Fiberglass Thoroughbred: 1965 Jensen CV8

A Jensen CV8 is an acquired design. By that I mean that most folks initial impression is something along the lines of “what were they thinking? They had a clean sheet of paper and produced that?” Most folks probably continue feeling that way, but I, as a lover of eclectic British cars have grown to really appreciate this car and its polarizing styling. This particular 1965 example of British fiberglass expression is located in McKinney, Texas and is listed for sale here on eBay, where bidding is just over $5,000 as I write, but of course that hasn’t been enough to meet the reserve.

Unusually, this CV8 is left hand drive; according to the seller it is one of only ten CV8’s delivered in that configuration. Being a fiberglass body, there’s no rust in the panels of course, but there’s certainly some work to be done. You can view them much closer in this folder of 100 pictures posted by the seller, which will give you plenty of views of stress cracks, gouges and the like.

Again, the styling is an acquired taste!

While the interior is pretty shredded, everything still seems to be there. Yes, a lot of work, but it can be done. This was a hand-made car in the first place. The car has been in dry Texas warehouse storage for many years.

The steel underside appears surprisingly sound! Now I’m really interested. I wish I could do something about it. Maybe you can? The only things the car is missing are the headlights, rear bumper and rear windows. Now those last two aren’t trivial unless they are flat, but I could live with Lexan or Plexiglas for a while until I could either find them or have replacements made. And they look flat to me, which would be great!

Before you ask, it runs on a bottle! This is a 383 Chrysler V8, and that, coupled with the late specification and left hand drive, makes this literally one of two cars built with this mechanical specification and the only one that was originally off white with powder blue trim. I’m guessing something like the famous Ford color Wimbledon White. So would you give this car a chance? I know I would! Let us know if you are the winning bidder!

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Comments

  1. grant

    I’ve never seen one of these, but as someone who finds the Interceptor downright attractive, I love it. That accent line across the rear is just awesome.

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  2. Dolphin Dolphin Staff

    A left hand drive CV8 is very rare indeed. Too bad this one needs so much work….and $$$. These are so scarce and quirky-British that it would be a shame to let it decay any further.

    The Jensen Interceptor was called the ‘Gentleman’s Express’. I’m not sure what they called the CV8, but I like this kind of quirky. You wouldn’t get 1 person in a hundred who would know what it is or where it came from.

    To see what a CV8 can look like in good nick, this short video shows one—a RHD version from the Old Country.
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=B8G7g86cM5Y

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    • Jamie Jamie Staff

      That video is not helping me avoid looking at this car…thanks a lot, Dolphin!

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  3. Alexander Archbold

    You guys featured my cv8 a couple years ago, it was a lot of work under the fibreglass to repair, but very fast and light. This will not be a cheap build. Take it from someone who owned one 🙂

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  4. ClassicCarFan

    Yes, the styling on the front is quite “distinctive” but I think I’d say I’m on the “like it” side. In this day and age where we often complain that you can hardly tell most family cars from on another in the parking lot….this has a definite design identity.

    These are relatively quick cars (certainly for their era) with limited weight and a torquey Mopar V8. The “Anglo-American 1960s GT cars” with British bodies and Detroit V-8 power have always been a favorite genre of mine…thinking Gordon Keeble, Jensen Interceptor, Bristol etc…

    I wouldn’t mind owning one of these, but this one would be far too much work and cost for me. As the article says, the dash does look pretty complete so that would be relatively easy to refurbish and replicate the veneer panel. But a complete interior re-trim would be needed and I’d guess there isn’t a lot of availability of trim parts off the shelf? Though I have read that there is a pretty active Jensen owner’s club? so help and parts sourcing is probably out there….

    and the main worry with any limited production car like this, is which of the unique parts are missing? There are specialist fabrication companies out there who can often create rare unobtainable parts from scratch but that is a costly process and you really need at least a pattern to work from? (I guess that is the sort of thing the owner’s club can help with, lend you a part to copy, or at least provide photos and dimensions? )

    Yes, this will be a fun and interesting project for someone – just someone with more time, patience and money than me maybe.

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  5. wynkin

    First genuine 150mph car. My Uncle had three.

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  6. Capt Doug

    If you want to hear what it really sounds like – these are fast cars 0-60 in 6.6 secs

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=guQkZZtMVHU

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    • John Vreeland

      Nice video nice growl I would love one

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  7. Coventrycat

    There are some British cars – and I love them all – that look like there should be a fish hook in the grille. This is one of them.

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  8. Larry B.

    I finally found the Autocar comment from ’62 – “the best car in the world, cleverly disguised as the ugliest”. In defense of the designer, he had intended for the headlights to have a form fitting plexiglass cover, but Richard Jensen vetoed it at the last minute, concerned about light transmission.

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  9. John Salgueiro

    We at Klear Kustoms are restoring a 1964 Jensen LHD conversion. We have pictures of our progress on photobucket.com

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  10. LAWRENCE FEARS

    Maybe stored in a warehouse in Texas for years – but – it sat outside in the Texas sun for years ! Like…..

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  11. Jubjub

    Cool. Shame they let this happen. One good thing, small batch Brits do a lot of parts bin shopping.

    Doesn’t the chassis on these contain oil or some vital fluid? Seems I read that once.

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  12. Boris

    I would like to have a car like that as it has so many nice lines. Unfortunately not being a purist it would under go some cosmetic changes but would be a definite keeper.

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