1964 Jensen CV8
Year of manufacture1964
Number of seats2
1964 Jensen C-V8 6.3-Litre Mark II Coupé
Registration no. CGX 279B
Chassis no. 1042197
Less than 500 cars of this make rolled off the production line in the mid-1960's. The Jensen C-V8 was considered the super car of its era with one of the fastest accelerations of its time and for the first time boasting a stunning fibreglass body. But its design was considered too avant-garde, so the production was stopped. Today this limited production makes the C-V8 a true collectors item.
Brothers Alan and Richard Jensen first became involved with car design and construction in 1925 when their efforts to improve on the styling and performance of an Austin Seven Chummy attracted much favourable attention. In 1931 they were appointed joint managing directors of the West Bromwich firm of commercial coach builders, W J Smith & Sons, an arrangement that provided them with the means to build sports cars on a variety of chassis. In 1934 the brothers took control, changing the company name to Jensen Motors Ltd. By this time, the reputation of their stylish products had spread far beyond the UK, resulting in a commission to build an open tourer on a Ford V8 chassis for movie star Clark Gable. The publicity generated by this special car generated demand for more, and having secured an agreement with Ford for the supply of engines, Jensen commenced serial production in 1937.
Although Jensen had favoured Ford and Nash engines in pre-war days, during the 1950s the company was closely associated with Austin, using the latter's 4.0-litre six-cylinder engine in its Interceptor and 541 models, the latter pioneering the use of glass fibre bodywork.
However, by the late 1950s the need to offer automatic transmission in luxury cars, even those of sporting character, signalled the end of Jensen's reliance on the Austin six. The latter being deemed insufficiently powerful, Jensen turned to Chrysler's 5.9-litre V8, which came with the admirable Torque-Flite automatic gearbox as standard. This engine/transmission package debuted in the all-new glass fibre-bodied C-V8 in October 1962, and while the car's highly individual styling was not to everyone's taste there were no complaints about its performance. According to The Motor, the C-V8's 136mph maximum speed and outstanding acceleration made it "one of the fastest cars we have ever tested, and the fastest full four-seater". The model was revised through Mark II and III versions, Chrysler's 6.3-litre V8 becoming standard part way through Mark II production.
Finished in British Racing Green with cream leather interior, this C-V8 has belonged to the current vendor since 2004. The car is described by them as in generally very good condition, with engine and gearbox in good working order. Also the upholstery and paintwork are well maintained. In terms of minor imperfections we are advised that some of the rubber components show signs of slight wear; that the propeller shaft fastenings need tightening; and that the fuel gauge is faulty. The car comes with a large history file containing bills and other documents spanning some 20 years.