life as a demonstration car at a Gloucestershire Jensen dealers.
Although the car wears an "M" registration letter (1st of August 1973 to 31st of July 1974), it was completed on the 10th of July, 1973, which was the time of the "L" registration letter (1st of August 1972 to 31st of July 1973).
A conversation with Tony Marshall, the Jensen 541 registrar and ex Jensen export manager revealed that the factory held the car back until the 1st of August to gain the new letter.
This was due to the peculiar British registration system of the time. The letter denoted the year of manufacture, and great pride and snobbery was achieved by having the latest letter to impress neighbours and friends. As the car was to impress wealthy customers, it was held back to receive the new letter.
It left the factory in Positano yellow, with a vinyl roof, Sundym glass, a Voxson stereo, and rear seat belts, on registration plate "NAD 240 M"
In the intervening years it has lost: The yellow paint, the vinyl roof, the rear seats belts, the Voxson, and now bears the registration "MHE 242 M" . The registration number change is due to the car wearing a private registration plate for many years.
It also lost its original engine, serial number 3C 11703, and was replaced by serial number 3C 12065, which was built in March 1980 by Sturdy and Lowe, a Barnsley based Jensen specialist. The reason for the engine swop is unknown.
The specification of the engine is unknown. Performance, however, is much quicker than a standard 440 MK3, and it is unknown what internal modifications Study and Lowe made during the rebuild.
Richard Calver stated that the car had, for a time, a red velour interior, which may explain the loss of the rear seat belts. Apparently, this interior was so hideous that it made the car un-saleable, and so a black leather interior was reinstated!
In my time of ownership the car has received:
1. Polyurethane front suspension bushes.
2. MK2 front springs (to lower the nose high MK3 stance)
3. Vented, cross drilled, and grooved high performance front discs.
4. Vented rear discs.
5. Aeroquip brake hoses.
6. New master cylinder.
7. Edelbrock 750cfm Carburettor.
8. Edelbrock Inlet Manifold.
9. Central locking.
11. Tubular ceramic coated headers.
12. Double dip and main headlight upgrade
13. Mopar Performance adjustable distributor
14. A lockup 727 gearbox.
15. A 2:88 rear axle
16. New rear springs and poly bushes.
17. FBO high performance ignition system.
Waiting to be fitted are:
1. Polished and ported 906 cylinder heads
2. 1:6 ratio roller rockers
3. 4 piston front callipers
4. Delta fan controller
5. VW high performance cooling fans
6. 120A alternator
7. Sandon air con compressor
Here is 136-8779 leaving the starting line at Santa Pod drag strip. Even with the lowered MK2 front springs, note the nose high stance under heavy acceleration!