The original 541 Prototype - 60 years on

60 years on - the first 541
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VFK44
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The original 541 Prototype - 60 years on

Post by VFK44 »

This car featured as Car of the Month way back in 2006, but only in black and white contemporary pictures. It was prepared for the October 1953 London Motor Show, with a handmade body of aluminium. [The following year saw the first glass-fibre 541 at the Motor Show, hence the 60th birthday celebrations this year.]

However, after a hard life and some substantial damage to the front in an accident, the car found its way to Mike Byrne who commenced chassis repairs. Soon, a friend called Russ Grief bought it off him and proceeded to completely restore it. In the process, it was found that most panels were slightly different sized from the production version. The windscreen needed to be specially shaped and the metal grille surround was fabricated from the last genuine one held in stock, which was cut and moulded to shape and rechromed. Notice that the signature rear quarter indicators are omitted, and there are air intakes under the headlights.

The car then made it onto the cover of the Jan 1994 Classic Cars magazine.

Image

A few years ago it was sold at auction and made its way over to Florida where it is on display in a museum. In this view, you can see that there is no recessed mounting for the numberplate, the boot hinges from the top like an 'R' but with hidden hinges and the interior has very neat vertical pleats on the door caps.

Image

Museum site: http://www.tbauto.org/cars/jensen.htm
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AH1951
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Re: The original 541 Prototype - 60 years on

Post by AH1951 »

Some more pics & info here:
http://classiccars.brightwells.com/view ... php?id=755" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;
http://www.joc.org.uk/phpBB2/viewtopic.php?f=32&t=597" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;
There's something odd about that photo - the car is in such sharp focus compared to its surroundings.
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Lacy
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Re: The original 541 Prototype - 60 years on

Post by Lacy »

There is a technique called 'tilt shift' photography which fools the eye into thinking it's looking at a small thing close up rather than a big thing relatively far away. It involves blurring everything in the foreground AND background which also has the effect of concentrating the eye on the subject....I reckon that's what's going on here...
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AH1951
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Re: The original 541 Prototype - 60 years on

Post by AH1951 »

Thank you. It does look like a model car!
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VFK44
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Re: The original 541 Prototype - 60 years on

Post by VFK44 »

Yes, I blurred out all the confusing background images, and the foreground. You can see I missed a bit of the floor between the boot and the rear bumper!
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AH1951
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Re: The original 541 Prototype - 60 years on

Post by AH1951 »

I hadn't noticed that, but it stands out at me now that you've mentioned it.
The car looks like it's floating in the air.
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Dion
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Re: The original 541 Prototype - 60 years on

Post by Dion »

I am not a fan of the blurring. It seems the whole photo is constructed. Maybe it would work with less blurring, ie. just a tiny bit vagueness? If that makes sense :D
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AH1951
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Re: The original 541 Prototype - 60 years on

Post by AH1951 »

These Jensens were all photographed in the snow.
http://www.studio434.co.uk/Jensen-Collection.html" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;
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Re: The original 541 Prototype - 60 years on

Post by VFK44 »

That's called an Infinity cove and is a room about 25 feet square with carefully curved walls that don't throw shadows if filmed from the right point. Here's how it works in 2D - the Studio 434 one is 3D.
Image
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