Lot 221 - 1960 Jensen 541R

Lot 221 - 1960 Jensen 541R

Lot 221 - 1960 Jensen 541R

Lot Number 221
Registration YLW 879
Chassis Number 541R/4456011
Engine Number 40/10983
Odometer reading 74,610 miles
Result Sold - £42,000
  • Well known within the club with many class wins
  • Consistently maintained over its extensive ownership

For all its outstanding high potential speed and surging acceleration, the R series Jensen remains a gentleman’s carriage. While stable and safe at speed, the car is yet comfortable and the whole conception, choice of materials and workmanship are of high quality. The model is as desirable as it is exceptional…’ The Autocar, January 1958

The brainchild of Eric Neale in 1954, the prototype proved a sensation. It represented a beautiful and rare GT, produced in limited numbers up to 1960, with its commanding speed and acceleration a tribute to its revolutionary new exterior material, fibreglass. The 541 was not only stylish but also aerodynamic. In fact, a car driven by novelist Jon Cleary would be timed at 132mph at Jabbeke in 1957. With a large four-litre, straight six-cylinder engine from the Austin Sheerline complete with overdrive, the driving experience was enjoyed for both trans-continental journeys as well as competition work. Latterly, disc brakes all round and rack and pinion steering were added, hence the ‘R’ moniker.

Ron and Thelma Smith, amongst founder members of the JOC and serving on the committee for over 22 years, purchased YLW 879 in 1968 not realising just how it would affect their life. Initially from Swanmore High Performance Car Specialists in Bournemouth, they were regular attendees at every JOC international meeting and country wide shows latterly ensuring that the car was presented at the very highest level. Originally two-tone pastel pink/dusk rose, Ron worked on improving the condition, retrimming the interior in black leather and fitted carpets, replacing the floor pans and respraying the car in a more classic Jensen Cassis Purple. Over the years, he continued to improve the car and always worked on it himself getting it up to the condition where it won its first concours event in 1975 going on to win the Presidents Cup in 1984. During the 541R’s ownership between 1968 and 1997, Ron and Thelma had covered a total of 122,000 miles with all maintenance carried out by its fastidious owner, including a new cylinder head in 1982.

In more recent years, the 541R continued to be used only for shows and days out although it does continue to win many awards at the JOC and other events around the country. In fact, it won the Jensen Owners Club Presidents Cup a staggering five times although Ron proudly acknowledges that its biggest win is a second in the National Autoglym Concours. Although the car now only covers around 100 miles a year, Ron has continued to maintain its show winning condition which is a testament to the quality of his work over the years. He has now reluctantly decided to put the car up for sale hoping that someone will continue to love, maintain and enjoy the car for many years to come. This fine and much cherished example is to be offered with a selection of spare parts and tools, a fresh MoT test certificate, various magazine articles and a light service.

Additional tools offered with this lot;

Tachostrobe light
Tappet adjusting tool
Hinson colourtune
Eezi-bleed brake bleed tool
Grease gun
Jet setter
Tune-up analyser
Crypton Synchro check carb balancer
Various small hand tools.

Additional spare parts offered with this lot;

Cylinder head gasket (new)
Amp meter (used)
Engine valves and springs (used)
Various suspension parts, kingpins, axles etc. (used)
Brake servo. (used)
Alternator (used)
Distributor (used)
Misc. leather (new)
Lenses (new)
Various brake pads, seals etc (new and used)
Master and slave cylinders (used)
Rear lights (used)
Front side lights (used)
Clutch (new)
Carburettor repair kits/parts (new)
Various electrical parts, bulbs, fuses, relays etc.
Carpet (new)
Fuel pump (used)
Fuel additive x 9
Bearings, various (new)
Bushes, various (new and used)


Interested parties should satisfy themselves as to the description and condition of each Lot prior to the sale. Accordingly, buyers are on notice that each vehicle is offered ‘as is/as seen’ subject to the Terms and Conditions for the auction. All registration numbers, engine and chassis details are sourced from registration documents provided to Historics by the client or representative or HPI checks and buyers are to satisfy themselves as to the accuracy of these details. Buyers are advised to inspect the vehicle in person or use a professional to carry out this service. Historics will not entertain disputes over descriptions.

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