Tributes and reviews — All The Models


JUST CARS, February 2008

The latest Jensen offering from Richard Calver would actually be better described as THE History of Jensen. A flick through this comprehensive 448-page volume (in the popular “brick book” format) will reveal hitherto unknown facets of the Jensen story, illustrated with high quality photos, period adverts and sales brochures. Of the 430 pictures, 300 have never been published before! Basically, everything built or bodied by Jensen – from the first Austin 7 of the 20’s to the latest revival of the SV-8 in the early 00’s – is covered, reflecting what must have been exhausting research on Calver’s part. Each decade covered in A History of Jensen – All the Models is colour-coded to make finding your favourite model easier. What also makes this book impressive is that it covers all the outside commissions Jensen undertook for the likes of Austin, Sunbeam, Volvo, Ford & others. Did you know Jensen built/bodied light commercials and even buses? You will once you read this book! Quite simply, this is the most impressive automotive title we’ve seen in a long time. At $110, you may think it’s pricey, but trust us, it’s worth every penny!

AUSTRALIAN CLASSIC CAR, February 2008

Some years ago I picked up a weighty publication that, though bereft of glossy photos, contained a listing of every single vehicle that Jensen Motors had been involved with throughout its history. Australian Richard Calver had written it by installing himself at the Jensen factory and poring over the available records. Calver has extended himself again with his new publication that describes in detail each of these models with a Jensen influence or connection. While pre-WW2 there were Standard, Wolseley, Morris and Ford, it was after the war when Jensen Motors came to the fore, building bodies for such diverse makes as Lea-Francis, Riley, Alvis and Rolls-Royce. The 1950s and 1960s brought lucrative contracts with Austin (Austin-Healey), Volvo (P1800) and Sunbeam (Tiger). Throughout this time, there were also a myriad of Jensen vehicles both commercial and private such as the 541, C-V8 and Interceptor. Sadly, Jensen Motors no longer exists, but this excellent publication will remind us of the significant role the company played in the automotive industry. 

THE VINTAGE CAR, February 2008

This is the story of 80 years of the Jensen Company, and two brothers, Alan and Richard Jensen, who started with nothing and achieved their dream of building magnificent motor cars. It starts with the first body they put on an Austin 7 chassis for their own use. Then the struggle in the beginning (the late 1920s), leading to bespoke bodies in the golden age of coach-building in the thirties, till the first of the Jensen cars up to 1939. It includes commercial bodies for trucks and coaches, and of course, war contracts. After the War it was expansion on a grand scale, specialised coach-building, more Jensen high performance cars, then the massive BMC Austin Healey production runs, Sunbeam Tiger, Volvo P1800 and more. Richard Calver spent months going through the archives of the Jensen factory after closure and has produced a grand work and is to be highly commended. It is a tribute to the Jensen Bros, their design staff, tradesmen, and all who worked at Jensen. He covers the whole scene and credits the workers for their skills and loyalty. This book will become a reference for historians, and will add greatly to our knowledge of coach-building. It is in the tradition of the great “Flood” volumes, only better. The book will increase in value as the years pass, and in the meantime it makes a wonderful gift, be it birthday or otherwise. It is over 400 pages, with 400+ pictures of great quality, practically all unpublished from the Jensen archives and other sources. It weighs 1.2kg and is not recommended for reading in bed! The book is priced at $100 plus post and packing for the soft cover edition, and $250 for leather bound edition (which comes in a leather slip-case), and also needs an additional $10 for postage, etc. I highly recommend this book to members of the Vintage Sports Car Club of Australia.

OCTANE, March 2008BOOK OF THE MONTH

541, C-V8, Interceptor, Jensen-Healey – you might expect these familiar models to constitute the limited basis for a rather bold title. But then you pick up this 400-page softback and realise that you didn’t know quite as much about Jensen as you thought you did. It’s true that Jensen built only about 19,000 cars that actually carried the Jensen name. So, to make ends meet, it also undertook a vast range of contract work for car manufacturers such as Volvo and Austin, and it built and bodied a number of commercial vehicles. You may have seen one of the few surviving Jensen trucks, with the letters JNSN stencilled into their distinctive “radiogram” radiator grilles, but did you know that Jensen also made licensed versions of the West German Tempo vans and trucks? We certainly didn’t. Throw in the numerous prototypes, limited production convertibles and race or record attempt cars and you start to appreciate the energy of this tiny West Midlands-based company. Jensen’s pre-war back catalogue is just as varied as its post-war production and arguably a lot more stylish, since the Jensen brothers had a penchant for building big, elegant tourers powered by English or American V8 engines – they even bodied at least one Austrian Steyr and a Bentley 3½ Litre. Author Richard Calver has dug up pictures of what seems like every possible obscurity and they’re attractively presented with each vehicle given at least one full-page photo and one or more smaller pics to go with the generously sized text. A nice touch is that the book closes with photo portraits and simple quotes from key figures in Jensen history, a surprisingly moving tribute. The most remarkable feature of this book, however, is that it is literally the work of one man, retired Australian diplomat Richard Calver who did the research, layout and editing and organised the printing – and yes, he put it together in Australia, too. To have created such a quality product is truly remarkable and, while £45 is expensive for a compact softback, it’s acceptable for what is without question now the Jensen book.

CLASSIC & SPORTS CAR, March 2008

Australia-based Calver’s Jensen books — this is his third and he has six more in the pipeline — are noted for detail. But the beauty of this lovingly-produced near-400 page history is that it is as accessible for general enthusiasts as it is for Jensen gnomes. It is pricey, reflecting that quality and the fact that it is entirely self-published. Calver has even mocked-up convincing ‘photos’ of cars that don’t survive, such as the experimental Healey X500. He covers all the Jensens, from the Austin Seven-based specials, trucks and coachbuilding, via several company collapses to the ‘90s S-V8. The author’s immense knowledge shines throughout and the photos are equally fascinating. Touches such as tributes to deceased Jensen players betray Calver’s devotion to the marque and help to make this his masterwork. Thus far …

NEW ZEALAND CLASSIC CAR, March 2008BOOK OF THE MONTH

In his quest to fully document the history of Jensen, Richard Calver weighs in with his third volume on the marque. His previous books were A History of Jensen: The Chassis Data (1991) and A History of Jensen: The Service Bulletins, Volume 1 (2004). Like Calver’s earlier books, this new offering is pack full of Jensen information — detailing the complete history of the marque through every single model ever produced — and the model range is impressive, ranging from Jensen’s own cars, to commercial vehicles, special one-off models and, of course, the company’s involvement with other marques. This latter aspect produces facts relating to Jensen’s cooperation with a large number of car manufacturers. Some of these projects will be well-known to most readers — the Jensen-built Volvo P1800, development work for the Rootes Group on the Sunbeam Tiger and, of course, its long association with Austin-Healey, a relationship which would eventually culminate in the Jensen-Healey. However, there’s also a huge amount of information relating to less well-known cars — I was not aware that Jensen had developed the prototype Lynx D-Type replica (one of the most respected replicas of this model) or that it had built a series of impressive convertibles for Austin, including a very stylish A40 Farina cabriolet. Surprisingly, Jensen once also worked with a caravan company to develop an embryonic but sadly stillborn luxury motor home — the Phantom Lounge Car. Naturally, every Jensen-badged car is included — a timely reminder of just how innovative Jensen was. This aspect is best exemplified by the very first 4WD Jensen, a special CV8 which featured Ferguson Formula 4WD allied to Maxaret anti-lock braking — a pioneering system further refined for the Interceptor FF. There’s even some Kiwi content, with a photograph and brief information on the late Ross Jensen’s Jensen GT — a car which I once drove briefly. Calver’s book culminates with the story of the modern day S-V8 and C-V8, while an In Memoriam section pays tribute to the men behind the marque who are no longer with us, including company founders Richard and Frank Jensen. An absolute must-have for all Jensen enthusiasts, and Calver promises even more Jensen books in future — if only all classic marques could have such a meticulous and passionate chronicler.

THE INTERCEPTOR, Autumn 2008

Richard has written the history of Jensen through all the cars, vans, trucks, and special projects, both sporting the Jensen name and others such as Volvo, Austin, Sunbeam, Allard, Hustler to name a few that the company have been involved in. While many books of this ilk can either be very technical, or skim over relevant historical sections, Richard has provided a very balanced, comprehensive, and accurate history of the Jensen marque from its beginnings to the present day. In my library I have a number of Jensen books written by the likes of Anderson, Taylor, Tipler, Browning and Blunsden, and while they all are good reads, none of them provide the 400 pages of comprehensive history of all the activities the company were involved in depicted through the various models, and a complete breakdown of all the models produced. Adding to the interest are a number of detailed facts and personal observations that Richard can add because of the many interviews he has undertaken with employees of the Jensen company and its various rebirths over the past thirty years. I must compliment Richard on his accuracy. As a classic car enthusiast I read many similar books and with my specific interests in Rovers, Land Rovers, and Range Rovers, it is so common to read a book with blatant errors such as incorrect dates or captions to photos, or photos of cars with non standard or incorrect features purporting to be representative of the model. To my critical eye, while not an expert on the marque, all photos are of excellent quality (even the old photos) and there are no obvious errors – I know Richard approached this book as though he was writing an academic paper and accuracy was paramount. In particular I like the fact Richard has captioned many of the photos with the history of the car depicted and where and when the photo was taken – this all adds to the readability of the book. I bought a copy as an early Christmas present for me and although I got home late one evening after another long pre-Christmas day at the office to find it had arrived, I started reading it and before I realised it was well after midnight. I have dipped into the book many times since and it is very easy to start and stop in different sections. In fact I find that I pick up the book intending to read for a short while to find I am still reading it an hour later. We Jensen enthusiasts are indeed fortunate to have someone of the calibre of Richard publish books on our favourite marque. It is safe to say all our members have a birthday coming up this year, and I strongly recommend that if there is one book you buy this year either for yourself or a gift, this is the one.

RESTORED CARS, March-April 2008

The little firm of Jensen Motors Ltd, tucked away in the town of West Bromwich in Greater Birmingham, England, was responsible for some of the most innovative and memorable designs in the history of the automobile. Founded in 1936 by the brothers Alan and Richard Jensen, the firm pioneered the use of lightweight alloys for truck construction in 1938 and fibreglass for car bodies in 1954. The same year, the brothers unveiled Britain’s quickest and fastest four-seater saloon and in 1956 were the first to offer four-wheel disc brakes on such a car. In 1960, they were the first to specify seat belts as standard equipment and went on to produce the world’s first high-performance road car with permanent four wheel drive and anti-lock brakes, in 1965! The distinctive Jensen Interceptor, in production from 1966 to 1976, is now regarded as one of the iconic motor cars of that era. The Jensen-Healey of 1972, which combined the talents of Jensen, Lotus and Healey, was characterised in 1974 as a worthy candidate for the title of World’s Best Sports Cars. Not well known it was Jensen who designed and built Austin’s A40 Sports, of which more than 4,000 were made, and Jensen who built, painted and trimmed the bodies of all 74,000 Austin-Healey sports cars made between 1952 and 1967. Jensen built the first 6,000 of Volvo’s P1800 sports coupes from 1961 to 1963 and all 7,000 Sunbeam Tigers made between 1964 and 1967. This is Richard Calver’s third book about Jensen. It draws together in concise form the results of more than 20 years research into the company and its products. Now for the first time enthusiasts have a ready guide to Jensen’s involvement in motor vehicle manufacture spanning a period of 80 years.

THE AUTOMOBILE, May 2008

Very much a Jensen enthusiast, the author contributed an article on the 1939 4¼-litre H-type for our February 2006 issue. He has already written and published two books in this History of Jensen series, The Chassis Data (1991) and The Service Bulletins, Vol. 1 (2004). While those are essentially of interest to owners of Jensen cars, this is a study of all the cars and commercial vehicles, even the one-offs, with which the name of Jensen has been associated, from the earliest days of the two brothers to the 1970s and beyond to the Interceptor re-creations. In fact, other marques take up nearly half the 190 or so models covered. Each receives a spread in this landscape format, a page of words and detail photographs and a full-size picture. Thus in the pre-war days we see among many the original Austin, Avon Standards, a Patrick-Jensen Wolseley Hornet, commercial vehicles from W J Smith, other Hornets, the McEvoy special Minor, Triumphs, Ford Eights and V8s, and MGs (including the streamlined body for Horton’s C-type Midget and his K3). By the time the book arrives at the first Jensen car in 1936, the employment moves of the brothers have also been well charted. The staple products of post-war coachwork manufacture for Austin, Austin-Healey, Sunbeam Tiger and Volvo P1800 are covered in as much detail as every Jensen prototype and model change. Following our recent article on Barbara Skinner’s Minors, the 1935 Skinner Union Roll-Top coupé with Hudson power caught the eye although it was just a one-off. A single example of the works of Tom Killeen, Jensen’s service manager for the first 20 post-war years, reminded one of an interesting freelance designer of the late 1960s. Given the spread-per-model format this book is easy to read in short bursts and very informative to many more than just Jensen owners.

MOTOR SPORT, May 2008

When I was editor of Motor Sport and road-testing lots of cars I was very impressed with the 6.3-litre Jensen FF, with its Ferguson 4WD and Dunlop Maxaret anti-lock brakes. Now Richard Calver has told the Jensen story in an enormous, landscape-style book, rather floppy with soft covers but ideal for the full-page, full-colour pictures, not only of Jensens but of every conceivable variant from the A7s onwards including commercial vehicles and most of the Jensen personnel. A History of Jensen – All The Models, ISBN 978 0 245 1291 1, foreword by Richard Graves, is available for £45 from the Jensen Owners Club.

TOP GEAR (Netherlands), May 2008

This beautiful book about the illustrious marque Jensen provides the full history written by Richard Calver. This is truly something for the enthusiast.

OLDTIMER PLUS, May 2008

For those curious to know who were the first to use aluminum and fibreglass in coach-building, who were the first to offer safety belts as standard in their vehicles and who first offered ABS and permanent 4 wheel drive in a road car, read the book A History of Jensen, All The Models. This thick reference book takes you through the history of this English coach-builder. All models from 1927 up to and including 2005 are covered, together with all the details and colour photos. Enthusiasts of this unique marque can direct their enquiries to Jensen Genootschap Holland, kamp@jensenholland.nl

KLASSIEK & TECHNIEK, May 2008

HOT OFF THE PRESS
A History of Jensen – All The Models
Euro 65; 448 pages; approximately 430 black and white and colour photos; width x height 25x17cm; English; available from Jensen Genootschap Holland.
Finally a good book about the beautiful marque Jensen. It gives a complete overview of all the vehicles Jensen built and the contributions they made over a period of 80 years; passenger cars, trucks, buses, vans, trailers and other makes such as Allard, Alvis, Austin, Volvo and Sunbeam. Jensen was also innovative: in 1965 they introduced the FF to the market with 4WD and ABS! Laid out by decade, the book describes all the models with never before published photos. The author has obviously had many visits over coffee with Jensen personnel to enable him to get such unique information and documentation. Reading this beautiful unique book makes you wish even more to own a Jensen. Take a look at the website of Het Jensen Genootschap on www.jensenholland.net

JENSEN OWNERS REGISTER OF NEW ZEALAND, Winter 2008

It was with some trepidation that I picked up Richard Calver’s new book. After all, his previous efforts weren’t exactly what I’d call a ripping good read. “The Service Bulletins” looks like a compendium of what computer nerds nowadays call “patches” – in other words, here’s a list of all the things we couldn’t get right the first time around and you’ll have to spend loads of time and money doing them to your car if you want to actually drive it anywhere. As for “The Chassis Data”, Ocker’s right (for once) – I did complain about it having no pictures. In fact, it’s about as much fun as reading the accrual rules for tax accounting; though Simon did seem happy to know what colour his cars originally were and (gasp of excitement) what number plates they first had in England. I suppose if there’s one thing that can be said for Richard Calver it’s that he is clearly a man of almost obsessional (no, let’s face it, obsessional) interest in Jensens. As noted above, this has, until now at least, been reflected in his books: an obsessive’s collection of guff, possibly liked by the like-minded – and Ocker. Fortunately for the children and spouses of Jensen owners, Mr Calver’s third foray into print is a major step forward. For the first time, “All the Models” is something anyone can pick up and read. And it has pictures (it’s as if the blocked Aussie nose has cleared)! Not only a few either, but a picture of every single thing the Jensen boys ever touched. An early attempt to put the reader off by having the index, numbers and abbreviations (more lists) at the front…it doesn’t work. So now I want Simon to get the lovely folks at Classic Car Services to build us an exact replica of the Phantom Lounge Car (not to be confused with the Phantom Raspberry Blower of old London Town off the Two Ronnies). This book is the book Mr Calver has clearly been gearing up to for years. His love of detail, hard work and dedication to cover every base, to dot every “i” and cross every “t” of the Jensen story has resulted in a wonderfully detailed and rich book AND one that anyone – the young, the less-fanatical – can pick up and enjoy. The stories that go with the pictures, particularly of the people involved, are wonderful. (Thankfully, it contains no stories at all about Ocker, which is  a good thing as it means you don’t have to keep your copy up out of the reach of children). It may still ultimately be a Jensen fanatic’s read – but its legacy may be that reading it will create a few more for the future, which is just what we want. If you haven’t got yours yet, order a copy now.

THE BULLETIN OF THE VINTAGE SPORTS-CAR CLUB, No. 260, Summer 2008

The Jensen company has had a long history, the latter years involving numerous ups and downs. In their earlier days, however, the Jensen brothers were highly successful, never more so than during their rapid climb during the late-1920’s and 1930’s from one-off home constructors to fully-fledged car manufacturers. Their flair for designing attractive bodies saw them working for Standard, New Avon and Patrick Motors before they bought their way into the West Bromwich firm of W J Smith & Sons. This commercial body-builder was the unlikely foundation for a series of flamboyant bodies on a roll-call of chassis – Allard, Bentley, Delage, MG, Riley and Star to name just a few. Best-known was of course their work on the Ford V8 chassis, known initially as the Jensen-Ford or Jensen Special Ford V8, with even Clark Gable ordering an example. By 1936 this engine in a special Ford chassis became the basis for their first production car using the Jensen name – the 3½ Litre. Tourers, saloons and drophead coupes were offered, all exhibiting that masterly Jensen flair for line. Similar bodies were also available on the later 4¼ Litre model, which used a Nash straight-eight engine. This is Richard Calver’s third book on the Jensen marque, and his detailed knowledge shines out from every page. It is in the form of a series of double-spreads, each one covering a separate model. The right-hand side is usually a full page, high quality illustration, often in colour. Naturally it is the pre-war section which will be of most interest to members, but even this restricted period consumes about a third of the book. The price is on the high side, but perhaps not on a cost-per-page basis, and anyone interested in Jensen history will think it money well spent.

AUSTRALIAN CLASSIC CAR, June 2008

As I flick through the pages of Richard Calver’s recent book, A History of Jensen — All The Models, I agree with former Jensen Marketing Director Richard Graves, who wrote the foreword. He marvels at Calver’s ability to collect and document the events of the 80-year-old company and intertwine the lives of those responsible with the stars of the story, the cars. “Dick Graves sent me an email to thank me for bringing the memories back,” Richard smiled. “I felt pretty good. Here was a person who had actually been there, and I had given him back a piece of his life and history.” Richard served as a diplomat in Egypt and Iraq during the ‘80s, and later in war-torn Yugoslavia for the UN. In between analyzing data in Croatia, he exhaustively researched the Jensen marque and gained exclusive access to the West Bromwich factory archives. All The Models is Richard’s third book, though the first two were essentially statistical and service catalogues for each of the Jensen chassis numbers and the cars that followed. This new book is for readers, laden with the history of the cars and the people who made them. Calver’s fascination with the world of Jensen began with an inquiry at the Jensen Owners’ Club in England about the history of his Interceptor Mark II, a 1969 model. They had no details, so Richard decided to investigate. He went straight to the West Bromwich factory, which was by then restoring and repairing Jensens and, with the old bucks, jigs and knowledge to hand, an occasional hand-built car — the perfect research starting point. “When I asked if I could check up on my chassis number, the boss Ian Orford invited me in and we climbed up to the attic. There were rows of dusty files, all sequentially numbered, virtually untouched for 20 years. He pulled one down, data about how my car was built and tested, with signatures from the testers and engineers. I thought that was incredible.” In the sanctuary of the attic, Calver wondered if anybody had been through all those files. “I thought, why not me? When I described the idea of preparing a catalogue to Orford, he gave me his blessing and insisted that I make myself at home. Everybody told me I was mad, a databook would never sell. Who would buy a phone book?” Before visiting England, Richard would print out a list of chassis numbers. Then at the factory, he would write down beside each chassis number its corresponding production codes for the engine, chassis, colour and other specifications. He did this day after day. “I was going nuts towards the end! I had to break it up with other research and interviewing Jensen people. But if you say you are going to do something, then you really have to do it.” Not sure he’d call his project an obsession, Richard smiles grimly when describing the near destruction of his work. One time, the Iraqi secret service blew up his computer. “It was their way of letting us know that they were keeping control of things.” Fortunately, as this was the late ‘80s, all his data was kept on floppy disks, rather than a hard drive. “When I went to England on long service leave, through the safety of the Australian High Commission in London I would mail notes to Baghdad for storage until I could go home to Australia. But after the Iraqis invaded Kuwait, our embassy began to evacuate, chucking stuff in incinerators and shredding everything in sight. Fortunately, the ambassador’s wife made a special exception for me and personally carried my work out to Australia.” Calver soon realised that he had gathered more than just data. In the process, he had obtained a great deal of knowledge about the company, and appreciates the privileges so many people had extended to him. He talks enthusiastically about the Jensen brothers and their families, some of whom he has met. “At Jensen, I spoke with just about all of the senior managers still living and also with some of the guys lower down. You would get a view of the same subject from either the shop floor or the administration.” Calver realises that most people know little or nothing about the marque. The Jensen story itself is what makes his books intriguing. “The individuals are fairly unknown and yet the vehicles they made were ground-breaking. Through meeting the people and going where they worked and lived, I’ve made it a human interest story.” What draws me to Calver’s book is the company’s struggle for survival. Calver was able to gain an insight into an era when manufacturers were toppling over like ninepins. Richard plans to produce further works on Jensen, especially a history of the years up to 1966. “Everyone dies or gets old and can’t drive anymore, but their vehicles still remain. The memories of those people who made them happen will all be gone too unless someone actually writes it down.”  

BRITISH CLASSIC CARS, June-July 2008

Richard Calver’s passion for Jensen started more than 20 years ago when he bought a 1969 Interceptor II. In his latest book about this British make he gives a detailed presentation of all models, covering their development over a period of 80 years on 400 pages. The book addresses itself not only to enthusiasts but to anybody interested in classic cars. A few hundred photographs, many of them not published before, allow readers to acquire an in-depth knowledge about Jensen cars.

THOROUGHBRED & CLASSIC CARS, August 2008

Calver’s stout 400 page softback volume gives you exactly what the title says — all Jensen’s models throughout the firm’s precarious history, including the lightweight commercials and lorries — and even the odd tank. All models have at least one good-sized picture and most have an interior shot as well. The text gives a good overview of developments and features that appeared with each new model, as well as the Jensen family and other personalities whose pursuits and interests (especially racing in the early days) shaped the cars themselves. You’ll find many models that you wish had seen a longer life — not least the final Big Healey-like S-V8 coupé. This affectionate and knowledgeable history will prove useful to any fan of the marque. 

JENSEN #202, November/December 2008

Members will know the name Richard Calver. His monumental first book “A History of Jensen, The Chassis Data” (1991) listed the chassis number of every Jensen production car built, together with basic details mainly from the factory files. His second book was a reprint of service bulletins issued by Jensen Motors Ltd. Both were reference books in the true sense: packed with data, few if any photographs, and a bit dry to read. This new book is completely different as it is entirely readable. The 400 pages start with a Foreword by Richard Graves and then twenty pages of explanation, index, acknowledgements and a useful concise list of milestones. At the end are several pages “In Memoriam” with photographs and sometimes quite moving short quotes from many of the people who influenced Jensen vehicles over the years. The main body of the book is laid out chronologically in the format of a double page spread per model, one page of text and facing it a full page photograph, often in colour. It is attractive and easy to pick up and put down. At least, I have found it easy to pick up but not so easy to put down! The pages have coloured borders to separate each of the nine decades from Richard and Alan’s first special in 1927 to the new S-V8 and C-V8 of recent times. These are effectively the nine chapters forming the bulk of the book. In here are many models which I am sure no one reader will have known about, so there truly is something new for everyone. Perhaps a few of my favourites will show my point. The 1930s is the largest selection and to accompany the text of the Jensen-bodied Wolseley Hornet is a wonderful photograph taken by Alan Jensen of his girlfriend standing in the sunshine roof opening of his fixed head coupe version. For the ‘40s there is a ghastly Jensen-bodied Rolls Royce and a wide range of lorries and coaches. For the ‘50s who has heard of the Jensen 3 litre sports car? By the ‘60s one would think that all the cars are known about, but did you know Jensen made an Austin Healey 3000 coupe and something called the Fraser GT? In the ‘70s we have the Lynx D type replicas and the Stonefield. The story is completed by the Orford era cars, contract work and the S-V8s. If you have never heard of some of the cars above that is why you need to buy this book. Of course, all the familiar models are also included with interesting text and usually with previously unpublished photographs. The whole presentation is attractive, informative, easy to read and, unlike some narrative histories, easy to refer to. At £45 (from JOC Regalia) for a softback and £110 for leather-bound with slipcase, this may sound like a lot of money, but is not expensive for the vast amount of material it contains. In the opinion of your reviewer, this is the best book ever published about Jensen … so far!  

WOLSELEY HORNET SPECIAL CLUB, January 2009

Richard Calver is a historian by training, a retired diplomat by profession and a Jensen enthusiast by inclination. Although not a Hornet owner, he is a member of the WHSC. The combination of all these attributes makes him well placed to write a book on the cars and coachwork produced by Jensen. The influence of the Jensen brothers, Richard and Alan, on coachwork in the Hornet period was far-reaching. From their first home-made special, built in the family garage in 1927 on an Austin Seven chassis when they were 18 and 21 respectively, to the ‘White Lady’, the prototype 3½ Litre that was the first car to use the Jensen name as a marque rather than a model, all had undeniable style and a look of fitness for purpose. Their first semi-professional essay, at the behest of the manufacturers on a 1928 Standard Nine, led to production of the Avon Standard Special and a job for Alan Jensen at the coachbuilders New Avon in Warwick. In 1930 both brothers joined young Joe Patrick at Edgbaston Garages in Birmingham, soon to be briefly renamed Patrick-Jensen Motors. The early Hornets clad by this firm were known as Patrick-Jensen Specials until a rift forced the brothers out. Renamed once again, the Edgbaston garage continued to body Hornets under the Patrick Motors name. The Jensens’ next move took them into an old established West Bromwich commercial vehicle coachbuilder, W J Smith & Sons. Under this umbrella they set up a car coachbuilding operation, Jensen Motors, bodying a prototype Moveo before moving into small-scale production by collaborating with Michael McEvoy on McEvoy Special Hornets, Morris Minors and the one-off Star. All the versions of the Hornet that were suited to bespoke sports bodies were clad by Jensen, making them one of the few entities to do so (among the others, Maltby, and of course Eustace Watkins come to mind). The McEvoy special RC 450 was bodied by them, as well as chassis from Sanctions 51, 65, 78, 114 and 163. Most were open four-seater tourers, but there were fixed-head and drophead coupés too. Along the way there were Morrises, two AJS-based prototypes, the Triumph Scorpion, various MGs, the 5-litre ex-racing Delage II and a BSA 10 with imitation Alfa Romeo radiator. Then there were Fords, Carl Skinner’s Skinner Union roll-top coupé, Austin Sevens and 10s, Riley 1½ Litre, Chevrolet Master Six, Allard Special and the innovative lightweight commercials built out of aircraft alloys. In 1936, the company’s incorporation as Jensen Motors Ltd marked the transition from coachbuilder to motor manufacturer, though occasional opportunities for forays into bespoke coachwork were not neglected. For the Hornet, no longer in production, this is where the Jensen story ends, although of course in other respects it continued into the 21st Century. Each model bodied by Jensen from 1927 to 2005 is treated to two facing pages of text and illustrations, with five such spreads devoted to Hornets. As the sample illustration reproduced here shows, Richard has had access to hitherto unpublished photographs. This well researched and copiously illustrated book is highly recommended to enthusiasts of Jensens and Hornets alike.

CLASSIC & SPORTS CAR, February 2009 BOOK OF THE YEAR 2008

Enthusiasts' bookshelves must be groaning after a bumper year of cracking titles. Marque histories don't come more dedicated than our favourite, Richard Calver's bumper A History of Jensen. This 400-page full-colour masterwork covers all of the models from rebodied Austin Sevens to the '90s S-V8 plus the commercials. Packed with details plus a wealth of historic images including inspired artwork of lost cars, this is a wonderful tribute.

CLASSIC & SPORTS CAR, February 2009 Editor's Choice for BOOK OF THE YEAR 2008

OK, I’m biased but this is an immense effort and superb reading for marque aficionados and vague-interestists alike.

JENSEN #208, November/December 2009

To some extent this all pales into insignificance when compared with the exhaustive and detailed research of the ‘guru’ of all things Jensen, Richard Calver. There is a huge amount of information available on his website and he is an indefatigable writer with many publications to his credit, notably The Chassis Data Book, the Jensen Service Bulletins and A History of Jensen – All The Models. I think it is fair to say that largely thanks to him there is little we do not now know about the history of Jensen Motors and their cars.

JENSEN HEALEY PRESERVATION SOCIETY, April 2010

Richard Calver's most recent and third book in the continuing History of Jensen series. The author describes it as a "nice little picture book", something you could carry around to car shows and the like, a guide to everything Jensen ever had their hands on. It is a very comprehensive reference with a vast quantity of photos to give you the unexpurgated history of the marque. It's really an amazing work. 448 pages, packed with astonishing and amazing photos (300 of which have never before been published), interesting commentary, overall an incredible accomplishment! Highly recommended. This is THE Jensen book to own.

DIECAST COLLECTOR, May 2010

Having an inquiring mind, and a love of Jensen cars, it wasn't difficult to put my hand in my pocket and purchase the latest book from Australian Jensen guru Richard Calver — "A History of Jensen, All The Models." What was a surprise was the wealth of information and pictures of vehicles from a wide selection of car and truck manufacturers that had bodies or adaptations made by Jensen Motors in West Bromwich. If that wasn't enough to whet one's appetite, when you flick through Calver's book, it's some of the other fascinating vehicles that stand out and, if you're a 'closet chopper' as I am, you immediately begin to see potential for creating a model range of Jensen prototypes and commissions for other companies. Nowadays, sadly our model manufacturers do not model concept cars, much, so the efforts Jensen put in to produce some interesting one-off cars that were very stillborn have not been perpetuated in miniature. However, perhaps this small insight into the wide diversification that took Jensen into many contracts, large and small, throws some light on what was going on in West Bromwich through the 1940s, 50s, and 60s in particular. Acknowledgements to Richard Calver for his wonderful book, and help in providing some of the original pictures.

... and some comments from readers, Jensen fans and ex-factory employees:

“I'm up to 1936 and it is absolutely superb. Thank you very much indeed ... really, I am very impressed with the whole content and production.”

“What a fantastic book! I have never seen such a complete automobile history so well compiled and so beautifully illustrated. You are to be congratulated for such a splendid work. My wife is equally impressed and I have to say it has hardly been put down since it arrived yesterday. So many memories! Thank you so very much.

“Happy New year. God bless you. I received your book in yesterday’s post. Amazing and thank you. We will enjoy it immensely.

You've produced a magnificent book which will certainly find its place on the VSCC library shelves and which I shall enjoy dipping into for a long time ahead.

Reading the book I was amazed at what Dickie had unearthed. Absolutely amazing. I recommend it to anybody interested in Jensens.”

“I too have received a copy of Mr Calver’s latest literary offering. I wholeheartedly concur that it is a truly marvellous achievement. Well done. The photographs are truly spectacular, and the book has obviously been researched to a level that no other Jensern author has come close to yet. Richard Calver has set a new benchmark for the other Jensen historians to aspire to. Congratulations!

Many, many thanks for the copy of the superb Jensen book, which just arrived. If my forthcoming book is half as good as yours then I'll be really pleased.

“What a surprise! I have been away about a month, just got home and going through all the mail to find your envelope with a copy of ‘A History of Jensen’ enclosed. I’ve only had time to briefly look through it but it contains so much I didn’t know about the company it’s hard to put down. How on earth do you find the time to do all the research? As well as the cars, I love the unusual things the brothers built, and they were really innovative too, with such items as the Phantom Lounge Car, the Tempo elevator truck and the hydraulic tower wagon for instance. Once again, thanks so much Richard, a great read.”

“Your book is a terrific piece of work and you should be very proud. Like others, I’m sure, I had no idea of the scale and breadth of Jensen’s activities. I will treasure the book.”

“Still making my way thru book — Major Impressive! Absolute credit to you — generally not known info and photos top shelf! Absolutely the definitive Jensen book to have.”

“Congratulations on the publication. We recognise how much research you must have done, to present yet another voluminous history of the Jensen marque. We had no idea of their involvement with so many other makes since inception, and to have the company’s history so well detailed is a wonderful reflection of work completed by the people involved.”

I have my copy for a week now and I have to say: GREAT STUFF !!! Interesting read, all the marques and makes that went through the Jensen gates. What a wide range of cars, trucks, lorries, ... You've got to get it. It was worth waiting for such a loooong time.”

“Your book will bring delight to all enthusiasts who read it — but it must be especially rewarding to hear from Dick and share his enjoyment with the memories it returns. I guess that’s one of the many benefits from books — the rekindling of pleasant memories reflecting time, places, events and other precious things.”

I’ve now had my “All The Models” book for a few weeks but have been too busy to read it all yet! However, I am now up to the CV8 and have to say that it really is a "must have" book for EVERY Jensen owner and even any non-Jensen owners with an interest in history and/or cars. It is beautifully presented, extremely well written, well photographed and has an unbelieveable amount of information and detail included. By far the most comprehensive Jensen book I have ever seen. Well done to Richard Calver for producing what must be, the ultimate Jensen book! Now everyone, go out and get it !!!!! (It really IS that good!)”

Thought you might like to know that your great Jensen book acted as the inspiration for me starting work on another car book project. Your book has helped me to focus on the importance of collecting images and data from around the world as too many books here just focus on the British angle & images. So I’ll be paying special attention to North America and Australasia - two key export areas for Austin.”

Having returned from Oz only a few days ago I haven’t had time to read my copy (soft cover) from cover to cover, but what I have read so far is impressive! I can whole-heartedly recommend anyone and everyone to order a copy! The hundreds of photographs alone are worth the — IMHO very reasonable! — cost for the book.”

Today I received the copy of your book. I feel that ‘thanks’ are inadequate for the surprise I received when I finally broke the ‘da Vinci Code’ of your packing! Rarely have I been so impressed with a book of this type (actually, I don’t think that I have seen another in this class). Even though you showed me the colour proofs when you were here I was not really prepared for a book of this outstanding quality! You are to be congratulated on the commitment, dedication, design and sheer professionalism that you have brought to bear on what I believe will deservedly become THE definitive book on the Jensen marque. It has instantly become one of my most treasured possessions with pride of place in my little collection of Jensen related publications, not just to be brought out to impress our friends now and again but to remain in permanent view where I can pick it up to browse as the mood strikes me. Thank you, Richard, you HAVE made my day!”

“The new Jensen book is really awesome, great job on that, it’s truly fantastic! The best Jensen one I’ve ever seen.”

I have just received my Leather bound version of “All the Models” in the post today. Han is right, it is very impressive and worth waiting the extra time to receive. I have always had a soft spot for Dickie, and have very fond memories of his visits to the UK. Well done.”

“The postman has just delivered a package containing your new book, and I cannot thank you enough for such a very generous gift. It is a fantastic book which I shall treasure.”

THANKS! The new book arrived today, and it is tremendous. I can hardly put it down! I am extremely grateful for your generosity, and look forward to being able to thank you in person one day.”

Richard, got it, fantastic, another great effort on your part, thanks a million!”

I also purchased a copy of Richard’s new book which he signed for me and I’ve been plastered to it ever since. Its a fantastic book and highlights the diversity of Jensen over decades.”

I spent many hours of reading over the weekend, regardless of my wife's comments about "car porn" (many eye-catching pictures in your "All models"!). Once again: Many many thanks for your contributions to the Jensen community!”

“Many thanks indeed for your “little read” — which is in fact a magnificent, splendidly researched contribution to motoring history. Brilliantly done!”

The book is wonderful. I am enjoying reading it and friends of mine keep wanting to borrow it. I tell them to go and buy it.”

“I was very pleasantly surprised indeed to receive the copy of your latest book this morning — thank you very much. It is beautifully produced and looks extremely comprehensive. Although I had seen the page proofs, I am still very impressed by the layout and presentation. Well done and thank you again!”

I have today received the History of Jensen which you have so kindly sent. I am delighted to have it, particularly so when I opened it and on the inside of the front cover found a photograph of one of the Jensen functions on which I appear. I suppose I was about 23 years old when that photo was taken. I can't believe that I ever looked like that and the two people that I have shown the photo today couldn't pick me out — so much for old age!! My son and his friends will be very interested to read through this complete history and so, of course, shall I as I know next to nothing about the firm's history apart from my five or so years there.  I realise that years of hard work and research have gone into your book (apart from the cost!) and I think the front cover is very striking — I love it. I hope that it sells well. Again, my thanks for your generosity and my very best wishes to you.”

Many many thanks for the tome that dropped on my doorstep last week. I am busy educating grandsons and their fathers with the many vehicles that Jensen produced. My eyes were opened about Healeys etc!”

“Just a few words to say a big thank you for the book which arrived on 28 February. It’s a lovely book which I will treasure forever. I’ll try to get to the Jensen car show in summer and I’ll take book along for all to see. I know quite a few who will be interested.”

“Got your book yesterday. First impressions are it is fantastic. Congratulations on putting together a book with so much detail on the models and history of Jensen. I hope it sells well for you.”

Just wanted to let you know how happy I was to receive the copy of your new book, which I must say is a quality book for any collection. I will write more when I have the time, but for now, you should know that this is a remarkable work with such an interesting presentation and even I am learning from it! Congratulations on your achievement and thanks for the mention (even though I am a little embarrassed at the prominence given to the photo). The story is a first in that you have revealed the truth about many chapters of the life and times surrounding vehicle manufacture at Jensen, in a very insightful and knowledgeable way. Your observation in the closing chapter on the ‘family’ that was Jensen, was very touching, even moving, and bought back many memories for which I am personally very grateful to you. As a chronicler (forgive the expression) you clearly have more appreciation, feeling and understanding than anyone I have ever met other than the family who were Jensen, which is praise indeed in my book! Very best wishes and kind thanks.”

Recently I bought one of your leather bound epistles for my own collection. However, it was sooooo good that I ended up pledging to give it to a very good friend of mine. He too, loved your masterpiece, and we spent many hours trawling the pages for various Jensen-related facts and snippets. I know it seemed silly, taking "coals to Newcastle", but he did so appreciate the book gift. I'm now bereft of my own copy, and would like to discover whether I can purchase my very own leather-bound copy through you, endorsed personally by yourself??  I look forward to making your acquaintance someday soon.”

A big thank you Richard for your latest book. It certainly is a" tour de force" and beautifully researched and produced. I am most grateful to you and wish you every sucess in the future.”

Many thanks for sending the book. I am delighted with the tribute to Alfred Wilde and the photo. What a task it must have been! I had no idea that Jensens were involved with so many and varied vehicles, and I was fascinated to learn about many of the pre-war models, about which I was hitherto entirely ignorant. Naturally, I have done no more than scan through the book, but I can see many happy hours ahead reading it. Please let me know if and when another book is due to be published. All the best and with my grateful thanks.”

“At long last, I have a copy of your new book, and I can't think of enough superlatives to describe it. It's certainly been well worth the wait and the expectation. It's packed full of so many interesting facts and pictures. What a fantastic reference book on all matters Jensen. You must be very pleased with it. I have only had the chance to lightly browse this weekend, but I am already hooked, wanting to turn every page to learn about so many varied and interesting vehicles. We, the Jensen enthusiasts, are indebted to you for your hard work. Many thanks for your dedication to the task, yet again. The pictures of my car look great, and I am grateful for your choice to include it. Although a relative beginner at these things, I'm coming to the conclusion that you can't have too many Jensens. I just need to convince my wife of this!! Congratulations again on the publication of your new book.”

“Thank you so much for sending us a complimentary copy of the above book. It is currently being processed to be added to the stock in our transport collection here on the 5th floor of the Library. Having browsed through the book, I particularly like the way it is arranged and the quality of it is superb. It will be a welcome addition to our collection.”

Thanks for your book “Jensen All the Models” Looks great, I can see how much work you put into it. Your best yet!! Much Appreciated.”

Dear Richard, thank you so much for the book on Jensen. I have enjoyed reading it so much and the pictures are great and have brought back so many happy memories of my time at Jensen. If at any time you decide to write a further book on Jensen and need more information please do not hesitate to contact me. I’m sure you will have great success with your book. All best wishes to you.”

Well I have got 1/3 of the way through your book, and I must say it makes interesting reading. I don't know if it was me being young and naive (and blonde ha ha), but I never knew when I was working at Jensen the sheer volume of history behind the name Jensen. I suppose I just went to work, earned my pennies and enjoyed living. I knew the Jensen car went back sometime but not quite that far. As a resident in Sandwell I had no idea that a firm grew that big in the West Bromwich and surrounding areas. I feel that even if you don't own a Jensen you should still read the book as it is something to be proud of in the Sandwell borough. History normally doesn't bother me that much, but this is captivating. I also hadn't realised it wasn't just cars but other transport too. It was also nice seeing the photos of faces I recognise. I bet they would have a shock to see this old bird now!”

“Received the book this week — what a superb production! Thank you so much. I am sure the brothers could not have asked for a better record of their lives — you’ve done a marvellous job. Looking forward to seeing you someday again in the U.K. Take care mate.”

“It is truly a work of art and I’m not at all surprised you are receiving recognition. It will take a prominent place on my library shelf and has already been much admired by visiting friends. I am really delighted with it and congratulate you yet again. It is a truly excellent achievement which I will make sure is passed down through the family. Again, sincere thanks and congratulations on a fine piece of work.”

Just received my copy of Richard's new book. It is fantastic — an overview of every model that Jensen had a hand in, with a beautiful full page photo of every one of them — almost all in colour! I highly recommend it to anyone who's got an interest in the marque — it's a "must have"! Richard did an incredible job — it must have been a true labour of love.”

“The book exceeds my highest expectations. Your mastery of significant detail, however minuscule, is simply dazzling. Your skill in presenting each of Jensen's astounding number of models shows to excellent advantage in the way in which you present each separate item of Jensen's production with a sense of its significance in the long story of Jensen's development, but avoid any hint of tiresome repetition. I am especially impressed with your way of touching on the biographies of those who contributed to particular cars and models, but doing so without calling attention away from the cars and models themselves. Finally, in all the awesome wealth of detail about Jensen cars and Jensen people, you create a very subtle suggestion of an overarching narrative which, without insisting on or overemphasizing it, provides a wholeness and continuity to this extraordinarily interesting history. It's an outstanding example of deep and fine-grained research and a hell of a good piece of writing. You have my strongest compliments!”

Since receiving your book on Jensens I have enjoyed it a great deal. Whenever I have a spare few minutes I pick it up and learn about a different car produced by the company. Thank you so much!”

Just wanted to thank you for the Jensen book I have just received, it's terrific. I can't wait to sit down quietly and read it from cover to cover. The memorial section is very touching, it's all been put together lovely and the size is perfect. I am over the moon about it. THANK YOU.”

Richard, I just want to say that both myself and my brother (who is a Chrysler nut) wanted to congratulate you on a fantastic effort on these books; they truly are superb and extremely well researched and written. I am kind of glad I was held up in bed, as I had an opportunity to have a good read. I truly had no idea that Jensen were so prolific in the cars they sub-contract assembled, designed and built! I think what you have done is commendable; what's more it took an Aussie to show the Pommies how it should be done — even better!”

I am still amazed at how you have put so much info together almost singlehanded. I have had great pleasure reading through the latest book. The brothers were incredibly innovative and I love the way they had a go at everything. We as 'automotive tragics', and the Poms in particular, owe them so much really. Good luck with an overflowing order tray.”

My old secretary is reading every word of the book and is enthralled and amazed at your work. It's obviously giving her tremendous enjoyment.”

I think the book is amazing! Content, research, photographs, binding – all brilliant.

“Thank you very much for the book. I thoroughly enjoyed leafing through it, and will continue to do so. I thought I should share some of my reactions with you. On occasion one struggles to associate Jensen with anything other than comic (cosmic?) unreliability, rust, electricals evidently the victim of a clever saboteur, and the ultimate decoding of that enigmatic expression “British craftsmanship” (decoded: garden shed build quality). When seen through the prism of your work however Jensen becomes truly interesting, and seems worthy of being valued for the many other things it exemplified. Not least of these was something of an underdog feel to the enterprise. I have read many motoring books, several on Jensen, and I bear the mental scars. However, the clear evidence of your first hand knowledge based on interviews and time spent amongst the records of the company is a real relief from the traditional usages of the motoring writer. Anyhow, thanks very much for the book. It gives great pleasure.”

“I’ve been able to enjoy a fairly regular ‘HAPPY HOUR’ with Richard Calver’s remarkable book. As you might expect, I started with a general look through the book: in the first minute or two I was straightaway struck by the very impressive excellence of the photographs. The standard is beautifully maintained throughout the entire 400 pages of the book. I’ve become wrapped up in the details of those wonderful photographs, and the stunning lifelike finish which is vividly obvious on the whole range of vehicles. I’m not simply ‘looking at the pictures’ like a child may do, because my fascination with all the depictions has naturally caused me to become hungry to read the ‘HISTORY OF JENSEN’, and gobble up the details with relish. Perhaps you wouldn’t expect a female with a non-technical mind like mine to actually become engaged in reading ‘all about it’ with a sustained interest — but that’s how it is! I can’t adequately put into words the admiration which is inevitable as regards Richard Calver’s masterpiece. In his ‘INTRODUCTION’ he himself says ‘This book hasn’t got everything, but it’s got most of it.’ By jingo, it sure has! He refers to it as a ‘little read’, but as far as this reader is concerned, it’s a feast for the soul. I’m aware that he has written other books concerning Jensen, but I’d cheerfully lay a huge bet on his latest one being called a MAGNUM OPUS – and you can’t beat that!”

“Hopefully things are still going well for you. I have so much enjoyed reading your book and never cease to be amazed at the detail contained in it.”

History is tricky, and often misrepresented because everyone needs a ‘happy ending’ or should I say a convenient one, but life and business are rarely like that! As to your book, what I would say is that you have achieved a far greater detail and insight across the years and have remembered and credited the people behind the cars that are admired, better than anyone else I have ever read. Be proud of your book, it’s a quality product and a fitting tome for the men and the cars.”

 “Your "opus magnum" reached me yesterday. Thanks and congratulations! The book is not only a well-documented good read but also an interesting contribution to British entrepreneurial history which will be appreciated also outside the circles of car-aficionados. Waiting for rapturous reviews....”

“All the Models made it to the Maasdijk! A beauty to possess, having it now for a few days and following your well given advice to read it from start to finish, now at page 74, having paged it through of course. You really made a special book surpassing earlier work on the Jensen bros, by other writers, with a big leap. Thank you for taking time in shipping to our little country, also thanks for signing it. "All the Models" will be read and reread for some time to come and sits as a real gem in our Jensen library. Having come to page 74: I really did not know the Jensen Brothers were active on so many different car makes, I knew of some but now I know better, looking forward to see the other surprises after page 75. Best regards:”

Today I am writing to you because I have just finished reading your complete book on Jensen. It was a wonderful read. I’d pick it up at odd times and read a few pages and then later continue on. The pictures are very good and the text enjoyable and very understandable. The only regret is that it isn’t in hard cover ..."

“I was delighted to receive the Jensen book. It was quite a surprise. I read the whole book and then reread the first hundred pages and made notes. I think you got it about right with lots of pictures and not excessive technical details.”

“What a book!! Stunning pics - and eloquent prose. Not surprised - it's your love and passion. Thanks for sharing - looking forward to discovering the world of Jensens - a decade at a time.”

“Congratulations on your excellent book, “A History of Jensen All the Models” that I was lucky enough to receive for Father’s Day after dropping some unsubtle hints to my wife. I have also enjoyed reading your web pages that I discovered a few years ago and that rekindled my interest in the marque to the extent that I bought a Jensen-Healey 12 months ago.”

“I acknowledge with grateful thanks a copy of your outstanding book," A History of JENSEN", which reached me just before I left. I have only been able to leaf through it but have already formed the opinion that it is a quite outstanding work and I look forward very much to digging deeper into the story next week.”

“Congratulations on the book. I do like your writing style – it’s a lot more readable than what you usually get.”

“I won a copy of the new book at our last Jensen meet... Absolutely Wonderful! It ends up costing me an hour everytime I pick it up. I want a Jensen Combi...and a lift truck.”

“An absolute must for every Jensen enthusiast is Richard Calver’s latest, and greatest, book, Jensen, All The Models — this is an extensively researched and illustrated volume giving a wealth of previously unknown detail of every vehicle with which the Jensen name was associated.”

Richard, just bought your latest book – all the models and it's absolutely stunning in its comprehensiveness, and the wealth of hitherto unseen pictures. I'm particularly fascinated by the breadth of vehicles Jensen made – particularly the Austin estates, pick-ups and convertibles.”

If anyone is interested in some of these more unusual cars Jensen were connected with I really, really recommend Richard Calver's book, available through JOC Regalia. Don't be put off by the price, it's cheap for the information in it, and for the hours and hours of peace and quiet your wife will get! No, I have no commercial interest in the book – just love it. I'm also determined to find a vehicle that Richard has omitted – not quite there yet, but working on it!”

The latest (February 2009) edition of Classic & Sports Car has just arrived and browsing through it, I noticed that they have a feature on “The Best of 2008”. Lo and behold, the best book of 2008 is none other than Richard Calver's masterpiece, Jensen-All the Models! Congratulations to Richard on this triumph, and to all those who have not yet got a copy, just imagine what a treat you are missing.”

“The book is highly recommended, I have it for nearly a year now and I often take it out of the shelf to look for a specific model and read about it. Great stuff. The Best Book of a specific marque I have ever had.”

“What a grand achievement, well done. All your research has been recognised by many no doubt and it is a wonderful tribute to be acknowledged in this way - congratulations.”

“Heartiest congratulations on having your book made Book of the Year for 2008. I don't know how you have had the patience over the years to do all the groundwork needed for this sort of book.”

“I'm sure you weren't seeking or expecting any recognition for all that work, but it's great that you received it. Well done and congrats.”

“Congratulations - and well deserved! I think I may have forgotten to send you my personal comments on how impressed I was with such a wealth of material. I cannot imagine where you got all the info!”

“Congratulations! The recognition is very well deserved, we love the book.”

“Your praise is well deserved for an excellent book. Good to know that all your hard work is appreciated especially by your writing peers!!"

Congratulations on the book. I must look for it here. Thought you might have died as there was no response to anything I sent for a long time. Now I see you have been busy.”

Congratulations - a fantastic and well deserved achievement!”

“Hi Richard,congratulations are in order. This does not come as a great surprise, you did an outstanding job on the book."

“Congratulations, I must say well deserved too. It's a great book, and I love the fact that you really do cover "All the models". So many authors miss the less conspicuous vehicles in a manufacturer's line-up. I personally find these and the unusual vehicles and in some cases, non-automotive items, extremely interesting and I'm sure lots of other readers do also. Jensen enthusiasts owe you a debt of gratitude for your exceptional investigation and tenacity, well done.”

“That's really great news, you must be so happy with the outcome.......a bit of a poke in the eye for the other authors on the marque I think! As I mentioned last year it is an exceptional piece of work and although I'm biased it would now seem that others have taken the same view.......Very well done. You really do deserve the accolade."

"Great stuff! I hope you sell a packet. One nice thing about books such as this is that they don't date - 20 years from now it will be just as valuable.”

“How wonderful is that? I can't tell you how thrilled we are for you. It's just fantastic. Just to produce a book requires lots of work and to see it in print is highly satisfying. Now to have it acknowledged is mind blowing. I am so pleased that I could assist. Congratulations. Best wishes”

“That's great news - well done on what was obviously a labour of love for you. Very few quality car books are created here, even fewer on foreign marques so to get this kind of recognition in the "home market" is outstanding!”

"Happy to see you have been busy and produced such an excellent book on Jensen! CONGRATULATIONS! How are you doing? Is there any life after this amazing book ?”

This book is an absolute must for all Jensen enthusiasts! Thoroughly researched, by the most eminent Jensen historian, this book contains details of all the vehicles with which the Jensen name was associated. There are so many facts in here that you never knew about, that you will be amazed at the breadth of the company’s involvement in the motor industry. I read it from cover to cover, and almost every page turned up information that was news to me. This is not just a reference book, but a superbly produced and richly illustrated volume, well worthy of every Jensen enthusiast’s bookshelf. You will not be disappointed!!”

“I followed an instinct and bought the set of 3 hardcovers and they arrived today. And they do feel very special! I am not 100% sure what exactly to do with them, as I want to keep them in good nick rather than using them as, say, a reference source as I continue the restoration of my Interceptor. So they will spend a lot of time in the book shelf, even though a couple of enthusiastic colleagues at work (I work as a stylist for Porsche, so every colleague is enthusiastic, if usually for Porsches rather than Jensens) demanded that I bring them into the studio as soon as possible.”

"I must just say how impressed I am with the depth of research you have obviously put into this volume, I've learned loads so far about Jensen's activities and the book far exceeds the usual marque histories. I have several hundred motoring books on my shelves, but it is a long time since I was as pleased as I am with this one."

The honor and praise given you by "Classic & Sports Car" magazine is very well-deserved. The breadth and depth of your writings about Jensen are indeed simply stunning! My most sincere congratulations to you.”

“Your book is truly fantastic, and everyone I've shown it to absolutely loves it. It is incredibly detailed, and the photos are phenomenal. You are the uncontested Jensen expert, bar none.”

 

So what are you waiting for? Go get a copy!

Looking for the list of suppliers?

 

Richard Calver

© Richard Calver 2008–15

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