Jensen Motors Ltd

May 4, 2015 By Mike Lee
Last updated on May 4, 2015

Jensen LogoBrief History About Jensen Motors

Jensen Motors Ltd was founded in 1934 in the UK by Richard and Alan Jensen. The brothers had already been in business making car bodies for other manufacturers. One such company was W J Smith & Sons, which they then purchased a controlling share in and renamed it Jensen Motors Ltd.

Jensen continued to build and supply car bodies to other manufacturers, as well as building their owns cars. They also in the late 30’s got involved in commercial vehicles.

When WW2 arrived they produced military vehicles for the war effort, when the war ended they went back to building commercial vehicles and then in 1946 started to build sports cars.

In 1949 Jensen started working with Austin, producing the body for the Austin A40 Sport and later several bodies for Austin-Healey.

In 1950 Jensen introduced the Interceptor (1950-1957) designed by Eric Neale, who later built the 541, which used a new at the time fibreglass body. This was followed by the CV8 in 1962, which got a Chrysler V8, making it one of the fastest 4 seaters around. The CV8 also acquired an AWD system and ABS in 1964/65 (CV8 FF).

Incidentally in the 1959 Jensen was taken over by the Norcros Group, with the Jensen brothers staying on as managing directors.

In 1960 Jensen got the contract to build the bodies for the Volvo P1800 and then also got involved in the production of the Sunbeam Tiger.

The Interceptor name was re-introduced in 1966 and was designed by Carrozzeria Touring. There was also a limited number built with the AWD system and ABS (Interceptor FF). Also in 1966 the Jensen brothers decided to leave the business having not liked the way the company was going.

In the late 60’s Norcros decided to sell Jensen and it was taken over by shareholders with Donald Healey being appointed chairman.

In 1972 they built the Jensen Healey (mainly for the American market), but there were quality issues and with other problems the company had to be wound up in 1976.

Jensen did continue as a parts company however, called Jensen Parts and Service Limited and then later in 1982 Ian Orford bought the brand and it was renamed Jensen Cars Limited with the Interceptor being built once more, but only a few examples were built.

In 1988 Unicorn Holdings took over and again not much happened and once again in 1992 the company went into receivership.

In 1993 Martin Robey purchased the rights to the designs, tooling etc, forming Martin Robey Sales Limited, who still supply parts for Jensen cars today.

In 1998 a design company brought out the Jensen S-V8, but few were built and some where left unfinished by them before being sold to a company called SV Automotive in 2003, who completed them and then sold them off. After SV Automotive had finished selling the extra cars, another company called Rejen bought the rest of the parts, bodyshells and tooling in 2005 and are now supplier and sellers of parts or Jensen cars.

In 2010 Jensen International Automotive (JIA) was founded, with plans to build a new Jensen Interceptor R, but again, not much has happened as of writing this. In 2014 Jensen Motors Ltd was reformed to build authentic examples – yet to come to light as well.

Jensen Interceptor
Interceptor 1966-1976

Jensen S-V8
S-V8 2001-2003