Fitted with a BMW 520 engine and a five speed gearbox

1959 Jensen 541R

Make: Jensen
Model: 541R
Year: 1959
Registration Number: UEA 855
Chassis Number: 541R3784319
Engine Number: 206ED22863932
Transmission: Manual
Steering: Right Hand Drive
MOT Test Expiry: Exempt
Sold For: £30800

Prior to the start of WW2 Jensen were coachbuilders producing special bodies for Morris, Singer, Standard and Wolseley. Their own tourer was produced just before the start of hostilities. During the war they concentrated on commercial trucks and buses.

Post war production saw their own motor cars appear again, then, with the arrival of designer Eric Neale from the Standard Motor Company, their first fibreglass bodied coupe was exhibited at the London Motor Show in 1953 and known as the 541. The glass fibre body was mounted on a steel chassis and power came from a straight six 4 litre engine with three SU carburettors. The doors were aluminium. Independent front suspension was fitted and rigid rear axle and leaf springs. The well-equipped cockpit was luxuriously trimmed in leather and allowed 2+2 accommodation.

The 541R was introduced in 1957 and featured disc brakes and rack and pinion steering. It wowed the motoring press at the time for its sleek lines and staggering 125mph top speed.

UEA 855 wears its correct West Bromwich registration number and is finished in green with a black roof. The current owner of some seven years, tells us that the Jensen underwent a restoration about twenty years ago as evidenced by photographs on the history file and although the paintwork could be improved, the panel fit remains good to this day. The interior trim is in red with green inserts and is described as quite good if not original. The red carpeting is in good condition and the vinyl headlining is thought to be original. Some switches and instruments may have been changed from original spec. A new battery has been fitted.

The Austin Sheerline 4 litre engine, with which the motor car was originally equipped, has been replaced with a BMW 520 straight six, coupled to a five speed manual gearbox and rack and pinion steering has been fitted. An interesting conversion which should give better economy without great loss of performance.

The Jensen is only being offered due to the owner’s ill health and forms part of a private collection jointly with the Bristol and Subaru also on offer. There is a large history file included in the sale, containing the aforesaid photographs, various invoices and Jensen literature together with a V5C registration certificate.

Auction Date: 20 May 2021