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Jensen Tourer 1939

Broadcast dates : 6th March 2005
10th March 2005

This 1939 Jensen Tourer is one of four surviving examples in the world, and the only one running in its complete and original form.

It epitomizes the glamour of the 1930s era, the Gatsby days, and indeed the most glamorous actor of this time, Clark Gable, was a great Jensen fan.

This aluminium bodied Tourer with its distinctive V-shaped grille and massive Lucas headlamps, was one of Jensenís finest achievements.

The carís owner, Jenny Hart of Maaitjiesfontein, explains its presence in South Africa.

Jennyís father, Major John Buist, ex British Army, settled in South Africa in the late 1950s, and the car has been here ever since.

Until recently its existence was largely unknown, and itís only in the past few years that Jenny and her husband Lawrence have aired the Jensen at a few select classic car events.

A swashbuckling feature of the car was the fitment of twin aero-screens for the rear seat passengers.

The car was the subject of an extensive restoration a few years back but itís absolutely original, down to the 65-year-old leather seat upholstery.

At sixteen-foot-six-inches, or just over five metres in length, the Jensen has massive presence on the road today. Yet at one-thousand seven-hundred and ninety-five kilograms, it was not that heavy.

The straight-eight engine was advanced for its time. Although badged as a Jensen, it was built by Nash, and features overhead valves and twin spark-plugs per cylinder.

Running a single, dual-choke Stromberg carburetor, it produces a 120 horsepower, or 90 kiloWatts. This was a genuine 100 miles-per-hour car in 1939.

Other features of the very smooth engine include a nine-bearing crankshaft, and a rev limit of around four-thousand rpm.

Enthusiasts from all over the world have shown interest in this beautiful aluminum-bodied car with a proud British heritage. An outstanding car from one of the most stylish eras in motoring history.

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