1950 Jensen PW – Auction Car of the Week

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Dale Vinten

Pretty wonderful? Perfectly wafty? Particularly world-class? Praise worthy? You could use any one of these colloquial combos to accurately describe the Jensen PW but the actual meaning behind the initialled name is far more pragmatic. This was the first car that Jensen Motors produced following the end of World War Two and so the sensible chaps at the West Bromwich factory decided that because the country was now ‘post-war’ they should label their new car to reflect the times. It may not be as catchy or evocative as the later Interceptor for which the British car maker is most famous, but you can’t fault the logic.

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But regardless of its rather mundane moniker this is quite the car. Despite having a multi-year production run that spanned the late ’40s and early ’50s less than twenty PW saloons were ever made, making it an incredibly rare, and therefore elusive beast and so when one comes up for sale we stand up and take notice, as should any classic car enthusiast or collector for that matter.

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Such low numbers weren’t for want of trying, however, or indeed demand, but post-war Britain was a time of understandable austerity and limited materials for the manufacturing industries, particularly the automotive sector. Everything had gone towards supporting the war effort, making it difficult to then begin producing cars in any real quantity. But that’s not to say quality had to suffer, far from it. Hand-built by the same craftsmen and engineers who had previously produced the likes of the S-Type, the PW was not only well put together but it was also rather innovative for the time.

Initially featuring a 4-litre straight-eight engine that was later changed to a similarly displaced but smoother in line six the PW featured all-round coil spring suspension and possessed an inherent ability to cruise at surprisingly high speed with 70mph being easily achievable.

Arguably one of the best to ever roll out of the Jensen factory the PW today represents a unique opportunity to own an especially rare but eminently usable slice of British automotive history. And when we say rare, we really do mean rare. Of the 18 examples built by Jensen only four are believed to survive. Not only that but we have it on good authority that this particular 1950 PW is likely the only of those four to be fully roadworthy and road legal. Make no mistake ladies and gentlemen, this is a very special car.

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If all of this exclusivity wasn’t enough the car itself is in remarkable condition to boot. This Jensen has been meticulously maintained and perfectly preserved and comes complete with a comprehensive history file that includes the original build documentation from the factory. Having been treated to a full mechanical rebuild utilising its original components the car is now spot on with regards to the oily bits but its wonderful originality hasn’t been forsaken as a result. Yes, some necessary updates have been made – an electronic distributor and coil have been installed to increase the car’s usability and of course, modern tyres have been fitted – but that’s about it as far as modernity goes and even then, the original Runbaken glass coil and Lucas distributor come with the car.

Having covered just over 44,000 miles from new the car remains in excellent shape throughout. There are a few signs of limited use but this patina merely adds to the PW’s charm and the condition reflects a careful balance of originality and some gentle restorative work. The proof, as they say, is most definitely in the pudding and this PW made it almost 600 miles, all the way from the UK to Germany where it currently resides, without even a hint of a hiccup. Validation indeed.

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Realistically you’re not going to see another come to market in this lifetime, especially not a running and driving example that presents in as good a condition as this, and if our words haven’t inspired you to chuck in a bid then the photos accompanying the auctions surely will. The dynamic shots of this Jensen PW on the road are pure poetry in motion so head on over to the listing and have a butcher’s, we guarantee you won’t be disappointed.

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