Arguably one of the best-looking British car of the 1950s, and that’s saying a lot, the 1953 Jensen 541 was built on a steel platform chassis, and covered with a three-part fiberglass body. It combined everything that was needed to make a luxurious, fun to drive automobile: the interior was exceedingly well designed and richly appointed, and the suspension, borrowed (and then modified) from the Austin A70 provided a sure-footed, comfortable ride. Brakes were drum, replaced with discs on the 541R of 1957. Unfortunately, Jensen was not really a household name and the 541 never had the exposure it deserved; if it had, we’d still be talking about it today!
The 541’s engine was also borrowed from Austin, a 4-liter straight six which originally produced 117 horsepower. The 1957 version, the 541R was the most powerful at 150 horsepower, thanks to twin carburattors and higher compression. It was enough to accelerate to 60 mph in 10.5 seconds, and reach a top speed of 124 miles per hour.
The 1953 Jensen 541 remained in production until 1963, when it made way for the much faster Jensen CV8. Regrettably, this model didn’t sell very well and Jensen had to wait for the Interceptor to have a real (but mitigated) commercial success on its hands.