Jensen 541

In 1953, work began on what came to be known as the Model 541, shorthand for ‘first model of 1954’. Using a triple-carb version of the 4-litre Austin engine, the 541 broke new ground by being bodied in fibreglass, then a novel material which had not been used by another volume manufacturer. Fibreglass gave the body builders the ability to create complex shapes without difficulty, endowing the 541 with its swooping lines. A Deluxe version appeared in 1955 with Dunlop disc brakes to all wheels, a world first for a production saloon car. It was superseded in 1957 by the 541R with restyled bonnet, boot and wing shapes and a more powerful twin-carb version of the Austin engine. Jensen obtained 50 of these special units and fitted them to the first 541Rs but had to revert to the triple-carb version after supplies of the twin-carb engine ran out. In 1960, the final iteration on the 541 theme was released as the 541S. This featured a wider body with revised interior and, for the first time on a Jensen car, the option of automatic transmission. This proved so popular with buyers that the manual transmission version became a relative rarity. Front seatbelts were standardized on this model which was the first British saloon car to be so equipped. In all, 546 examples of the 541 range were built including one which was sold new to Australian author Jon Cleary. They are rare cars in Australia with about 18 known.


Jensen Car Club Australia