What’s in Alexander’s Barn?

Alexander's Barn

Alexander A has quite the interesting finds parked in his garage right now and I have to say, his barn is worth envying! Not only does he have two great finds hiding in there, he also has all kinds of collectables stashed in there. It looks to be a dream come true for any nostalgia buff or gear head! Since he just finished putting together his exceptionally rare Jensen CV8, he thought he better share it and his garage with us. I will let him tell you about his Jensen in his own words below.

Jensen CV8 in pieces

My 1965 Jensen CV8 MK III with manual transmission is one of only two made! I remember first seeing the car under a tarp 14 years ago at my friend’s house. I asked what was underneath and he simply told me, “a very special car”. That was the last time I saw it until this past year. My friend said he had disassembled the car and had done quite a bit of work to it, but lost interest and owed money to the body shop. Parts had been stored in several buildings around town. It’s fate looked pretty bleak. I decided to inquire about the car and negotiated a purchase price, paid the bill at the shop… And that was when the fun began!

Finn McMissile Jensen

I dug out every last part from sheds, boxes, barns and basements over the duration of this year. I then put her back together! The result now is my running and driving CV8. She is actually attending her first fun run rally this weekend! Here are some pics of how I found her, and how she looks now… My kids enjoy the Finn McMissile look a lot!

Alexander's Barn in Black & White

It is always great to see what you guys have stashed in your barns and garages! I just wish my garage looked as great as Alex’s. Seeing his makes me want to get all the junk and clutter cleared out. Although I don’t think there are any trinkets or collectables that can make mine look as great as his, simply because I don’t have any car’s nearly as beautiful as his! Oh I almost forgot, can you guys identify his other car? The make is pretty easy, so let’s make it more of a challenge and get more specific! So what model and year is it? Special thanks to Alex for sharing his garage with us!

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Comments

  1. Glen

    What a find……..a job well done!!! Thanks for sharing.

  2. Don Sicura

    One word, Beautiful! My hat’s off to you Alex. great job. As for the other car, might that be a 49 MG TD?

  3. olivier cerf

    Awesome great job. I have the 541 Jensen prototype when you have a minute please call me at 727 2240043 to talk more about your car.

    Olivier Cerf

  4. Doug M. (West Coast) Member

    @Don Sicura, I don’t know how long you have been posting on BF, but I had not noticed your posts until I read your great (sad) story of the red corvette journey. And then, after going through all that, you still have the stamina to show interest in another early Vette with no pictures of the frame (the gold 63 )… It is really nice to have positive readers who enjoy the hobby of chasing these old cars, and who are not so negative or afraid of taking a risk that it overshadows every comment they make. After all, the world is full of people who drive Honda’s and Toyota’s because it is the logical thing to do and carries little risk… I’m just glad we have guys like you and like Alex who can take on a serious project and see it through to completion -and be able to share it with the rest of us Barn Find readers!

    • Don Sicura

      Thanks Doug, I am a relatively new subscriber to the list, maybe a year or so. I have posted the occasional comment here & there, but my love for the Corvette is what really brings out the poster in me, it’s probably a flaw in my personality or maybe my parents didn’t spoil me in the proper manner that makes me this way. But I have to confess that I love the automobile, having grown up during the 50’s & 60’s (I was born in 47) & having a father that was an auto mechanic, my interest in cars was pretty much genetic AND environmental, so long as there is a breath in this body, I’ll be there to enjoy every minute of it (even when I smash a finger or give myself a 3rd degree burn, in spite of my reaction & colorful words when feeling the pain). Somehow this web page has brought out a part of me that makes me want to be a part of the entire “Barn Find” scene. I just cannot wait to see what is hiding in someone else’s garage or basement and the discovery of something very rare & unseen for many years gives me a thrill that I’m unable to put a description on, but I do know that I like the feeling.

  5. Hugo Breese

    my guess is a 1954/55 MG TF

  6. Dolphin Member

    Alexander, your Jensen has a fibreglas body and a big Chrysler V8, correct? I think the engines were the 383, and most had the Chrysler Torqueflite automatic, but yours has a manual transmission. Is that what makes it one of two? I think there are some CV8s in Canada, and with the Alberta plate yours appears to be one of them.

    IIRC from the road tests back in the day these were among the fastest cars in Britain, and with the big Chrysler, the car with the biggest engine. That must have made the CV8 stand out at the petrol stations back then. Another thing that must have made them stand out is the headlight treatment, which looks like an adaptation of the 1958-on US quad light setup.

    The pair that you have in your garage certainly shows a big contrast for only little more than a decade between them. Then again, a ’61 E-Type would show an even greater contrast with fewer years between it and the TD. That’s one of the things that made Britain stand out in the automotive world—both large and small production, both vintage and modern designs, coexisted on the same island. It’s good to see someone preserving a few of those special Brits.

  7. Alex

    Thanks for your comments :) Dolphin, you are right! My car has a 383 with Edelbrock high rise intake and holley 4 barrel carb, with performance cams… It sounds like a Shelby cobra :)
    I just finished a fun run rally in it today and drove great :) I don’t think anyone expected the rumble she made when I started it. And yes the majority were automatic, with only mine and another being made as a mk3 manual transmission, you can get up to near highway speed in second, 3rd is powerful with loads of pedal at 80 mph and 4th… Well I haven’t explored fully where 4th will take me… My son was my navigator so we took it easy, but a great day :)

    • Dolphin Member

      Hah! A 1965 British musclecar in the good ol’ American tradition of big V8 and 4-speed. You’ve got to love that.

      If you ever come out to The Island for the Ladysmith Brits on the Beach show, or one of the British car shows at Beacon Hill Park in Victoria please let me know. Jesse can forward an email through BF. I’d love to hear that rumble.

    • Andy

      Hi Alex!

      What a great way to start out the day seeing a fully restored CV8! I was just about to start pulling apart my 64 MKII CV8. It is not a manual tranny (can’t imagine how hard your car pulls, must be amazing!) But it still has its original 383! From what I read online, they only made one brown one, and being an originality nut, I guess I’ll stick with it (lucky me /s). I got the engine running earlier, but have since decide that the ol’ girl needs the full treatment. I would love to correspond with you about your restoration, if you have time. I’m sure it will take me at least a few years, but seeing one of those CV8’s all done and screaming around the track makes the perpetually empty wallet, skinned knuckles and nightmares about rust all worthwhile. :)

      Tamrac Rally
      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qt51sds9EGc

      She gets up on three wheels going around that first turn!

      Does yours sound similar to this?

      • Alex

        I left a message for you at your home number, would be happy to talk jensen with you :)

      • Dolphin Member

        Andy, Terrific video of the CV8 in the Tamrac rally. Really enjoyed it….thanks for posting. I really like it when a 4-seat sedan can perform like that, maybe keeping up…or more… with the smaller, sportier competitors. Shows that a CV8 can be plenty sporty when it wants to.

        Very brave driver, navigator, and in some places, spectators, what with minimal-to-no Armco separating the car from all those trees, rocks, and drop-offs.

      • Andy

        Alex, please email me. I Notified the site of where I can be reached. Excited to talk to you. I have many questions and many pics to share. :)

        Dolphin, no problem. Its the video I watch to keep my spirits up when I think about how much money it will cost that I don’t have. ;) But if Alex can at least do a partial DIY, maybe I can too. I’ll have to sell a few other projects off, but I think this is the one to skin knuckles over. ;)) If you are curious, I can share pictures of the MKII, or at least the bits of her that haven’t returned to the earth. (She’s not ALL fiberglas, you know!)

  8. jim s

    great work on the Jensen, i too would love to hear it run. what is the story on the mg with the catch pan under the motor? great garage, love the items on the wall. thanks for sharing

  9. 53MGTD

    Looks like a 1953 MGTD as I think I can see the wiper motor is in the center of the wind screen. TD’s were made from 1950 – 1953. If I could see the tail lights and they are round then I would know for sure. In 1949 it would have been a TC. Nice barn.

  10. Greg M

    I am not only impressed with the vehicle but also the short time you took to get it back on the road – congrats – hope you don’t mind, but I especially appreciate your Jensen’s back end :-) Greg

  11. Rik Holeman

    50-53 mgtd

  12. Chuck Foster Chuck F

    Barn? I don’t see a barn, it looks like a small museum!

  13. ConservativesDefeated

    @ Alex:

    Wow. Just Wow.

    Not to be overly gauche and if you don’t mind, in American dollars , approximately, what did it take you not considering the purchase price and body shop payoff, to bring this amazing work of art to the conditon we see today?

    Thanks for posting this . An absolutely sublime auto. And the MG aint bad either!

    • Alex

      More then I should’ve maybe ;) mostly my own time, I have a patient wife.

  14. Alex

    The Other car is a 1952 MGTD, one repainted in 1972. And 35k original miles :) both cars have full documentation and receipts to new, with original US and current Canadian Titles. The MG was a California car until about 2000, the jensen came to San Fransico from England in 1970, and was brought up com Oregon around the same time 1999. I still have the oregon title and plates for the Jensen. The drip pan is under the MG for good reason… It’s british :)
    No major leaks, but I value my freshly paints floors :) I’ll attach the history of the jensen in another post.

  15. Alex

    If any of you are fans of Jensen, or of very rare European cars, you may be familiar with this car.
    This is one of two factory built Jensen CV8 mk3’s
    With a manual transmission, 113/2336. The other being the Snetterton cup race car.

    A little bit of history on 113/2336
    This vehicle was Delivered January 11. 1966 (built in 1965) to mr HG Plumbly Esq. managing director of Ballidon Quarries in Derbyshire. Registration FAJ 880D. Mr Plumbly was most likely not prepared for the brute force powerhouse he had ordered, and complained of its heavy clutch, and inability to shift properly as a result (once having broken the shifter clean off!) there is a tale of woe during his ownership, and ultimately was viewed as an embarrassment for Jensen themselves. And although it was repaired, it was taken back into Jensen.

    Around 1969 The car was resold, this time to an American businessman, Mr. Lawrence W Feldman, chairman of the board for Western merchandising mart in San Francisco California, a major property owner in the San Francisco Bay Area. I’ve been told At that time Mr Feldman owned, or operated a ski resort in Switzerland and used the car in Switzerland for several years before shipping it to the USA as a Christmas present for himself December 1971

    Early 1980’s, after years of regular use in the Bay Area, and being a daily driver for Mr. Feldman the car was sold to Mr. Larry Davis, regional manager for a flooring and carpeting firm who leased space from mr. Feldman. Larry used the car regularly and the car was even featured in the gentlemens express magazine (I have a copy) around 1987 the car had been re-sprayed (it’s first paint job since new) still oyster silver metallic, new upholstery and chrome bumpers. All around looked fantastic and was a daily driver for Mr Davis…who I have been in touch with :) he let me know he only sold the car to make way for his collection of Allard race cars at the time and missed the Jensen’s smooth ride and performance and would regularly take the car to Monterey with his wife. He never had any challenges, with the car, and was reliable transport for him.

    The car was sold to a Dr. Stephen Knee, and was moved from California to Oregon. I don’t know much of Dr. knee’s ownership, but can say it appears he wanted a hot rod. The engine had been rebuilt with performance cams, high rise Edelbrock intake, and holly 4 barrel carb. During his ownership the car was painted red, and unfortunately Dr. knee passed away around 2000, just after the rebuild leaving the car neglected in a shop yard until the estate sold the car to John McEwen from Canada, it was during the 1990’s that it appears the car suffered neglect.

    I have known John for many years, he is a retired school teacher and long time car aficionado. I met John through a classic motorcycle show when I was much younger :) I also remember seeing this car at his house just after he bought it, he was very excited and immediately started work on it. John had the suspension repaired, and was able to register and insuring the car before he opted to completely strip the car for a rebuild. At this time John took the car down to a rolling shell (except engine which still ran strong) the body and chassis were taken to a professional metal restoration specialist John Crawley. All rust was removed, chassis tubes, floor boards etc. Were painstakingly recreated using the originals as templates. The leather seats were re-upholstered, as was centre console. Wood dash was re veneered in walnut, steering wheel professionally refinished, new brakes all around. Bumpers re-chromed. New rubber seals purchased, many new parts sourced and quite a bit of leg work on Johns part to get the right pieces put together. This is how the car sat for over a decade, disassembled but with lots of work already done. And this is when I purchased the car.

    I too have a life long passion for old cars, aside from the Jensen, having owned e-type jags, Mercedes 190sl’s and a 1967 Porsche 911s. I currently have a 1952 MGTD which I have had for several years now. Needless to say the Jensen is a much different car to drive then my TD :) I have copies of nearly every document for this vehicle from its early years of ownership, including factory invoices, delivery sheets etc the originals are held by the Jensen owners club.

    Now about the car.
    Most of the hard work was done prior to my ownership, except for final body, paint and assembly. I built the car to be as original as possible, while retaining bits from every previous owners journey with the car. I kept the colour factory oyster silver metallic, and is a current aston Martin colour as well. So was easy to match. The interior is largely original, with original door panels, carpet and headliner. The front seats are nicely redone in red leather. The dash of course having been done during John’s ownership.
    The body and paint are nice driver quality, trim was removed prior to paint so no overspray.

    The engine runs great and is ferocious! One of the meanest sounding 383’s you will likely hear. Probably one of the most surprising features about the car is the engine… Nobody suspects what power is lurking under the hood :) I have the factory air cleaner which is not installed due to the larger carb installed and the high rise manifold that Dr. Knee installed raises the carb too high to the hood for a proper install. Which is why I have the low profile Edelbrock air cleaner installed. It does a good job of allowing proper air into the engine.

    I have flushed the brakes, and had them checked. New exhaust, split into dual as original. Rebuilt single field alternator, new belts and hoses, new rubber in trunk and door jams. New windscreen rubber front and back. New wiper blades, wiring gone over by British car specialist, dash bulbs fitted. More modern brake booster for reliability was added. Front plate is correct original UK registration tag, bumpers are rust free and shiny.

    I just finished my first rally with my son as navigator, and she drove great. Very smooth with excellent disc brakes, pulls very hard, easy in first otherwise you may sideways. A fibreglass muscle car with the styling and interior similar to an aston Martin or jag. I really enjoy this car. Any questions just ask :)

  16. Brian

    Beautifully decorated garage with two fantastic cars! Congrads to their owner, a job well done!

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