Car of 1962 Jensen C-V8

Classic Car Weekly (UK) - - The Way We Were -

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.

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