The Motor YEAR BOOK, 1954 BRITISH CARS OF 1953 JENSEN 541
Supplementing the Interceptor models (which are being continued for 1954 with minor improvements), Jensen Motors Ltd. have introduced an entirely new 4-litre saloon with a claimed maximum speed of 120 m.p.h., known as the Jensen Model 541.
The same well-tried six-cylinder, o.h.v. 3,933 c.c. engine is used in the "541" as in the Interceptor, with a power output of 130 b.h.p, at 4,000 r.p.m. but, as an optional extra, a special head and three-carburettor induction system are available; the power output in this case is stepped up to 140 b.h.p. at 4,400 r.p.m. In unit with the engine is a dry single-plate clutch and centrally controlled four-speed synchromesh gearbox with Laycock-de Normanville overdrive but the hypoid rear axle ratio is higher, giving top and overdrive ratios of 3.54 : 1 and 2.68 : 1 respectively in place of the 3.77 and 2.85 ratios of the Interceptor.
Apart from the engine-gearbox unit, the Model 541 is an entirely new design. Unlike the chassis of the Interceptor (which embodies box-section longerons supplemented by tubes) the 541 chassis is based primarily on 5-in. diameter tubular members, stiffened with box sections to give a light but very rigid structure. The more compact arrangement of the chassis can be gathered from the fact that, at 8 ft. 9 in., the wheelbase is 7¼ in. shorter than the Interceptor whilst the track is reduced by 2½ in. at the front and 5 3/8 in. at the rear.
Suspension follows normal practice with an independent coil system at the front and semi-elliptics at the rear, but braking is notable for the use of the Girling autostatic hydraulic system; in this, two trailing shoes are used in the front drums to give greater stability of performance (i.e. freedom from fade), but the attendant disadvantage of higher pedal pressures is more than offset by a vacuum servo mechanism to supplement the efforts of the driver.
The body is compact and designed to offer low drag, whilst the frontal treatment is unusually distinctive. Comparison in size with the Interceptor shows the "541" to be 14 in. shorter, 3 in. narrower and 5 in. lower. These reductions, in conjunction with the more compact chassis, result in a saving of 3½ cwt. dry weight. This fact, in conjunction with the higher gearing, should make for improved economy as well as increased speed.
The interior is planned to seat two only in front, with reasonable accommodation at the rear for two further passengers. Across the front seats at elbow level the interior width is approximately 53 in., the corresponding dimension at the rear being 46 in., with 41 in. between wheel arches. Passenger compartment length, measured horizontally from facia board to rear squab, is 61 in. All these measurements are 2-3 in. less than the corresponding dimensions of the Interceptor. Two doors are provided and the front seats are of the bucket type, arranged to give access to the rear.
With the idea of keeping the price as low as possible, some accessories which are fitted as standard on the Interceptor have been omitted on the Model 541 and are listed as extras, examples being the heater and automatic door-operated interior lighting, but all essential equipment is included.
The Motor Year Book 1954