Alan S. Vincent
Former Technical Director of Jensen Motors, Ltd.
As the last Technical Director (succeeding Mr. Kevin Beatty) in the last years of Jensen Motors on Kelvin Way, I thought there may be times when I could contribute a little.
I was one of the two Directors who started Jensen Special Products Limited and employed all of the engineering staff of Jensen Motors at the time of the demise of the company. 62 people I recall. Mr. Ray Allsopp Production Director of Jensen Motors and myself (Alan S. Vincent) operated JSP from the old Engineering Department premises for a number of years. We had to change the name after about two years when Mr. Alan Jensen, one of the founders of the Jensen company had asked that we stop using the name Jensen. He wanted to keep it intact and available for the use in motor vehicle production, should that ever become a possibility in the future. We were happy to agree and changed our name to JSP (Engineering) Limited.
We carried on the traditions and hand crafted skills of the Jensen Motors company and designed a number of special purpose vehicles, military vehicles, offroad vehicles, 6 driven wheel Range Rovers and many others.
In 1981 I branched out from JSP and produced a new company called Jentech which is still operating. We migrated from motor vehicle design to the design development company that was JSP, into even more specialized project work, then CAD/CAM software design and so into the computer industry where we are still operating.
I have a selection of photographs of some of the later day Jensen machines including the Jensen F (not FF) and the Jensen G gullwing to be the successor or midrange vehicle between the Healey and the Interceptor.
I also took great delight in (and gave it up most reluctantly), driving the prototype Jensen Healey GT which was converted to a 2.3ltr 16 valve Vauxhall Chevette engine which was being considered as a replacement / alternative to the Lotus 2ltr engine, should there be any supply difficulties. They were difficult times for the motor industry.
It was a beautiful car and I loved it. The car was featured in many of the press photographs of the day and even a feature article in Playboy! I understood from a contact I spoke to some years ago, that it was still around. If you know of it I would be interested to hear if its still running. It was metallic blue with blue and tan trim. The distinguishing feature being the 2.3 16 valve engine. I recall it had a five speed Getrag box.
I can finish with one funny little story that may amuse you. When we submitted the GT vehicle to Management for approval of the roof line and interior trim, Mr. Qvale, Brian Spicer the Chief Development engineer, Gordon Holt the Chief Design engineer, Jo Beltcher the Experimental shop Forman and I plus one or two others viewed the car. Kjell (Mr. Qvale) wanted to try the two tiny seats in the back of the Jensen Healey GT. Kjell was not a small guy and he wove himself into the seat behind the passengers seat. On discovering there was not only insufficient head room for him (There was NO HEAD ROOM at all for a man of 6 feet plus), with his nose pressed against the headling, head bent back at 90 degrees, he announced, mumbling into the headling and a puce red face with exertion; It's really quite comfortable when you get into it! Always a salesman that Kjell.
I hope this is of interest.
Alan S. Vincent