Jensen heritage for the next generation
Jensen Motors Drawing Office Employees A-Z

Jensen Motors Drawing Office Employees A-Z

Integral to any car company is a competent drawing office, where a range of draughtsmen, illustrators, body and chassis specialists, along with estimators, work on new car models. Jensen Motors gave a huge amount of autonomy over to the men of the drawing office, unlike many other car companies, which had ‘checkers’. It was the job of the ‘checker’ to double-check the drawings, before they were released to production. Former Jensen Motors draughtsman, Nick Maltby, confirms that drawings would initially go the Development Department, where the item was made up in prototype form. Any errors or improvements needed, would come to light there, and could be corrected before the drawings were issued to production.

During 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 Depratment 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.

 

CARTER’S GREEN DRAWING OFFICES

There were two separate Drawing Offices at Carters Green, a Body Drawing Office and a Chassis Drawing Office. These were situated on opposite sides of the factory. The Jensen Motors Drawing Office Staff A-Z is broken down to ‘Chassis’ and ‘Body’ staff. The Carter’s Green factory closed at the beginning of the 1960s, when everything was moved over to the new and much larger Kelvin Way factory.

 

CHASSIS OFFICE

Kevin Beattie – Deputy Chief Engineer (Later Chief Engineer)

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.

George Coleman – Senior Draughtsman | Chassis Designer

Senior Draughtsman. Nick Maltby recollects that Coleman was a quiet and unassuming man, but very talented. Apparently Kevin Beattie relied on him a great deal. Coleman was approximately 30 in 1964. Start / Finishing dates not known, although Coleman did move to the Kelvin Way Drawing Office. Coleman came to Jensen Motors from H.W. Ward and Company of Birmingham, the renowned, machine tool manufacturer.

Stan Cutler – Draughtsman

Draughtsman about 32 years of age in 1960. Must have left Jensen in early to middle 1960s because he was working at Ford, Birmingham in mid-1960s. Nick Maltby states Cutler wasn’t at Kelvin Way, when he rejoined in 1964.

Edward ‘Ted’ Gould – Draughtsman

Start / finish dates not known. Was at Carter’s Green late 1950s.

David Nash – Senior Draughtsman

Senior Draughtsman. Nick Maltby recollects that Nash’s father ran the Fibre Glass moulding department. Nash was approximately mid-twenties in 1960. Start and finishing dates not known. According to Nick Maltby, Nash wasn’t at Kelvin Way when he rejoined Jensen Motors in 1964.

H. Madeley – Draughtsman

First name not known. Start / finish dates not known. Working in Drawing Office 1954.

Colin Riekie – Chief Draughtsman

Riekie joined Jensen Motors in 1946. In the following year (1947), Riekie  became Chief Draughtsman. His speciality was as chassis engineer, and during his time at Jensen Motors, he worked on the Jen-Tug project, and was particularly involved in chassis design work for the Jensen 541. Riekie was responsible directly to the Jensen brothers for all matters relating to chassis design. Riekie left Jensen Motors in October 1957, moving to Rover, and later to Aston Martin.

 

BODY OFFICE

John Attrill – Draughtsman |  Illustrator | Stylist

Draughtsman, but also stylist / illustrator. Believed to have started at Jensen Motors in the 1950s. He left Jensen in the early 60s but there exists a cut-a-way drawing of the Jensen Healey drawn in 1972. Either he had rejoined Jensen around that time or he was working for an agency. Attrill was approximately 30 in 1960.

Derek Bell – Senior Body Engineer

Senior body engineer. Joined Jensen in 1960 from Singer Motor Company at the age of c 26. Left in 1961 to go to Ford Motor Company, Essex.

Harry Bird – Senior Draughtsman

Senior Draughtsman and Office Supervisor. He was at Jensen between mid-1950s and early 60s. Nick Maltby recollects that Bird had a somewhat naughty sense of humour, and liked to play practical jokes. Bird was approximately 35 in 1960.

Ron Burgess – Estimating Clerk

Estimating clerk. Age c. 40 in 1960. Joined 1950s still there in mid to late 60s.

John D’Maine – Senior Body Design Draughtsman

Senior Body Design Draughtsman with a confident air, did not suffer fools gladly. Respected by Eric Neale the Chief Body Engineer. Started early 1950s. Left in 1961 to go to Ford Motor Company. Eventually ended up working for Ford Germany. He and Eric kept in touch. Peter Neale, Eric’s son, met John and his German wife in the 2000s. John D’Maine, was the son of Jim D’Maine, Head of Trim Department.

Bob Hales – Junior Draughtsman

Junior Draughtsman. Nick Maltby remembers Hales as a pleasant guy, always willing to help anyone. Hales was approximately middle twenties in 1960.

Gordon Holt – Senior Body Draughtsman

Senior Body Draughtsman. Joined Jensen in 1960, together with Derek Bell, from Singer Motor Company age c 30. Left in 1961 but returned to Jensen in c 1967 as Purchasing Manager.

Bill Hubbard – Drawing Office Manager

Drawing Office Manager. Joined 1960 left around 1963 age c 36. Peter Swain took over as Drawing Office Manager, once the Company had moved to Kelvin Way.

Barry Jackson – Draughtsman

Joined Jensen Motors from the RAF in 1961. Finish date not known. At a later point worked at Chrysler-Peugeot

D.Jeavons – Draughtsman

First name not known. Draughtsman from early to later 1950s. Start and finishing dates at Jensen Motors not known.

Nick Maltby – Trainee Draughtsman

Trainee Draughtsman. Maltby was18 in 1960. Malby left Jensen Motors briefly, returning as a draughtsman after Jensen Motors had moved to Kelvin Way. Cycled to West Bromwhich from Aston, Birmingham, until he bought an Austin Mini van.

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.

Simon O’Donnell – Estimating Clerk

Estimating Clerk. Aged c.35 in 1960. Joined 1950s left early 1960s.

S.C.Ostler – Draughtsman

First name not known. Start / finish dates not known. Was at Carter’s Green late 1950s. Believed to have been in the Body D.O, as opposed to the Chassis D.O.

A.Stokes – Draughtsman

First name not known. Draughtsman at Jensen Motors during the 1950s. Start / finishing dates not known.

(?) Weaver – Draughtsman

First name not known. Start / finish dates not known. Working in Drawing Office around 1961/62.

A.R.Wilkes – Draughtsman

First name not known. Draughtsman from early 1950s. Competent stylist as well as draughtsman. No other information available.

Geoff Wyle – Draughtsman

Start / finish dates not known. Working in Drawing Office 1960 as a trainee draughtsman (his age at that time approximately 17)

 

 

KELVIN WAY DRAWING OFFICE

The Drawing Offices were transferred to Kelvin Way when the Carter’s Green factory was closed for road works development c 1962. As a result of the transfer, the Chassis and Body offices were combined. However, draughtsmen still retained their own specialities and did not interchange. The Kelvin Way Jensen Motors Drawing Office Staff A-Z is broken down to ‘Chassis and ‘Body’ staff. The Kelvin Way factory was completed by the beginning of the 1960s, at which time everything was moved over from Carter’s Green.

 

CHASSIS DRAWING OFFICE STAFF

Kevin Beattie – Deputy Chief Engineer (Later Chief Engineer)

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.

Nigel Bevan – Trainee Draughtsman

Trainee draughtsman age c 19 in 1964. Joined in 1964 left in 1968. Local West Bromwich lad

Barrie Bilbie – Chassis Engineer

Bilbie joined Jensen Motors in the late 1960s / early 1970s, moving from the Donald Healey organisation. Bilbie apparently had been instrumental in completing most of the chassis design work for Healey, including the Austin-Healey 100, 100-6, 3000, and Sprite.. Bilbie worked on all chassis related components for Jensen, including steering, suspension, brakes and chassis frame.  A much respected design engineer, Bilbie worked on the Jensen F Type, and G Type, and also designed the underframe for the Jensen Healey. Bilbie remained at Jensen Motors until the closure in 1976, and then was employed by Jensen Special Products.

Jensen Factory | Jensen Museum

Barrie Bilbie working in the Drawing Office. Photograph probably taken middle 1970s.

George Coleman  – Senior Draughtsman | Chassis Designer

Coleman was one of the few draughtsman that moved across from Carters Green to Kelvin Way. Finishing date not known.

Charles Dale – Trainee Draughtsman

Trainee draughtsman on the Chassis Section. Approximately 20 in 1964. Start date around 1964. Finishing date not known. Local West Bromwich lad

Nick Maltby – Draughtsman

Returned to Jensen Motors in 1964 as a draughtsman, and remained in the Kelvin Way Drawing Office until 1967, at which time he left to work at Austin’s Longbridge factory.

Michael (Mike) Jones – Chief Designer | 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.

 

BODY DRAWING OFFICE STAFF

 

Nick Barker – Legislation Engineer

Legislation Engineer on Jensen Interceptor. Start and finish dates not known.

Cedric (Eddie) Knowles – Senior Draughtsman

Senior draughtsman, joined c 1964 aged c 30 left in 1967 to go to Standard Triumph

John Lindley – Legislation Engineer

Legislation Engineer on Jensen Healey. Start and finish dates not known.

Ken Meeson – Illustrator | Stylist

Illustrator / stylist. Start and finishing dates not known. Age c 23 in 1964.

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.

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 Jesnen Motors c 1975 (?).

Peter Swain – Drawing Office Manager

Drawing Office Manager and wiring diagram expert. Joined early 1960s and still at Jensen Motors when the company closed in 1975. Age c 40 in 1964. Chief Designer, later Chief Engineer, Mike Jones, mentions the following about Swain,

“For anything electrical, Peter was the man to go to. During my second stint at Jensen Motors, he dealt with the design and development all of the electrical components and systems in Jensen and Jensen Healey cars, not just the wiring designs.  To say he was a ‘wiring diagram expert’ degrades what he actually did.  The wiring diagrams were a relatively small, but essential part of his work.”

In addition to being Drawing Office Manager, Swain was the Chief Electrical Engineer.

Robert Westwood – Senior Draughtsman

Senior Body Draughtsman age c 32 in 1965 when he joined Jensen. Left in 1967 to go to Austin, and soon afterwards joined Standard Triumph in Coventry. Local West Bromwich man.

 

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

ACKNOWLEDGMENTS:  Nick Maltby – Former Draughtsman, Mike Jones – Former Chief Engineer

COPYRIGHTS: Text copyright of The Jensen Museum. Images Nick Maltby.

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