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.
“In the early 1990s, after years of effort, the Jensen shooting brake returned to the road. By 2001, another club member acquired it and continued detailing the restoration and showing the car regularly for club events and concours.”
The most-recent owners brought the Jensen to the US in 2010 to be added to a collection of special Jensen cars and driven to shows and concours events on this side of the Atlantic.
“Today, this unique and stylish Jensen is offered in excellent condition, its restoration gently matured after years of meticulous, enthusiastic care,” the dealer says. “The rich green paint is a fine match for the ash-framed body and red leather-trimmed interior, and the lowered, steeply raked radiator gives the Jensen-Ford a decidedly sporty character.”
There are lots of vintage Ford woodies out there, many with surfboards on their roofs, but this one is utterly unique. Just imagine wheeling the one-of-a-kind, right-hand-drive British wagon into an early Ford or woody club event.
“Early Jensen cars are a rare sight on our roads, and this charming Shooting Brake has the added cachet of being the only known example,” the seller notes. “It has an interesting and well-documented history, accompanied by a large file of receipts, correspondence, MOT certificates, V5C documents, and insight from marque historians.”
The asking price for the Jensen-Ford woody wagon is $119,500.
To view this vehicle on ClassicCars.com, see Pick of the Day.