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1960 Jensen 541S (The Prototype)

A temporary refit

With the chassis rebuild progressing very well it is time for us to temporarily refit the body to ensure all alignments are accurate. Whilst the

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Running the Jensen 541S engine

[vc_row][vc_column][vc_column_text]We’ve been blessed with the presence of renowned race engine builder Don Warman today in our workshops as he spent a second day testing the

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The chassis returns…

[vc_row][vc_column][vc_column_text] Our 1960 Jensen 541S chassis has arrived back at our workshops from the blasters. With the body completely removed and all of the areas

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Stripping the Jensen doors

[vc_row][vc_column][vc_column_text]With the body now completely removed from the chassis and the chassis away for assessment, Asa could turn his attentions to the body itself. A

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Cutting out the rot affected areas

[vc_row][vc_column][vc_column_text]Our 1960 Jensen 541S (750CEA), the prototype, is still in our workshops as Asa spends another day repairing the steel bodywork sections. This was always set

Read More »

Our Australian Parcel Has Arrived

The eagerly awaited Australia package arrived with us this morning from Jensen Spares.

Here we have the brand spanking new interior metal covers. As is often the case with classics and certainly the Jensen 541S’s certain parts are only obtainable from one source.

The metal trim covers are very rare and Tony at Jensen Spares in Australia owns the tooling that can manufacture these parts. Similarly, here at Bridge Classic Cars we have produced the tooling to manufacture the front grille and have subsequently been able to supply a number of them all over the world to fellow 541S owners.

More pictures of the Jensen in prime

As I took in impromptu visit to the paint shop today here we have some more pictures of our Jensen 541S in prime ready for paint.

The shell is due to be painted next week so the next set of pictures will be hugely different. It’ll be lovely to see this prototype Jensen 541S back to how it was on day 1.

Refurbishing the Oil Filter Housing and Steering Column Sleeve

On one of the hottest days of the year our newly painted Jensen 541S oil filter housing took no time at all to dry.

Along with the steering column sleeve, work on refurbishing the loose components is really picking up pace. The shell should be returning from the paint shop very soon and the parts are almost ready to be fitted back up.

Jensen 541S primed and ready for paint

Here we have the first pictures of our Jensen 541S in prime ready for paint.

The original colours have now been approved and the car is ready to be transformed from maroon back to the original factory Pearl Grey with a black roof.

1960 Jensen 541S ready for primer

The big day is almost here…the day our 1960 Jensen 541S body preparation is complete and ready for first stage primer. Within the next few days we’ll have the first pictures of the car in primer.

As one of 3 prototypes original built and the only one to be built as an original automatic, our 1960 Jensen 541S was personally owned and registered to the Jensen brothers themselves.

As we have mentioned before, it left the factory in Pearl Grey with a black roof but over the years has been altered to Pearl Grey with a maroon roof before finally settling as a full maroon car.

The car will be taken back to the original colours but we can’t pass this milestone without crediting whoever resprayed the car to maroon.

Having taken the shell right back to bare it is very difficult to find anywhere where the car was originally Pearl Grey. A fantastic job was done on the respray, however, a couple of questionable areas have been discovered. Questionable, as in, why were these simple areas missed in the first place when so much time and effort had been spent on the more difficult areas. Great for us to be able to discover the originality of it. As you can see, behind the rear lights and across the front both show signs of the original Pearl Grey.

Reuniting the Jensen body with the chassis

The body of our 1960 Jensen 541S has been successfully refitted back on the newly painted chassis.

With the original colours now confirmed we can continue with the body preparation ready for the full respray.

Extra images from Trevor at the paint-shop…

The Jensen Chassis Is Painted

With all of the chassis preparation now complete, the gloss black finish has now been applied.

We can now move forward with refitting the body that we removed earlier in the build. Once this is fitted we can progress to the paint shop for the fill respray back to the original, factory set, colour.

Seam Sealing our Jensen 541S Chassis

The final task to undertake before the chassis is finished in it’s new gloss black coating is to seam seal all of the edges. Good seam sealing will prolong the life of a vehicle after restoration. Virtually all rust problems on a car will start in the seams.

Here is a very informative article written by Brian Martin of Auto Body Store in Southampton, New Jersey. He explains the importance of seam sealing a car and demonstrates the best methods for applying seam sealer to body panels.

Jensen 541S Chassis in Primer

It has probably seemed a little quiet recently on our 1960 Jensen 541S project but be assured we’ve been very busy making the final tweaks to the chassis ready for it to be painted. Before the chassis entered our paint shops it was so full on for Tommy and Asa working on both the chassis and body shell so the time in our paint shop was also going to seem a little steadier for us.

The chassis is now primed and ready to be seam-sealed before it will be finished in gloss painted. After which, the body shell will be re-fitted ready to be prepared for paint.

Jensen 541S body repairs are now complete

[vc_row][vc_column][vc_column_text]Tommy has now completed the repair work on the body.

With the chassis arriving back soon from the paint shop, the freshly repaired body will now be permanently fixed back on the chassis ready for preparation and paint.

Lots of work has gone into perfecting our Jensen 541S body. The bottom of the A post panels have been cut away and replaced as have the offside and nearside door sills. The B post panels have had the same treatment and the entire roof lining , around the tops of the doors and windows have been re-manufactured.

Tommy has done an incredible job on our Jensen, it is a very difficult car to work on but with a number of these under our belt we have the experience and expertise to carry out work to this scale.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column][vc_gallery type=”image_grid” images=”11071,11072,11073,11074,11075,11076,11077,11078,11079,11080,11081,11082,11083,11084″][/vc_column][/vc_row]

Jensen 541S chassis is now complete

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With the body shell once again removed, the final improvements to our Jensen 541S could then be completed.

The wheel arches, boot floors, bumper hangers, body retainers, closing panels all round and all floor retainers have now be re-fabricated.

We have also removed the battery casing to replace with a safer, enclosed and vented battery box.

All protruding welds have been linished to accept the body.

The chassis is now ready to go to our paint shop to be prepared and painted.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column][vc_gallery type=”image_grid” images=”10681,10682,10683,10684,10685,10686,10687″][/vc_column][/vc_row]

Completing the rear arches

Tommy has now completed tacking the new rear arches to the chassis. The next stage will be to complete the welding work on the rear arches before the chassis can go off for paint preparation.

New steps for our 1960 Jensen 541S

We are so close now to being able to remove the shell once again and paint the chassis.

Tommy is very happy with the new steps, the doors line up as they should, the measurements are mm perfect so Tommy can now move on to the next stage.

 

A temporary refit

With the chassis rebuild progressing very well it is time for us to temporarily refit the body to ensure all alignments are accurate. Whilst the body shell is in place Tommy will continue to work on the areas of the chassis that still require welding work but needed the body to be in position.

The new inner wheel arches will be measured and shaped whilst at this stage.

Once Tommy is 100% happy with the work carried out and he has ensured it all lines up, the body will then be removed once again.

At this stage, the chassis will then go on to our paint shop to be prepared and painted.

Getting the Jensen body ready to be refitted

The sun is shining over Bridge Classic Cars HQ and here we have our 1960 Jensen 541S bodyshell back in the workshop ready for it to be temporarily fitted to the chassis to ensure that all dimensions are accurate in looking perfect!

Repairing the Jensen 541S chassis

[vc_row][vc_column][vc_column_text]We’ve managed to successfully tackle the main tasks of our 1960 Jensen 541S prototype chassis rebuild.

As you can see, we have had to replace one side of the chassis with new but we have managed to save certain areas of the other side which is great news.

The rear tube has also been replaced, this forms parts of the spring hangers and also holds the bumpers. We have also carried out extensive work on the strengthening bars.

We are still only a fraction of the way through the chassis build but the next task is to temporarily refit the body.

The body will need to be refitted to ensure everything lines up as it should. The inner arches also need to be fabricated but for these to be designed and built accurately the measurements are best to be taken with the body attached.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column][vc_gallery type=”image_grid” images=”10345,10346,10347,10348,10349,10350,10351,10352,10353,10354,10355,10356,10357,10358″][/vc_column][/vc_row]

Polishing the Jensen 541S Copper

We posted earlier this week images of the bumpers finished in copper. They have now been polished ready for the chrome plating process.

Fabricating the new Jensen 541S chassis

The first site of our newly formed 5″ Jensen 541S chassis, moments before it was fitted to the beautiful 1960 Jensen 541S prototype that we are currently restoring.

Asa has been busy fabricating the piece to replace the rotten component that unfortunately we had little option but to remove.

I am hoping tomorrow that I will be able to update you with images of the chassis being pieced back together. We are now at the stage where everything has been removed that needs to be and now Asa is busy building it all back up ready for the paint preparation to take place.

A copper finish to the Jensen 541S chrome

Wyatt Polishing of Thetford have now completed the majority of the chrome brightwork on our 1960 Jensen 541S and as I was over there collecting Tony kindly showed me the stage he is at with the bumpers.

Here we have a very unusual site, the chrome bumpers have been fully cleaned down prepared for the chrome treatment. A copper finish has now been applied, these will now be polished up before chrome plating is added.

It is not very often we get to show the chrome in it’s copper stage but here it is…

As Laurence Llewelyn-Bowen would say; Copper is very ‘on trend’ at the moment. Maybe we should start fitted copper bumpers to our classics!

Running the Jensen 541S engine

[vc_row][vc_column][vc_column_text]We’ve been blessed with the presence of renowned race engine builder Don Warman today in our workshops as he spent a second day testing the engine of our 1960 Jensen 541S.

The engine is running beautifully and has been for the majority of the afternoon and with the gearbox soon to be arriving back after a full rebuild we now need to get started on thoroughly cleaning and tidying up the engine’s components.

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The removal of the Jensen 541S chassis tube

Our 1960 Jensen 541S chassis tube has now been successfully removed on one side. This will soon be replaced with brand new tubing to make up the chassis frame once again.

Our 1960 Jensen 541S in need of some new wheel arches

With the rear cross members and leaf hangers in place it was time for Asa to focus on the rear wheel arches which are in desperate need of repair.

It is a common issue we’ve found with the Jensen 541 chassis’, they rot…and unfortunately it is often not until you remove the sills do you find how badly they have been affected.

Removing the sills and body from the chassis on a Jensen 541 is not an easy task but it is one that must be carried out, and must be carried out delicately and with confidence. A lot of technicians would not even attempt the procedure as the thought alone is scary but when you are looking at the 1960 Jensen 541S prototype, one of only three that were made and the only one to hold the automatic gearbox you are looking at a special car. And the history of this car alone is enough to ensure the work is carried out right!

Here we have the rear arches cut away at the affected areas. Upon exposing the chassis tubing it is evident that these will also need to be removed and replaced with new tubing too.

Replacing the rear cross members and leaf hangers

The corroded rear cross members and leaf hangers have now been cut away from the chassis of our Jensen 541S to be replaced with new. The new components will be fabricated and refitted in our Ipswich workshops.

A new component has now been manufactured and fitted to replace the rear cross member and leaf hangers.

Asa has now turned his attention to the arches, having already cut out the offside arch, again, he is having to fabricate them from nothing…in house.

Creating and re-manufacturing body panels is never a problem but it is often good to check whether panels are readily available before attempting to do this, for no other reason than time.

Time costs money and if it can be saved then everyone is happy. It’s always beneficial to explore the options.


 

The chassis returns…

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Our 1960 Jensen 541S chassis has arrived back at our workshops from the blasters.

With the body completely removed and all of the areas exposed, we thought it was best to blast the chassis to remove years of debris, grit and rust that had been collected. Only then could we truly see the challenges that we would be faced with.

When the blasting process has taken place, more often than not it reveals new areas of the car that need attention, areas that may not have been noticed before.  The great news on this one is that it is no worse than we expected.

We knew there would be a lot of work needed on the chassis but we half expected to find a lot more…on this occasion we are lucky.

Don’t get me wrong, there is still a long way to go but Asa has already got his teeth stuck into the repair work!

 

 

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Gearbox gets the specialist treatment

Our 1960 Jensen 541S is one of 3 the prototypes that were original built by the Jensen brothers. Two of the prototypes were built with a manual gearbox and only one was developed with the automatic transmission…this, is the automatic.

A very special and unique car that deserves the very best and that is why certain aspects of the restoration journey require more of a specialist touch. Here we have the automatic gearbox that has been removed from the engine by our expert engine builder Don Warman.

The gearbox is now being packaged up to be delivered to the West Midlands to be rebuilt by G.Whitehouse Autos Ltd.

G.Whitehouse Autos Ltd are Automatic Transmission Specialists for Classic Cars including : Rolls Royce, Bentley, Aston Martin, Jaguar, Daimler, Alvis, Bristol, and Jensen.

They rebuild Automatic Transmissions for all the classic cars from 1950 to the early 1990’s. All work is undertaken “in house” and they can either rebuild transmissions.

G.Whitehouse have built up an incredible reputation over the years and lead the way in their specialist field.

Jensen 541S Gearbox

Jensen 541S Gearbox

Stripping the Jensen doors

[vc_row][vc_column][vc_column_text]With the body now completely removed from the chassis and the chassis away for assessment, Asa could turn his attentions to the body itself.

A lot of work is required on our Jensen 541S body and it’s even more challenging when fibreglass is enthused with steel.

Here we have the doors fully stripped to reveal the steel framework and the fibreglass skin. It is a very delicate procedure but the project is in save hands with Asa.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column][vc_gallery type=”image_grid” images=”8870,8871,8872,8873,8874″][/vc_column][/vc_row]

Cutting out the rot affected areas

[vc_row][vc_column][vc_column_text]Our 1960 Jensen 541S (750CEA), the prototype, is still in our workshops as Asa spends another day repairing the steel bodywork sections.

This was always set to be one of our most challenging projects as fibreglass is so delicate. The Jensen body is predominantly made from fibreglass but the areas where the body meets the chassis and areas where the body requires most of its strength is finished in steel.

A lot of the steel has deteriorated badly, the rot has taken over. The only way to resolve these issues is for the rotten steel to be cut out and replaced with brand new steel.

Asa is busy doing this at the moment, a long and repetitive task but one that is essential and must never be avoided.

The Jensen 541 suffers from rot and the most affected areas are more often than not in the areas that aren’t easily seen.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column][vc_gallery type=”image_grid” images=”8567,8568,8569,8570,8571,8572,8573,8574,8575,8576,8577,8578,8579,8580,8581,8582″][/vc_column][/vc_row]

Jensen 541S bodywork preparation is well underway

Now that the shell has been completely removed from the chassis and it is now away being prepared, this gives Asa the opportunity to investigate and come up with a plan to resolve the issues with the body.

1960 Jensen 541S A Post and surrounding area

The A-Post and surrounding area was where the majority of the work was needing to be carried out. The panels have now been ground done to reveal all of the rot. We have then removed the rot by cutting the areas away completely before applying brand new steel.

1960 Jensen 541S A Post and surrounding area

1960 Jensen 541S A Post and surrounding area

1960 Jensen 541S A Post and surrounding area

1960 Jensen 541S A Post and surrounding area

1960 Jensen 541S A Post and surrounding area