Car of 1962 Jensen C-V8
well wrapped-up, suggesting this was not a baking hot day – doubtless the young lad was praying for when he would be granted permission to enter the wonderful world of long trousers. These people, some of whom may have arrived in the nearby cars, don’t look like seasoned drinkers. Perhaps they were after a river cruise?
Now to the cars on the left of the picture. Another extremely smart Austin Cambridge faces forward in front, with an Austin A30/A35 behind.
It is, however, the vehicle parked between the Ford 300E and the lamp post that is creating the most confusion – what is that sloping-booted vehicle? It looks like it might be a three-wheeler – possibly a Bond or perhaps a one-off designed by someone who had enjoyed a regular diet of Frozen Surprise.
Fast forward to 2016 and the Ouse Bridge Inn has reverted to the name it originally had – the Kings Arms – when the former Customs House changed to catering for travellers in 1793. Sadly it was seriously affected by the recent flfloods, said to be the worst in York for generations – quite some claim given that parts of York were inundated by the overflflowing Ouse in 1947, 1948, 1982, 2000, 2007 and 2012. All of this area was under water. We can only hope that the millions pledged by the Government following the flfloods does some good. Although no lives were lost and material items can be replaced, having your home or business flflooded must be truly soul-destroying, both from a physical hardship and emotional point of view. Our hearts truly go out to all those involved.
On a happier note, Samuel Smith brewery is still with us, having miraculously survived as a local independent brewery in nearby Tadcaster. Bosun’s Chair Café, however, is no more. Seemingly hundreds of trendy flflats have replaced the warehouses across the river, some converted from the original buildings. It looked the part, sounded the part and drove like no other car – step forward Jensen’s awesome C-V8 which, though lacking the sophistication and sales fifigures of the later Interceptor, was one of the small West Midlands manufacturer’s masterpieces.
Sexy angled headlights aside, the C-V8 bore a strong resemblance to the preceding 541 – but don’t let that fool you. For under the magnifificently-styled glassfifibre bodywork (with aluminium doors) was a new chassis and a 305bhp 5916cc Chrysler V8, good for 140mph but tamed with a Powr-Lok differential. Most cars had Chrysler’s TorqueFlite automatic transmission but a lack of power steering sorted out the Charles Hawtreys from the Charles Atlases. Still, at least they could struggle from the comfort of sumptuous leather seats.
A MkII arrived in November 1963, with an engine rise to 6276cc and power up to 330bhp.
The July 1965-on MkIII model had a lower scuttle and different headlights and surrounds, dual circuit brakes and a veneer dashboard. A four-wheel drive prototype was fifinished the same year before C-V8 production ended in 1966.
ITC deemed the Jensen a perfect fifit for its now obscure series The Baron starring Steve Forrest as an antiques dealer and undercover agent for British Diplomatic Intelligence – sort of James Bond meets David Dickinson.
Only 500 C-V8s appeared, but it now has a deservedly high profifile in the classic movement.