The History of the forming of the JOC

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mikebyrne
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The History of the forming of the JOC

Post by mikebyrne »

The formation of the Jensen Owners' Club.

I thought that it was high time that I enlightened current members of how the Jensen Owners' Club came into being.
Most of the early members have now left the club, or are now in that great breakers yard in the sky. !!
In or around 1971 I had bought a 541 in a sorry state that needed total restoration. Many parts were missing and I had no idea where I would buy them, either new or second hand.
An advert popped up one week in Exchange and Mart, advertising the sale of second hand 541 parts, so I promptly phoned the phone number included in the advert and made arrangements to pay a visit to see what was available.
The seller was Len Jackson, who lived in St. Margarets, near Ware, very close to the railway level crossing. It turned out to be a gold mine in the way of spare parts for my car and I returned home with all sorts of bits and pieces such as seat runners, door trim parts and numerous other parts, all at very reasonable prices.
Len had bought a spare 541 as he had been involved in a freak accident near the Dartford tunnel in his own 541 car. A car going in the opposite direction to Len had cut him so close, that it caught one of the wire wheel spinners and threw Len into a violent turn that ended up with Len in a fence overlooking a quarry.
(In those days there was no dual carriageway in that area.)
Len got the car back to his place, bought the other car and then transferred all the good parts to the new chassis from his old car, thus having a lot of left-over bits in the process.
My friendship with Len continued and I was constantly driving back and forth to Ware, gathering parts each time for my 541 restoration, which incidentally took four years.
During these visits, I met several other 541/R and S owners and in conversation we all decided, due to the lack of spares and information on our cars, we should form a club and in that way we could buy spares in bulk and get much better service and prices from the manufacturers or suppliers.
Within a few weeks we had the basis of a club and the rule book was "borrowed" from another club. This all happened in the early 1970's.
The club in the early days was formed just for the 541 series and earlier cars, mainly as Jensen Motors had no parts and not much interest in the early cars and at the time were concentrating on the Interceptor and Jensen Healey. The main parts dealer was Folletts in London, but their 541 new stock was very limited.
As the club grew, we were surprised that several CV8 owners and a few Interceptor owners joined us and within a year or so we had over 500 members.
Early Jensen Enthusiast
aka The Ozard of Wix.
Has owned:
Jensen PWA 10 2538 LGX 774 1950
Jensen 541 PWX 164 chassis no. 22/5206
541 alloy bodied prototype.
several other 541's
Indian 101Scout
JOC member number 2
Len Jackson was number 1
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shaun
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Re: The History of the forming of the JOC

Post by shaun »

Thanks for that Mike.
As you will know, next year marks the 50th anniversary of the creation of the JOC.

Various events are being developed around the country and there will no doubt be a suitable gathering where my ambition would be to ideally have a representative of every surviving model produced by Jensen.

Equally, the history of the club needs to be recorded and your posting here may well be the start of it.
Shaun Winfield
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Keith
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Re: The History of the forming of the JOC

Post by Keith »

shaun wrote:Thanks for that Mike.
As you will know, next year marks the 50th anniversary of the creation of the JOC.
You'll have to get a new badge designed!

:shock:
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VFK44
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Re: The History of the forming of the JOC

Post by VFK44 »

Thanks Mike, a wonderful insight!
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JamesE
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Re: The History of the forming of the JOC

Post by JamesE »

Funnily enough, I have just received my file from Robeys thanks to Kieron and it had this letter in it and some follow up chat about forming a club between my Interceptor's first owner (Mr Bunker), the factory and Folletts.
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Martin R
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Re: The History of the forming of the JOC

Post by Martin R »

Nice to hear the background Mike.
Interestingly, one of the early members, I think he was member number 37, John Shannon, also a 541 owner, now lives less than 2 miles away from me.
He sold his 541 due to a growing family and the need for something with more space and four doors.
He still fondly remembers the 541 which he bought, having seriously considered an Aston Martin DB2/4, but was persuaded to look at a 541 by a friend of his.
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Grant
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Re: The History of the forming of the JOC

Post by Grant »

What a lovely story Mike.. I had no idea or hadn't even noticed you were number 2.. but I have now.. well done and many thanks to your goodself, Len and the othersImage
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sespie
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Re: The History of the forming of the JOC

Post by sespie »

"I am not a number. I am a free man"
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RockyUSA
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Re: The History of the forming of the JOC

Post by RockyUSA »

Very interesting historical stuff.

JamesE's letter is the coolest!

Rocky
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colin7673
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Re: The History of the forming of the JOC

Post by colin7673 »

JamesE wrote:Funnily enough, I have just received my file from Robeys thanks to Kieron and it had this letter in it and some follow up chat about forming a club between my Interceptor's first owner (Mr Bunker), the factory and Folletts.
I like the idea of 'Dinner at the Savoy'
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witkowski
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Re: The History of the forming of the JOC

Post by witkowski »

colin7673 wrote:
JamesE wrote:Funnily enough, I have just received my file from Robeys thanks to Kieron and it had this letter in it and some follow up chat about forming a club between my Interceptor's first owner (Mr Bunker), the factory and Folletts.
I like the idea of 'Dinner at the Savoy'
Where else? Perhaps Claridges. I imagine that dinner was expected to be at Jensen's expense.
mikebyrne
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Re: The History of the forming of the JOC

Post by mikebyrne »

Strange that it all started with Len's 541 accident.
I dug out the first club magazine,(1st.August 1972), a photocopied 17 stapled page affair and the first five members in club order were Len Jackson, myself, Peter Wallis, Malcolm Pleasants and Jonathon Scholes. In magazine no. 3, the committee was listed as Lord Strathcarron . President. J.R. Buckley. Vice President. A.Anderson Wright. Chairman.
Len Jackson . General Secretary. Tony Hunt. Assistant General Secretary. Brian Foster. Treasurer. Mike Byrne. Registrar. Malcolm Pleasants. Editor.
At that time, there were just over 100 members.
By the third magazine there were over 200 members. Among them , the following cars were owned. Pre war 2. PW 1. Early Interceptors 6.
541 49. 541R 37. 541S 22. CV8 40. Interceptor 11. FF 4. Jensen Healey 1.
Mike
Early Jensen Enthusiast
aka The Ozard of Wix.
Has owned:
Jensen PWA 10 2538 LGX 774 1950
Jensen 541 PWX 164 chassis no. 22/5206
541 alloy bodied prototype.
several other 541's
Indian 101Scout
JOC member number 2
Len Jackson was number 1
Terry Guy
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Re: The History of the forming of the JOC

Post by Terry Guy »

Well done Mike,
Of all the years I've known you, swapped emails (letters in the old days), telecons and face to face meets I didn't know the story although of course I knew that you were a founder.
I suppose I should have asked.
Anyway it's a good job you did get the JOC up and running otherwise I probably wouldn't have made such a great friend nor would I have had my second and 3rd 541's both of which you found for me.
Keep on in there Mike.
Terry Guy
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