In 1938, a year before the outbreak of war, Alan Jensen designed a commercial vehicle which was destined to become an icon of the English lorry trade. Although only four prototypes had been made by 1940, the Jensen Light Commercial became a big seller for the company after production resumed in 1946. With a frame made of special light alloys, it was a strong but lightweight carrier, much in demand by hauliers who wanted to get around the speed restrictions applying at the time to heavy commercial vehicles. The Jensen Light Commercial, also known as the JNSN for the cutaway panel which formed the radiator grille, was able to travel at 30 mph at a time when heavy vehicles were restricted to 20 mph, giving their operators a considerable advantage. They were powered by the Perkins P6 diesel motor, a stalwart of commercial road transport after the war. From 1948, a few passenger coaches were also made on a derivation of this chassis. Jensen built (or sold for bodying by other concerns) a total of 561 Light Commercials and 6 passenger coaches. Survivors are extremely scarce but Australia is home to one Light Commercial, the dropside truck pictured.


In 1946, Jensen Motors recruited George Riekie as development engineer. Riekie came from Latil Industrial Vehicles, a firm which had built a prototype commercial tractor unit, known as a tug, in 1939. Riekie appears to have brought the plans for the tug with him, adapting it to Jensen’s body-building experience and giving rise to the Jen-Tug, unveiled in 1947. Powered at first by a Ford 4-cylinder petrol engine and later by an Austin unit, the Jen-Tug saw service in a wide range of applications which required the towing of trailers or goods wagons, both on road and off. A battery powered version was marketed later. Jensen built a variety of trailers to suit the Tugs, the trailers often being ordered in a two or three-to-one ratio to prime movers by some of the big corporate buyers of such vehicles, including the recently nationalized British Railways. The Jen-Tug was rendered obsolete by its competitors in the 1950s. In round terms, Jensen Motors built approximately 700 Tugs, 1350 trailers, and 25 electric powered Tugs. Two Tugs and trailers are known in Australia, including the combination pictured.


Jensen Car Club Australia