Most of us remember the Jensen brand from the 1960s and ‘70s, when it was equipping its British grand touring cars with American V8s, as well as providing the bones for the Jensen-Healey sports car.
But the Pick of the Day, a 1935 Jensen-Ford Shooting Brake, is a rare oddball that shows Jensen’s ingenuity from the prewar era. While the appearance seems like the kind of woody wagon that might have been built on a Rolls-Royce or Bentley chassis, a peak under the hood reveals a Ford flathead V8.
“This exceptionally rare Jensen-Ford Shooting Brake is the sole surviving example of an estimated two or three built in 1935,” according to the St. Louis, Missouri, dealer advertising the wagon on ClassicCars.com. “Based on a Canadian Ford Model 48 V8 chassis, it is one of the twenty-odd Fords imported and bodied by Jensen in the ‘30s.
“However, Jensen did much more than simply tack a new body onto the existing frame – to achieve their desired look and lower center of gravity, they repositioned the engine and lowered/raked the radiator, resulting in a dramatic and sporty appearance.”
This unusual shooting brake, as the British call 2-door wagons, was nearly lost to the ages after being stored away for more than 20 years.
“In the early 1980s, the car resurfaced via a Jensen Owner’s Club UK newsletter article, describing a wood-bodied Jensen in a complete but rather sorry state, lurking in a garage in Dorking, Surrey,” the seller explains. “With the threat of the car being sent to the breaker’s yard, the author issued a plea to save it.
“Help arrived when the owner contacted a fellow Jensen Club member for a valuation. When he saw the car sitting in the junkyard, he immediately decided to buy it and bring it home for restoration. A piano restorer by trade, the new owner painstakingly refurbished the ash framework, taking great strides to preserve as much of the original wood as possible.