Bulletin board

Here's a page where I'll post any odds and sods I come across, perhaps cars for sale, things worth knowing about or requests for help.

The Jensen Genome 

The fifth instalment in my ongoing history of Jensen was launched in Melbourne on 7 August 2019. The Jensen Genome is the old Chassis Data on steroids. If you figure it on a cost per kilogram basis, it is not only the most expensive and and heaviest book I have ever produced it is also the cheapest, pro rata. You can read all about it here and you can find pricing and delivery options here.

Pictured at the launch is clubber Darren Green, about to hand over his hard-earned folding for personal delivery of a signed copy. Actually, the punters who showed up at the pub were not the first to get their hands on a copy. That honour goes to Jensen Car Club of Australia President Naomi Gruzevskis who received her advance birthday present in a special ceremony a few days earlier. Good on you, Madame President - keep that club humming along. 

 Posted 16 August 2019.

Sale of books and letters 

A new chassis databook is in preparation and will be available later this year. It will be a thoroughly revised and expanded reference and well worth waiting for. In the meantime, the sale of all other books, memorabilia, literature and also letters of authenticity will be suspended until 1 July 2019 pending finalization of the new databook. Anyone wishing to ensure that their car's recorded fate is up to date in the new book should inform me without delay.

 Posted 22 February 2019.

New Jensen book Original Interceptor & FF

The fourth book in my historical treatment of Jensen was released on 25 October 2015. It is an originality guide to the Interceptor and FF models in the period 1966 to 1992. It breaks new ground in defining the correct and original features of these cars during their long period of production. For more on this valuable addition to your Jensen motoring library, go here

Pictured is the happy author taking delivery of the first copies at The Bindery in Melbourne on 23 October. Gosh, has it really been 8 years since I was there, taking delivery of All The Models? Rod Jenkins still remembered that event in 2007.

Posted October 2015.

Harmonic balancer rubber inserts for Nash engine

The harmonic balancer or vibration damper is vital to the smooth running of a Nash straight-eight and its 8 rubber inserts should be replaced in any rebuild, same as the engine gaskets and seals. Unfortunately, the rubber degrades with time and heat so the tension on the bolts is lost, causing looseness and leading to noise and harshness. In rebuilding my 3880, I have had a die made to cast new balancer rubbers. The hardness and composition of the originals were measured by a specialist firm and the hardness was reverse-aged to allow for the fact that rubber breaks down over time. The newly constituted blend will accept up to 100 deg C before getting too soft but no balancer will ever get that hot. The rubbers should avoid contact with oil or fuel but light assembly grease is OK, or preferably not used at all. These new ones are much better than anything remaining after 70 years, and a balancer is of course removable without doing a full engine rebuild so it can be refitted with new rubbers as a bolt-on procedure at any time. I have a few sets left over and can post them to the USA for US$120 or the UK for 75. If anyone wants to lay in a supply, I can get a new quantity done and the price will be different, depending on the volume.

Posted December 2009.

New Jensen book All The Models

The latest instalment in the History of Jensen series was released on 19 December 2007 in softcover form and on 6 February 2008 in hardbound form.

The book covers all of the "name" Jensens with which most people are familiar, plus the special bodying undertaken on other chassis as well as the contracting work for Austin, BMC, Volvo and Rootes. If you think you know this stuff already, think again there's no-one alive who won't learn something new from this.

The JOC in England and several other Jensen clubs are stocking the book which also remains available direct from me for those who want signatures or particular serial numbers. To read about this book, go here.

Posted February 2008.

History of my 1939 Jensen 4 Litre (H-type)

Can anyone help with the history of this car? I'm in the early stages of a full rebuild of a 1939 4 Litre (H-type), brought out to Australia by Ian Escolme around 1950-51. Ian was living in London at the time but went up north to the Birmingham area to collect the car, which makes me think he might have collected it at the Jensen factory after some pre-sale fettling or servicing. It carried a dash plaque from the Brooklands of Bond Street dealership who were London Jensen dealers for many years, so it's possible he bought the car through them. On return to Australia, the Escolmes lived in Toowoomba, Queensland, where the car was registered as 558-878 and kept until around 1955. It seems to have been sold locally then but in January 1957 it was sold again, taken interstate and re-registered in Melbourne, Victoria, as GPG 071. It was re-registered again in Victoria as HOD 812 in 1962 and remained in use until the late 1960s, by which time it was no longer roadworthy. Here's a pic taken in Melbourne around 1959-60.

I know the history since then but I know next to nothing of its time in England prior to Ian Escolme's ownership. The car was bodied as a four-door saloon, painted blue-grey with dark grey leather and a black roof, and registered in London as FLP 63 in January 1939. It carried the Nash 16-plug straight-8 engine with Nash three-speed gearbox. The Jensen chassis number is H4.9103 and the engine number is KS224. I don't know who bought H.4 when new but here's a scan from the factory record of the owner's name or delivery details. I think it says Mather, but it's written over an earlier pencilled entry so it's hard to make out. 

If anyone can provide any clues to H.4's early history, I'd be interested to hear. I have already tried the obvious angles. The DVLA has no record because the car was exported prior to computerization. The old London LP registers were destroyed on computerization, if not during the blitz, and the Queensland registration records prior to 1975 have been destroyed too. Ian Escolme's daughter, who was quite young when the family owned the car, has no knowledge of the car's English history.

Posted May 2005.

New binding for Databook

An all-new databook is still some way off but in the meantime I have a nice update of the old one. It's been re-bound in green bookbinders leather with marbled endpapers and gold foil blocking on the covers. Like the Service Bulletins book, to which it bears a family resemblance, this is a high quality edition designed to last. It won't flop about on your bookshelf like the paperbound version (which still remains available), and it should stand up to the rigours of consultation much better than the original edition. With these heavy covers, it will even stand up on its own! Both versions of the book are pictured here and you can check out the supply details and pricing here. Enjoy!

Posted November 2004.

New Service Bulletins book

It's been a long time between books in my ongoing History of Jensen series but at last the second one is out. This is an edited compendium of the Home Series factory Service Bulletins for the V8 cars, 1963-1976, so it should be of interest to anyone with one of those models (Interceptor, FF or C-V8). It's a huge production, 560 pages, bound in special leather and comes with a serially numbered bookplate. I've set up another page dealing with this book and for that you can go here.

Posted May 2004.

Changes to the Interceptor III tables

Something which bothered me when I was reading the records back in 1990 was the lack of clarity about the cut-off point between the J-series and Series 4 Interceptors. These cars normally took about six weeks to build so the production managers had a tough time knowing in advance exactly what was going to come out at the other end. At the end of 1973, the J-series was being phased out to make way for the Series 4. The new cars, notionally, would have 1974 model Chrysler engines denoted 4C and a 4-digit chassis prefix replacing the former 3-digit prefixes. The change happens in the VIN 9200 range but it isn't a clean cut-off because cars made for different markets were treated differently. As a result, some late J-series chassis have 4C engines, some early Series 4 cars have 3C engines and some cars commenced as J-series were finally turned out as Series 4s. 

I have now reviewed the data on a group of cars sent to Australia on 7 December 1973. All of these were commenced as J-series builds but the chassis papers refer confusingly to both 136 and 2241 chassis designators for some of them. So which kind are they? In my book, I listed them as J-series cars with 136 chassis prefixes. However, now that I am back in Oz and seeing the physical evidence of their chassis plate stampings and licence documents, I am inclined to treat them as Series 4s. Accordingly, the tables you find dealing with the Interceptor IIIs have been amended to reflect the deletion of these five chassis from the J-series list and their inclusion in the Series 4 list.

Posted May 2003.



Richard Calver