Enthusiast ends up with two rare Jensen cars - Video
Published Date: 16 April 2009
A CAR enthusiast who owns a rare 1959 Jensen 541 has ended up at the centre of a remarkable coincidence involving two almost identical examples of the car. Barry Stone, who grew up in Whitley Bay and now lives in Holywell, has been interested in cars from an early age.
He said: "When I restored my car between 1999 and 2001 I met a chap called Peter Neale whose father Eric designed the astonishingly futuristic 541 series in the early 1950s. Quite incredibly, it transpired that when my car was new it was retained as a Jensen works vehicle and that in August 1959 the Neale family used it for their summer holiday at West Bay in Dorset. Naturally I was intrigued. Out of the 193 541Rs that were built, it's thought that about forty percent remain worldwide, so the chances of the car that I was restoring being the same vehicle, were pretty slim."
Barry said that after ten years of owning his car, he still gets a buzz out of its shape:
"Put simply, the Jensen 541 series must be one of the most beautiful UK cars ever. My view is that its radical sleekness opened the door for the E Type Jaguar, which stunned the motoring world in 1961. So when Peter recently asked if I would do a little re-commissioning work on his own 1960 541R I immediately said yes, because to have two of these amazing creations together was a chance that I wasn't going to miss out on."
But it was not just 'a little re-commissioning' that was needed and Barry has done nearly two hundred hours work on the vehicle in the past ten weeks. And he is getting an extra buzz out of seeing the two mighty 541Rs together.
"My car's dark green with a red interior, and Peter's is bright red with mushroom leather," Barry said. "Park them side by side and you get one big reminder that this was possibly the bit of penmanship that dragged British car design out of its post war dark age. Much of the work that I've done for Peter has been technically demanding, but I've never lost sight of the fact that to rejuvenate such a fantastic piece of our motoring history is a privilege."