That’s right, our new project is another V8-powered British classic and a decidedly left-field one at that, the Jensen CV8.
Actually the fastest four-seater production car in the world for a spell in the early sixties, the CV8 was an attempt by Jensen to both move upmarket and to secure its long-term future, the latter of primary importance to any British low volume car maker. And the CV8 really was a fast car, and ballistic by the standards of 1962; the 0 to 60 mph dash could be completed in a scant 6.7 seconds and it’d keep on going until the needle nudged 140mph.
The source of all this performance was, of course, an American V8, specifically the Chrysler big-block, available in steadily increasing capacities and topping out with the 383 in³ from 1964. These gave sprightly performance, with as much as 330bhp available from the later Series 3 cars, which wasn’t at all bad considering most were saddled with another, somewhat less beloved example of Chrysler engineering – the Torqueflite automatic transmission.
As for our own CV8, it’s a series three and therefore counts as a late car, with production halting in late 1966 in favour of the new (and vastly more popular) Interceptor. It has lived quite a life as you’ll no doubt be able to tell from these images, but we’re fairly sure it’s a decent enough example despite having spent a good few years in a barn! If nothing else the fact that its bodywork is almost entirely composed of fibreglass means we’ll have less rot to rout, though lacquer peel and associated plastic corrosion will almost certainly have to be overcome.
We’re obviously a long, long way from having to make a decision as to which direction to take this build in though we can confirm that it’ll be a restomod build and that the engine will remain a V8 of some sort, perhaps shod with a forced induction setup of some variety. It goes without saying that we’ll also be applying the standard Retropower finish to its interior, bodywork, chassis and suspension, the latter of primary importance given the amount of power we plan on imbuing it with. In short, it’s definitely a build worth tracking via our social media and YouTube channel, so keep your eyes peeled for more details over the course of the coming weeks & months.
Oh, and the name? ‘CV8’ apparently stood for ‘Centre-Tube Chassis V8’, which we’ll readily admit is hardly the most evocative of monikers, but it certainly does what it says on the (fibreglass) tin.