Jensen heritage for the next generation
Jensen Factory Development Department A-Z

Jensen Factory Development Department Employees A-Z

Although the official designation was the Development Department, it was also known as the Engineering Department. However, it was more fondly remembered simply as ‘Experimental’, by the close-knit group of employees that formed this department. At Carter’s Green, the Development Department was situated at the rear of the factory, next to the Body Drawing Office

After the move to Kelvin Way, the same formula took place, with the Development Department being situated upstairs, next to the Drawing Office. This made sense, since both the Drawing Office & Development Department were working hand in hand. Drawings would often move directly out of the Drawing Office, and a prototype made immediately in the Development Department. If a problem was found with the prototype, it was ‘back to the drawing board’ as is often said.

At some point between 1972 and 1973, the Development Department and Drawing Office were resited to a building just across from Bay 8, where a car park had been.

As with the Drawing Office, the Development Department was split into two main teams. The Development Department having  Body, Trim & Sheet Metal, and Chassis, Mechanical. Each team with their own foreman.

Former Chief Engineer, Mike Jones, states, “These three sections consisted primarily of experienced craftsmen, who were able to make prototype parts, wooden patterns, and production jigs and tools.”

In late 1975, Alan Vincent and Ray Allsopp entered into discussions with the newly appointed Receiver, concerning buying the entire Development Department and Drawing Office. The Receiver agreed in principle, and this led to the Development Department and Drawing Office, becoming Jensen Special Products immediately after closure of Jensen Motors. Over 90% of all ‘DD’ and ‘DO’ employees joined Jensen Special Products.

MANAGEMENT SECTION

 

NICK BARKER – HOMOLOGATION & EMMISSIONS ENGINEER

Joined Jensen Motors in 1971. He went back to Australia early 1973 because his wife’s work permit was withdrawn.

KEVIN BEATTIE – CHIEF ENGINEER / ENGINEERING DIRECTOR

Born in South Africa during 1927, Beattie was educated in England. He found employment with the Rootes Group, joining their design team. During 1959, Beattie heard about a vacancy with the firm of Jensen Motors Ltd, as a Deputy Chief Engineer. He applied for the position and was given the appointment of Deputy Chief Engineer on 1st January 1960, working under Chief Engineer Eric Neale. By 1965, Beattie was appointed to the Board and was committed to the idea of a CV8 replacement being styled in Italy, Brian Owen agreed. Although the Jensen brothers and Neale were against the idea, John Boex agreed with Beattie and Owen. Shortly afterwards Beattie was obtaining design ideas from various Italian design houses. Unhappy about his position within the company, Neale retired in late Spring 1966, Beattie took over his title of Chief Engineer with a salary of £2,950. After Alfred Vickers resigned as Managing Director in July 1973, Beattie took on this appointment. It was to be short lived, as he had to relinquish his post in late 1974 through illness. Beattie died in 1975 aged 48.

 MARTYN DAVIES – DEVELOPMENT ENGINEER

Start / finish dates not known.

 JONATHAN HEYNES – DEVELOPMENT ENGINEER

Joined in 1971. Left early 1973. Heines was the son of Bill Heines of Jaguar. Jonathan Heines went to Jaguar USA as Service Support Engineer (East Coast).

GORDON HOLT – BODY DESIGN ENGINEER

Left to join Jaguar early 1976

MIKE JONES –CHIEF ENGINEER

Jones came to work at Jensen Motors from Rootes in February 1964, initially working in the Drawing Office as Chassis Project Engineer. Within the drawing office, Jones was working mainly on the Sunbeam Tiger. Later he became Assistant Chief Engineer under Beattie, and was involved in development work on the Jensen Interceptor and FF, before leaving in December 1967 to join Ford. Jones only spent three months with Ford, then going back to Rootes until 1972.

In October 1972, Jones rejoined Jensen Motors as Chief Designer, and after four months was given the position of Chief Engineer, when Beattie became Managing Director. Beattie relinquished his position as Managing Director in late 1974, to become Director of Engineering. Jones retained his position as Chief Engineer until he left Jensen Motors in June 1975.

EDDIE KILMURRY – ELECTRICAL DESIGN

Joined in 1973. Came from Triumph. Joined British Leyland in 1976.

ERIC NEALE – CHIEF ENGINEER | BODY STYLIST

Neale was born in 1910 in Halesowen, Worcestershire. He started work with Mulliners in Birmingham in 1927 as an apprentice designer. He left Mulliners in 1929, joining Holbrook Bodies Ltd, and by 1931 had changed position again joining the Singer Motor Company as a body designer. After a couple more career moves, the war started and Neale joined the Royal Air Force.

After demobilisation in 1945, Neale returned to the Wolseley Motor Company. He received something of a cold welcome on his return to Wolseley, but a meeting with Richard Jensen led Neale to leave Wolseley and join Jensen Motors Ltd in 1946. He remained with Jensen Motors for twenty years and had an excellent relationship with the two Jensen brothers’.

Beattie and Owen were keen to have the CV8 replacement car styled in Italy. Neale and the Jensen brothers’ were opposed to the idea of using an Italian firm for body styling. Neale was unhappy, when he and the Jensen brothers’ were out manoeuvred by Beattie and Owen and this directly led to Neale retiring from the company in late Spring 1966.

FRED NICKLIN – DEVELOPMENT ENGINEER

Joined from Harrington’s 1971. Left and joined Triumph early 1975

 JOHN PACKWOOD –  BODY PROJECT ENGINEER

 Senior Body Draughtsman | Body Project Engineer. Joined 1965/66, coming to Jensen Motors from Ford’s Birmingham Office. Age c 30s at that time. Left Jensen Motors c 1975 (?).

 HOWARD PANTON – CHIEF DESIGN  ENGINEER

Panton joined Jensen Motors in the 1960s, after Jones left, Panton was promoted to Chief Design Engineer working directly under Beattie. He left in 1972. Former Chief Engineer, Mike Jones, believes Panton left to go to GKN.

 ALAN SKARRATT (?) – MECHANICAL DESIGN

Start / Finish dates not known. Brilliant mathematician.  Left to join Stonefield (1974/75 ?). Later moved to Cummins.

BRIAN SPICER – CHIEF DEVELOPMENT ENGINEER

Spicer was recruited directly by Kevin Beattie in 1964, and worked directly under Beattie as Deputy Chief Engineer, Spicer took over as Chief Engineer after the death of Beattie. He headed the experimental department, and remained at Jensen Motors until 1976. At which time two new companies were formed, Jensen Parts & Service, and Jensen Special Products. Spicer came in heading Jensen Special Products under Vincent and Allsopp. After JSP folded, Spicer set up a Subaru dealership near Ayr, called S&S Services.

ALAN VINCENT – DEVELOPMENT ENGINEER – TECHNICAL DIRECTOR

Joined from Chrysler (UK) 1973. Vincent was interviewed by Kevin Beattie, and was given a position as Development Engineer, although it was agreed that his position would be raised to Technical Director  after a year. Vincent remained at Jensen Motors until 1976, at which time two new companies were formed, Jensen Parts & Service, and Jensen Special Products. During late 1975, Vincent, with Ray Allsopp, engaged in talks with the Reciever. Vincent had an idea of keeping the entire Development Department & Drawing Office on after the closure of Jensen Motors. He also managed to get Allsopp on board as a possible partner of a new company. The Reciever agreed to the overall idea, but made it clear the department’s employees must not be told until after the closure of the Company. Vincent and Allsopp managed to get the required loan from the bank to buy the ‘DD’ and DO’ from the Reciever, and that is what happened directly after closure of Jensen Motors. Jensen Special Products was born.

 

CHASSIS & MECHANICAL SECTION

 

ALBERT BEDFORD – CHASSIS JIG & TOOL

Start / Finish dates not known. Bedford was working at Jensen from the 1950s.

PETER BUTLER – DEVELOPMENT MECHANIC / TEST DRIVER

Joined 1972. Finish date not known.

PETER CHURMS – CHASSIS JIG & TOOL

Started as an apprentice at Jensen Motors in the mid-1960s. Possibly with the Company until 1976.

BRIAN CLEE – DEVELOPMENT MECHANIC / TEST DRIVER

Joined Jensen Motors in 1967, working under David Millard in the Service Department. Moved over to Development in October 1970.. Worked in Development until 1976.

STAN DYSON – 12 VOLT ELECTRICIAN / WELDER

Believed to have started at Jensen Motors in the early to middle 1960s. Finish date not known.

SAM GREATOREX – DEVELOPMENT MECHANIC / TEST DRIVER

Started at Jensen Motors in the mid-1960s, and believed to have remained with the Company until 1975/76. Former Jensen Motors draughtsman, Nick Maltby remembers Greatorex, “He was very proud of his name, and what it might mean in relationship to ancient kings.”

ANDREW  HUNTER – DEVELOPMENT MECHANIC / TEST DRIVER

Joined Jensen Motors in 1971 as an apprentice mechanic. Once qualified worked in development. Hunter was one of the development team working on the prototype Jensen GT. After the collapse of Jensen Motors, Hunter moved over to Jensen Special Products.

COLIN MATHEWS – DEVELOPMENT MECHANIC / TEST DRIVER

Joined 1971. Finish date not known.

VIC PARSONS – FOREMAN MECHANICAL

Started with Jensen Motors in the early to mid-1950s. Believed to have remained with the Company into the  1970s.

RICHARD PECKOVER – DEVELOPMENT MECHANIC / TEST DRIVER

Joined Jensen Motors in 1968 working in Service Department under David Millard. Transferred to Development in October 1970. Peckover remained in ‘Experimental’ until the company closure in 1976, and then continued with Jensen Special Products until leaving to join SU Fuel systems in March 1977.

HORICE SAYERS – LABOURER

Start date not known. Was working at Jensen from the late 1950s / early 1960s. Believed to have remained with Jensen Motors into the late 1970s (possibly up to closure in 1976). Former Jensen Motors draughtsman, Nick Maltby, remembers Sayers, “Horace was a character, very amenable, probably knew more about the Company than some of the directors. He was the kind of character, who, at the end of a novel, would be revealed as the owner of the Company. He appeared as a simple soul, but there was an air of mystery about him.”

IAN SKIDMORE – CHASSIS JIG & TOOL / SAFETY

Belived to have started as an apprentice in the mid-1960s. Left to join Fire Service in late 1975

ROBERT SMITH – APPRENTICE

The son of George Smith, Chief Production Engineer. Started as an apprentice within the Development Department. He left Jensen in 1976 (?) to join Lucas.

JOE TUDOR – LABOURER 

Start / Finish dates not known.

MALCOLM WARD

Start / Finish dates not known.

ALAN WOODLEY – CHASSIS JIG & TOOL

Transferred from Tool Room in 1970. Finish date not known.

.

 BODY & TRIM SECTION

 

ALAN BELCHER – JIG & TOOL MAKER

Son of Joe Belcher on body side of Development Department. Alan Belcher was skilled as a toolmaker. Belcher started work at Jensen in the mid-1960s, and probably remained at Jensen Motors until 1976.

JOE BELCHER – DEVELOPMENT  BODY & TRIM FOREMAN

Joined the Company from early to middle 1950s. Remained at Jensen Motors into the 1970s. When he retired (date not known), Jack Moore took over as Foreman. Former employee, Nick Maltby remembers Joe Belcher, “He was firm but fair, with a pleasantly mischievous sense of humour.”

GEORGE BIRCH – TRIM & HARDWARE

Believed to have started mid-1960s, and probably remained with JM until 1975/76.

HARRY COTTELL – BODY & TRIM SUPERINTENDANT

Cottell had been with the company since 1927, joining as a body builder at the age of 20. By the 1960s, he was Body Building Shop / Body & Trim Superintendent. Cottell was also Secretary & Treasurer of the Sickness and Dividend Society, of which he was a founding member. He remained with Jensen Motors until 1971, retiring on the 1st October of that year.

JACK DARBY

Believed to have started at Jensen Motors mid-1960s, and probably remained with them until 1975/76.

RAY GOUGH – BODYWORKER 

Start / finish dates not known.

RAY GROOM – BODY WORKER

Start / Finish dates not known. Groom was working at Jensen in the 1960s.

FRANK JONES – MODEL / PATTERN MAKER

Believed to have started at Jensen Motors in the mid-1960s, and to have remained with them through to 1975/76.

JACK MOORE – DEVELOPMENT BODY FITTER, LATER BODY & TRIM FOREMAN

Started with Jensen Motors during the late 1950s. Took over from Joe Belcher as Foreman after Joe Belcher retired (date not known). Former employee Nick Maltby remembers Moore, “A gentleman in every sense of the word.” Moore was heavily involved in the Volvo P1800 sub-contract development operation.

LOU OLDNALL – MODEL / PATTERN MAKER

Start date late 1950s / early 1960s. Believed to have remained with Jensen Motors until 1976.

PETER ROBINSON – JIG & TOOL MAKER

Possibly starting as an apprentice in the early 1960s, and may have remained at the Company until 1975/76. Former Chief Engineer, Mike Jones, remembers Robinson had a particularly bad head injury after a car accident that took place in the 1960s. Robinson returned to Jensen after the accident, but was badly handicapped.

STUART SMITH  – APPRENTICE DEVELOPMENT BODY FITTER

Started as an apprentice within the Development Department in August 1972.

KEN TAYLOR – DEVELOPMENT BODY FITTER

Transferred from Chassis Mechanical section in 1970. Finish date not known.

ARTHUR WEDGEBURY – DEVELOPMENT BODY FITTER

Start / Finish dates not known.

JACKIE.WRIGHT – DEVELOPMENT BODY FITTER

Start / Finish dates not known.

 

 SHEET METAL SECTION

 

CYRIL BATES – SHEET METAL WORKER

Start / Finish dates not known.

 NORMAN PRICE – SHEET METAL WORKER

Start / Finish dates not known.

 LES LAW – SHEET METAL WORKER

Start / Finish dates not known.

 CYRIL EDWARDS – SHEET METAL WORKER

Start / Finish dates not known.

 

REQUEST: The Museum would be very interested to hear from any former employees attached to the Jensen Motors Development Department

ACKNOWLEDGMENTS:  Andy Hunter – former Development Mechanic | Mike Jones – former Chief Engineer | Nick Maltby – former Draughtsman | Richard Peckover -former Development Mechnanic

COPYRIGHTS: Text copyright of The Jensen Museum.

ADDITIONAL INFORMATION: If you have any additional information, please contact us at archive@jensenmuseum.org or telephone on: +1694-781354