He bought this car in 2012 when it seems to have been stored in dry conditions for about 20 years. Once in Chris' hands, the car was soon a bare shell until all parts had been checked, replaced when necessary, repaired where possible and eventually re-assembled in a correct fashion while the engine was completely rebuilt and tuned. A new, Maserati-sourced, leather interior is enhanced by a non-standard wood dash. The Glass fibre body on a tubular steel chassis is in excellent condition.
- This particular car was manufactured in 1958 to the new Deluxe specification which included all the optional extras as standard. This featured the latest Dunlop calliper disc brakes, as raced by Jaguars at Le Mans, on all wheels; the first British saloon car to be so equipped.
- It uses an Austin 3993 cc, 6 cylinder engine with 4-speed manual gearbox with Laycock de Normanville overdrive. It sports 3 SU carburettors and twin s/s exhausts. The engine gives about 135 bhp at 3800 rpm plus oodles of torque and about 120mph.
- The 541 has Independent front suspension with coil springs and wishbones and a Live rear axle with semi-elliptical leaf springs and Jaguar wire wheels.
- 53 known examples of the 541 Deluxe model were manufactured between 1957 and 1959 out of a total of 226 541’s built.
Below are some of the highlights of the restoration process in Chris' hands.
The pictures that follow have captions that tell the story.
More pictures to follow shortly.