A rare Jensen C-V8 will ‘command’ attention on the Heritage Classic Car Insurance stand at the forthcoming Restoration & Classic Car Show, held at Birmingham’s NEC on 28/29 March.
Built in early 1965, this CV-8 Mk3 manual-drive experimental model was entered into the Commander’s Cup 24-hour race at Snetterton where British racing legend Roy Salvadori took the car to victory.
Despite its winning history, the car was believed to have been scrapped when it was purchased by the current owner and long time Jensen enthusiast Chris Walton. “When I saw the chassis number EXP 109, I knew it was something special,” says Chris. “So I contacted the Jensen Parts & Service office who were sure the car was disposed of many years ago. I checked the parts I needed were still available and ordered them straight away to start the much-needed restoration.
“From my research it seems the car was abandoned in a corner of the factory before eventually being sold to an employee. I discovered it in a garage in the Wirral covered in dust with the bonnet lid melted where a light bulb had sat on it.”
When Chris brought the car he had no idea of it’s racing pedigree, and with help from the Jensen Owners Club, he received pictures of the car featured in Jensen’s advertising as well as pictures from Salvadori’s win.
Helped by a friend, Chris rebuilt the engine and completely restored the car to an extremely high standard. It is now shown at Jensen Owners Club events in the UK and Europe and will appear on the Heritage Classic Car Insurance stand at the spring event at the NEC alongside Chris’ other classic – an equally rare pink Jaguar E-Type.
Despite being a Jensen fan through and through, Chris bought the E-Type as he had strong links to its history, having persuaded his boss to buy the car when it was just two-years-old in 1976.
“The Jaguar was owned by a customer of the Radio and TV shop I managed and as soon as I saw it I knew my boss Mavis Blake would love it,” explains Chris. “So I got him to bring it to the shop for her to ‘stumble upon it’ parked outside. She loved it and had me take it to the AA Test Centre to make sure it was mechanically sound before she took ownership.
From then on, I would take the car for its services and MoTs, always turning heads because of the car’s unusual pink colour.”
Jaguar created a limited run of cars in the distinctive ‘heather pink’, with only a few cars believed to be available in the UK as many were exported to America. Sadly Mavis passed away in 2009 and her husband, who wasn’t a fan of the car decided to sell it.
Chris adds: “There was no way I could let anyone else have that car when my name was on all the invoices and receipts so I bought it straight away.”
Both cars are insured with Heritage so when it came to finding cars for their stand, Managing Partner Mark Wilkinson invited Chris to bring these rarities along. Mark said: “Both cars have incredible stories that showcase how people connect to classic cars be it as a fan of a marque or on an emotional level. I’m thrilled to have them on our stand and I’m sure visitors will feel the same.
As well as its stand, Heritage has also worked with the NEC show organisers to create the Heritage Insurance Barn Find display, the biggest gathering of barn find cars in the UK.