PistonHeads.com Forum

RE: Spotted: Jensen SV8

Tuesday 20th November 2012

Spotted: Jensen SV8

Pricey and, um, striking, this thunderous roadster has a unique place in British motoring history



Remember the Jensen SV8? Back in the early 2000s, it was the latest in a long line of sports cars out to rejuvenate a once-great British marque. The recipe was simple: mate an off-the-shelf V8 (this one from a Mustang) with some bold styling, throw some money at the chassis, and, hey presto, there's your Boxster beater.

Attractive? No. Brutally fast? Oh yes
Attractive? No. Brutally fast? Oh yes
Unfortunately, and perhaps predictably, the venture failed. Jensen's investors pumped £10 million into the project but only ten examples of the SV8 were actually produced at the factory. Another batch was completed by SV Automotive, but in total, fewer than 40 were ever produced.

So, another doomed British sports car story, then, a bit like the MG SV. Revive an old name and its heritage, unveil a dramatic car at its home motor show, announce future plans to further boost excitement and imply stability... it's a familiar sequence of events.

A decade of progress has only further exposed the flaws in the SV8 package. Its appearance is certainly striking, and may have been modern at the time, but even the most optimistic of its fans could hardly call the Jensen a classic beauty. Which is a shame, given the brutal elegance of the Interceptor. The grey paint probably doesn't help, and the downward curves of the nose just makes it look depressed. And whoever thought the aluminium surrounds for the rear light clusters were a wise aesthetic decision?

Interior has barely been sat in
Interior has barely been sat in
Yet this Jensen holds a certain quirky appeal in the same way a Morgan Plus 8 might. You could cruise along with the roof down with the V8 rumble echoing out, safe in the knowledge you’ll never see another SV8 coming the other way.

Contemporary tests even suggest that it wasn't a bad steer, noting a refreshing lack of scuttle shake and excellent steering. It’ll be no Caterham, granted, but the SV8 may be more competent than expected.

Any SV8 is rare, but this particular example is one of the original Jensen-made cars, putting it in hen's teeth territory. Presumably this will secure its future value, which may help in getting past the purchase price.

Even allowing for its paltry mileage, £35,000 is a lot of money to throw at a weekend toy, particularly when the SV cars cost that new. You want a roadster built in Britain with stop-and-stare styling? Try a Morgan 3-Wheeler. All manner of V8-engined TVRs can be had for this money, too. And of course the Lotus and Caterham options are always there.

But the SV8 is something unique, bold and intriguing, for which it should be celebrated. Sure, there are cars objectively more capable, but who buys an automotive toy purely on the basis of ability?  And if £35,000 seems expensive, think of the development costs; a £10 million investment to make ten cars means each SV8 cost Jensen £1 million. £35,000? Bargain.


JENSEN SV8

Engine: 4601cc, V8
Transmission: Five-speed manual, RWD
Power (hp): 325@6,000rpm
Torque (lb ft): 322@4,750rpm
MPG: 24
CO2: 408g/km
First registered: 2001
Recorded mileage: 728
Price new: £34,650 (SV Automotive cars)
Yours for: £34,950


See the original advert here

Author
Discussion

soad

Original Poster:

27,766 posts

98 months

Tuesday 20th November 2012
quotequote all
Wouldn't mind to drive it.


Ex Boy Racer

951 posts

114 months

Tuesday 20th November 2012
quotequote all
I'd hardly compare this with a caterham or morgan 3 wheeler. Totally different markets.

More like an alternative to an MG RV8 or perhaps a chimera I would have thought. You'd have to really want one at that price though...

NGK210

680 posts

67 months

Tuesday 20th November 2012
quotequote all
Time hasn't been kind to the SV8's styling, its front-end bears an unfortunate resemblance to this fella -> biggrin

L100NYY

32,935 posts

165 months

Tuesday 20th November 2012
quotequote all
NGK210 said:
Time hasn't been kind to the SV8's styling, its front-end bears an unfortunate resemblance to this fella -> biggrin
But he is such a happy chap wink

Oz83

288 posts

61 months

Tuesday 20th November 2012
quotequote all
Wow that's just too ugly for any amount of money.
Advertisement

AyBee

8,702 posts

124 months

Tuesday 20th November 2012
quotequote all
The only benefit of buying that is that you get to sit in and look out, rather than looking at it tongue out

rtz62

1,251 posts

77 months

Tuesday 20th November 2012
quotequote all
Dont ya just love cars that have an 'underbite'; for some unfathomable reason they make me think of the woodland inhabitants in 'Deliverance'

Ryvita

401 posts

132 months

Tuesday 20th November 2012
quotequote all
And as an additional bonus if this is your weekend car you can park your daily driver in the "design feature" panel gaps. frown

What a sad tale. Here, just stare at this till the bad feeling goes away.




marsdalebear

136 posts

169 months

Tuesday 20th November 2012
quotequote all
Nice interior and nice engine. Who cares what it looks like!

scholesy

143 posts

84 months

Tuesday 20th November 2012
quotequote all
I'd much rather have an interceptor, come on if nothing else the name interceptor is inarguably awesome

Big Fat Fatty

3,303 posts

78 months

Tuesday 20th November 2012
quotequote all
I remember the SV8 from the day they were unveiled, at the time I thought they looked amazing, but the design hasn't aged well at all imo.

I bet it sounds nice though...

300bhp/ton

34,215 posts

112 months

Tuesday 20th November 2012
quotequote all
I've seen two of these. Indeed I have an original sales brochure for them at home somewhere too.

JuniorJet

417 posts

82 months

Tuesday 20th November 2012
quotequote all
I saw one of these at the last Goodwood Breakfast Club.

'Interesting' looking thing. Call me ignorant but I don't think it looks that pretty...

CampDavid

9,053 posts

120 months

Tuesday 20th November 2012
quotequote all
Dealer has a few other items at the purchase price:

http://www.hiltonandmoss.com/cardesc/porsche-911-r...



http://www.hiltonandmoss.com/cardesc/ferrari-308-g...



http://www.hiltonandmoss.com/cardesc/lotus-europa-...



Could be a fun way to blow £35000. Or £70k. Or most likely £140k

JuniorJet

417 posts

82 months

Tuesday 20th November 2012
quotequote all
CampDavid said:
Dealer has a few other items at the purchase price:
http://www.hiltonandmoss.com/cardesc/ferrari-308-g...



Could be a fun way to blow £35000. Or £70k. Or most likely £140k
that 308... PHHOOAAARRR....

Motorheads

20 posts

76 months

Tuesday 20th November 2012
quotequote all
A chap near me has one of these. It looks sad parked on his front lawn.

tombar

299 posts

131 months

Tuesday 20th November 2012
quotequote all
If you want a Jensen, then sell a kidney and buy this:



And then sell the other kidney to run it! On second thoughts.....

Jagmanv12

1,287 posts

86 months

Tuesday 20th November 2012
quotequote all
There was one on a stand at the NEC show.

CampDavid

9,053 posts

120 months

Tuesday 20th November 2012
quotequote all
tombar said:
If you want a Jensen, then sell a kidney and buy this:



And then sell the other kidney to run it! On second thoughts.....
I hired one for the weekend (well, my GF hired it for me)

The fuel consumption was frankly ludicrus. I was glad of the economy from my V8 BMW on the route home

Dr Interceptor

4,447 posts

118 months

Tuesday 20th November 2012
quotequote all
Hmm... I think the factory produced more than ten cars confused

I thought the actual number of factory cars is somewhere around 20-23 cars, with another 20 cars being in the factory in uncompleted state at the time of the company closing.

Of those 20 unfinished cars, 12 or 13 were finished and sold, the remainder broken and kept for spares - so the final production number is around 32-35 cars.

They are good steers - the Mustang V8 sounds lovely as you'd expect, they're pretty competent long range cruisers too. I've never owned one, but have driven a couple while the Jensen has been in for service work. They do vary in quality though, some I've seen have shocking panel gaps, others much better.