Classic Car Catalogue

  Jensen 1960

Great Britain

541-R Coupé wb: 8 ft. 9 in. R6 cyl, 3993 cc, 140 bhp – discontinued
541-S Coupé wb: 8 ft. 9 in. R6 cyl, 3993 cc, 135 bhp – new model


Do napędu swoich sportowych samochodów firma Jensen wykorzystuje silniki Austina.

541S of 1960 has bigger body, with conventional grille and bonnet top air intake. LSD is standard, and most have optional Hydramatic auto.
Contract for outfitting of the Volvo 1800 Coupé.

Roomier Jensen 541 S.
Among cars produced in small quantities for the connoisseur, the Jensen 541 has built up an excellent reputation. It is one of the few fast sports cars with Grand Touring styling and seating capacity for four adults which will exceed 120 m.p.h. comfortably. The last car road-tested by The Autocar nearly three years ago recorded a best timed speed of 127 m.p.h., covered a quarter-mile from a standing start in 17.5sec, and went on to reach 100 m.p.h. in 30sec. Combined with this high performance, the car remains a gentleman's carriage for town use. With such characteristics, it is not surprising that only refinements, rather than any drastic redesign, have been incorporated for 1961. The most important innovation is the adoption of the RollsRoyce Hydramatic automatic transmission. In future this will be standard equipment, but the previous four-speed gearbox and Laycock-de Normanville overdrive can be -had at special request. Choice of the Hydramatic transmission seems well suited to the characteristics of the Jensen. It comprises a fluid coupling in conjunction with four stepped ratios using epicyclic gears. It can be used as a fully automatic transmission, but the various ratios can, in addition, be selected and maintained for extra performance if required. This transmission will not only increase the refinement of the 541S, as the car is now called, but the ratios, particularly the higher third, are better suited to the car than those of the manual gearbox. The final drive ratio is now 2.93 to 1; previously it was 3.53 to 1, which became 2.57 to 1 in overdrive top. Maximum speed should riot be affected by this change in axle ratio, despite a weight increase of approximately 1cwt, although the engine speed will be slightly higher.


The 541S is fitted with the Austin-built DS7 engine as used in the larger Vanden Plas Princess. This is a 4-litre unit with a compression ratio of 7.6 to 1, and is fitted with three S.U. carburettors. It is the policy of Jensen Motors Ltd., like Rolls-Royce, not to disclose the power outputs of their engines, but it can be estimated that this unit should be developing around 150 b.h.p. Considerable changes have been made also in respect of the chassis and body to increase passenger width and improve stability. Front and rear tracks have been widened by 2.75in., and 4in. have been added to the body width. The chassis frame, which has 5in. dia. side and front cross member tubes, has been widened by 4in. also. As with the engine, the wishbone and coil front suspension parts are of Austin manufacture. Previously these were the type used on the A.95 range, but the latest parts are like those fitted to the A.99. The steering, which is of the rack and pinion type, is to Jensen's own design. In addition to the increased passenger width, the roof line has been raised by approximately 1 1/2in, to improve entry and increase headroom. At the same time, these body changes have had a subtle effect on the styling, for the car now looks better balanced than hitherto. Frontal appearance has been changed considerably. The former adjustable panel for controlling air flow through the radiator is discarded, and there is now a fixed opening with a lattice-work grille. Above it is a secondary opening for the carburettor air intake. To replace the former front grille panel, an adjustable radiator blind is now standard. Constructional changes have been made also to the glass-fibre body hull to improve stiffness. The screen surround, roof and rear tonneau form a single moulding; previously they were two separate mouldings bolted together. A new facia layout includes a row of toggle switches on each side of the steering column. As with earlier versions of this model, a great deal of thought has been given to internal safety, with well padded rolls around all vulnerable points such as the cantrails, and upper and lower edges of the facia. Safety harness of the Britax diagonal type is standard equipment. In each door jamb there is a tubular vertical rail which acts as a grab handle for the rear passengers, and also as the outer fixing for the top diagonal strap of the safety harness. The lower fixing is by substantial brackets on each side of the propeller shaft tunnel. Included in the standard equipment are screen washers, heaters and a Motorola radio. Dunlop disc brakes with vacuum-servo assistance are fitted together with bolt-on wheels, although centre-lock wire type are still available as an optional extra. With Hydramatic transmission the price of the 541S is £2,255 basic, plus £940 14s 2d U.K. purchase tax, a total price of £3,195 14s 2d. With the manual four-speed gear box and overdrive the price is £2,185, P.T. of £911 10s 10d making the total £3,096 10s 10d.
(The Autocar, October '60)