The Jensen C-V8 is a four-seat grand tourer produced between 1962 and 1966. The car, designed by Eric Neale, has fibreglass bodywork and very notable sloping headlamps, and really a development of the earlier 541, but its main attraction was its immense power. Under the bonnet lay a vast Chrysler V8, until 1964, a 5916cc beast, and thereafter a 6276cc engine that pushed out 335bhp.
Performance is as can be expected: a top speed of 130mph for the Mk I was upped to an eye-watering 140mph for the Mk II onwards, which also gained Armstrong Selectaride adjustable suspension. The Mk III in July 1965 brought dual-circuit brakes and various small amendments.
The body construction means that chassis corrosion can be complex and expensive to rectify. Inner sills and chassis outriggers should be checked carefully. Engines and gearboxes are very strong but check oil pressure is around the 50psi mark when on the road otherwise attention may be required. Ageing of the bodywork is normal, but extensive cracking or crazing can be expensive to rectify. Body-specific parts may also be hard to find.
Today, the Jensen CV-8 is a rare and stylish British grand tourer. Only 500 were made, and with natural wastage significantly fewer are now on the road. Period alternative grand tourers of the day include the Aston Martin DB6, the Gordon Keeble GK1, and the Alfa Romeo 2600 Sprint.