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Jensen CV8
Jensen CV8 red.jpg
DesignerEric Neale
Body and chassis
ClassGrand tourer
Body style2-door coupé
LayoutFront-engine, rear-wheel-drive
Wheelbase105 in (2,667 mm)
Length184 in (4,674 mm)
Width67 in (1,702 mm)
PredecessorJensen 541S
SuccessorJensen Interceptor

The Jensen C-V8 is a four-seater GT car produced by Jensen Motors between 1962 and 1966.

Launched in October 1962,[1] the C-V8 series had fibreglass bodywork with aluminium door skins, as did the preceding 541 series.

All C-V8s used big-block engines sourced from Chrysler; first the 361 and then, from 1964, the 330 bhp (246 kW) 383 in³. Most of the cars had three-speed Chrysler Torqueflite automatic transmission, but seven Mk2 C-V8s were produced with the 6-litre engine and four-speed manual gearbox, followed by two manual Mk3s. The engine is entirely setback behind the front axle line which made the C-V8 one of the first front-mid-engined cars. While the great majority of C-V8s were made in right-hand drive (RHD), ten were made in left-hand drive (LHD).

The car was one of the fastest production four-seaters of its era. The Mk II, capable of 136 mph (219 km/h), ran a quarter mile (~400 m) in 14.6 seconds, and accelerated from 0–60 mph (97 km/h) in 6.7 seconds.[2] It was also one of the quickest cars to 60 mph in the world being significantly faster than such performance cars of the period as the Lamborghini Miura, Aston Martin DB5 and Jaguar E Type. [3][4][5]

The upgraded Mk II, introduced in October 1963, had Armstrong Selectaride electronically adjustable rear dampers and minor styling changes. Changes on the Mk III, the final version of the series which was introduced in June 1965, included a minor reduction in overall length, deeper windscreen, equal size headlamps without chrome bezels, improved interior ventilation, wood-veneer dashboard, the addition of overriders to the bumpers, and a dual-circuit braking system. 104/2308, the blue car illustrated in this article is a mildly modified Mark Two which left the factory in May, 1965.

The factory made two convertibles: a cabriolet, and a Sedanca that opened only above the front seats. The 1963 Sedanca was featured in an article by Paul Walton in the June 2008 issue of Ruoteclassiche, Italy's leading classic car magazine.

The front of the C-V8 was styled with covered headlamps, similar to those on the Ferrari 275 GTB and Jaguar 3.8 E-type as a key element of the design. But because of concerns that they might reduce the effectiveness of the headlamps, the covers were deleted for the production cars. As a consequence the C-V8's front-end appearance was compromised and proved controversial for decades. Owners are now starting to return their cars to the original streamlined styling intended by the car's designer Eric Neale. The model was discontinued in 1966 after a total production run of 500. The fibreglass body, and the fact that the twin-tube frame was set in from the perimeter of the car, have contributed to the model's comparatively high survival rate.

The C-V8 was little used in motor sports although a factory Jensen used the services of a team of racing drivers, including Roy Salvadori to take the Commanders Cup 4-hour endurance events at Snetterton race course in MKIII C-V8 in 1965.[6] More recently a Jensen C-V8 has been one of the most awarded cars in Tarmac Rallying, with over 120 trophies including multiple wins and podiums in Targa Tasmania, Classic Adelaide and Targa High Country (Outright and Handicap) and several championship series wins.[7]

One prototype C-V8 FF was fitted with four-wheel drive and an anti-lock braking system. It was used for development of the Jensen FF which was the first non all-terrain production car equipped with four-wheel drive[8] [9]

A C-V8 Mk II was featured in the 1965 to 1966 ITC television series The Baron. Famous owners of Jensen C-V8s include actor Sean Connery of James Bond fame who owned a MKII Reg AUW 70B, the pop star Susan Maughan, the guitarist Dave Hill from the glam-rock band Slade whose car carried the registration YOB 1 and Sir Greg Knight MP, the Chair of the All Party Parliamentary Historic Vehicles Group.

A CV-8 was featured in the 2015 BBC television series London Spy driven by the character Scottie. One was also featured in series 4 episode 5 of Minder. It was driven by Jimmy Nail and hsd registration number 324 PE.

In 2015 a Jensen CV-8 Mk II started to be modified with the aim of becoming the first Jensen to set a speed record on Speed Week 2018.



  1. ^ "Used Cars on test: 1965 Jensen C-V8". Autocar. Vol. 127 (nbr 3736). 21 September 1967. pp. 42–43.
  2. ^ THE AUTOCAR 16 April 1965
  3. ^ "Lamborghini Miura", Wikipedia, 26 June 2019, retrieved 25 July 2019
  4. ^ "Aston Martin DB5", Wikipedia, 20 July 2019, retrieved 25 July 2019
  5. ^ "Jaguar E-Type", Wikipedia, 14 July 2019, retrieved 25 July 2019
  6. ^ Retrieved 25 July 2019. Missing or empty |title= (help)
  7. ^ "Targa Car For Sale - Targa Australia". Retrieved 25 July 2019.
  8. ^ Robson, Graham (2006). A to Z British cars 1945–1980. Devon, UK: Herridge. ISBN 0-9541063-9-3.[verification needed]
  9. ^ "Jensen C-V8 1962-1966". Retrieved 25 July 2019.

The Sedanca was also featured in Classics Monthly magazine, issue 146, February 2009.

In 1964 a Jensen C-V8 towed a 400, Alpine and Musketeer Caravan at over 100 mph at Duxford Aerodrome.
The Musketeer tow set the world Record at just over 102 mph !!
as stated in Caravans: The Illustrated History from 1960c By Andrew Jenkinson

This page was last edited on 28 May 2020, at 23:59
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