1958 Jensen 541

Deluxe

Summary

  • Year of manufacture 
    1958
  • Mileage 
    3 295 mi / 5 303 km
  • Car type 
    Other
  • Chassis number 
    5412113848
  • Engine number 
    4910824
  • Lot number 
    55249
  • Drive 
    RHD
  • Condition 
    Used
  • Number of doors 
    2
  • Number of seats 
    2
  • Location
  • Exterior colour 
    Other
  • Gearbox 
    Manual
  • Drivetrain 
    2wd
  • Fuel type 
    Petrol

Description

- Bare shell restoration 2013/2014 including retrim with Maserati-sourced leather, wooden dash etc.

- JOC 'Best in Class' cup holder 2015/2016, Rosso Red with Mustard leather

- Laycock overdrive, disc brakes, triple SUs, one of just 53 examples built

Like its contemporary Interceptor, Jensen's 541 flowed from the pen of Eric Neale, and first saw the light of day at the 1953 London Motor Show, with production commencing the following year. It had many points of interest. For example it was the first Jensen to feature a predominantly glass reinforced plastic body, the entire front section of which hinged upwards in order to give optimum access to the engine compartment. The material was chosen to overcome the relative post-war shortage of steel, and provide an economical solution to the problem of manufacturing a complex design in small numbers. There was also the benefit of a reduction in weight and, with the contribution of alloy-skinned doors and Perspex rear windows, the newcomer's overall dry weight was 2,690 lb versus the Interceptor's 3,020. Interestingly, not only was the body impressively light, but aerodynamic too - the drag coefficient of 0.39 being notably low for a large car of the period concerned. So to another first - in Deluxe specification, the 541 was also the first British four-seater car to be equipped with Dunlop disc brakes all round.

The innovative body was mounted on a rigid steel chassis and the ensemble powered by a triple carburettor version of Austin's proven DS5 engine, complete with Weslake high compression cylinder head. The resulting output of 135bhp was sufficient to propel Motor magazine's test car to 60mph in 10.8 seconds and on to a mean top speed of 115.8mph. The unit drove through a four-speed manual transmission for which there was the option of Laycock de Normanville overdrive. Suspension was independent at the front by wishbones and coil springs, while the live rear axle was supported by leaf springs and further located by a Panhard rod. A total of 226 541s are known to have been built between 1954 and 1959, 53 of which were the Deluxe version that featured all the otherwise optional extras as standard. The original 541 was supplanted by the 541R and then 541S, bringing total series production to c.546, of which the Jensen Owners' Club believes less than 150 remain in existence.

The appropriately registered 'TSV 541' now offered for sale is a 541 Deluxe that came off the line in November 1958. We should set the scene by pointing out that it won the Jensen Owners' Club's Best in Class Cup in 2015/2016, so is certainly no run-of-the-mill example. It was acquired by the vendor in 2012 having been dry stored for around 20 years. At this point it was stripped to a bare shell and every component, large or small, either replaced or refurbished as required. The exterior finish of vibrant Rosso Red was left unmolested, as it remained in fine order from an earlier repaint. The car was, however, treated to a new Maserati-sourced Mustard Yellow leather interior that's complemented by a bespoke light-coloured wood facia. This delightful Jensen seemingly wants for nothing, as its comprehensive specification includes: overdrive gearbox, twin stainless steel exhausts, chrome wire wheels, auxiliary front lights, period sports wing mirrors, and a period push-button radio fed by a roof-mounted aerial. The vendor currently classes the interior trim and transmission as 'excellent', the bodywork and paintwork as 'very good to excellent', and the straight-six engine as 'very good'. 'TSV 541' has so far travelled just 3,295 miles since the restoration was completed in 2014, and this lovely example of one of the British industry's rarer classic GT cars is now being offered complete with an MOT valid into October 2018, together with certificates covering the full period of the Jensen's current ownership.

PLEASE NOTE: All estimates are subject to a buyer's premium of 15% incl. VAT (@ 20%)