's current email is: email@example.com