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Jensen Company History

Published: 24th Mar 2011 - 0 Comments - Be the first, contribute now!


Jensen Archive

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The Jensen brothers Allan and Richard were involved in vehicle bodywork building from the 1920s. During the 1930s, under the name of Jensen Motors Ltd. name, they produced a wide range of car bodies for some of the major motor manufacturers of the time - including Morris, Singer, Standard and Wolseley.

Attention was then turned to building cars bearing their own name, the first (in 1935) being a Ford V8-powered four-seater tourer.Many other interesting Jensen models were built in the next few years. The Second World War saw the firm undertaking production of vehicles for the War effort. After the War, Jensen was soon back in the car business, producing vehicles of its own, and also undertaking work for other makers.

New post-War models included the 1949 Six (‘PWA’) and the 1950 Interceptor, which was built until 1958. A joint project with Austin resulted in Jensen using four- litre Austin Sheerline engines in its models, and led to the production of the Jensen (aluminium) bodied Austin A40 Sports. This was a stylish 1200cc twin-carburettor convertible - in effect a scaled-down version of the Interceptor. In 1953 the glass fibre bodied Jensen 541 GT saloon was introduced, and in 1956 the de luxe version featured disc brakes all round.

Following a move in 1966 to West Bromwich in, the company continued to build its own cars as well as bodies for other manufacturers. The collaboration with Austin continued through the 1950s; Jensen built the bodies for the Austin-Healey 100, also for Austin’s four-wheel drive Land Rover challenger, the Gipsy, which arrived in 1958. The new Jensen C-V8 replaced the 541 range in 1963, and was powered by a 5.9-litre Chrysler V8 engine. The hugely impressive C-V8FF of 1965 incorporated antilock brakes and four-wheel drive, and in many aspects was years ahead of its time.

During the 1960s the Jensen brothers retired from the company, and unfortunately financial troubles dogged the firm in the following years. All the same, the 6.2-litre Jensen Interceptor was introduced in 1966, and the firm produced bodywork for the Rootes Group. Making its debut in 1972, the Lotus-powered Jensen-Healey sports car was the result of a joint effort between Jensen and the Healey concern. The closure of Jensen as a car manufacturing company followed receivership in the mid-1970s, but a separate company, Jensen Parts and Services Ltd., helped enthusiasts to keep existing Jensens on the road. During the 1980s, Interceptors were once again being built in small numbers.

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