1965 Earl’s Court Motor Show | Jensen Brochures & Photography
Amidst a backdrop of boardroom chaos, the 1965 Earl’s Court Motor Show was just over a couple of months away.
This was an important motor show for Jensen Motors, it would be the official launch of the ground-breaking four-wheel-drive Jensen FF. Then there was the launch of Eric Neale’s (less than ground breaking) ‘vision of the future’, the ‘Jensen Interceptor’, or P66 as it was more generally known as at the factory. Lastly, but by no means least, there was, what was to be the last of the CV8 series, the CV8 MK.III.
All of this going on, and the photography for the brochures, let alone the printing, hadn’t even been started. The fact was, the first CV8 MK.IIIs weren’t ready until July 1965, there was only one CV8-based FF (outside of a Development mule), and Development were still hard at work finishing that, and the same applied to the P66.
It was time to get the ball rolling.
Within the Sales Department, Elliott Wishlade was Sales Promotion Manager, with Wyndham Powell as department head. Wishlade was generally used as the link between Good Relations (the publicity company behind Jensen Motors), and the factory.
It would probably have been him that made the call through to Good Relations director, Gethin Bradley, to arrange their photographer, Michael Cooper, to come up to the factory, and spend a day doing the brochure photography.
Although working for Good Relations, Cooper undertook virtually all the photography requests for Jensen Motors. That said, the CV8 brochure assignment would probably have been one of his first shoots for the Company.
1965 Earl’s Court Motor Show | Jensen Brochures & Photography | Brochure Planning
There would be three brochures required in time for the 1965 Motor Show, one for the P66 (Jensen Interceptor), one for the Jensen FF, and one for the CV8 MK.III. But work was still ongoing to both the P66 and the FF, so neither cars were going to be available for the photo-shoot.
The sales department already realised that with limited time left until the motor show, the only way forward with the P66 brochure, was to use artwork for the car, rather than a photo. And what about the Jensen FF.
This was another brochure problem. The only way forward, within the timescales, was to use a conventional CV8 for the main photo.
1965 Earl’s Court Motor Show | Jensen Brochures & Photography | Photo-shoot
Hence two CV8 MK.IIIs (112/2315 & 112./2316) were going to be made ready for the days shoot, and it was probably into August when the shoot took place. 112/2315 was painted Indigo blue with blue-grey leather trim, while 112/2316 was painted in Oyster grey with black leather trim.
Both cars were parked outside the main factory doors, ready for Cooper’s arrival. Wishlade would be driving one car, while Cooper drove the other.
The location was a very English looking thatched cottage. The Museum hasn’t managed to find out the whereabouts of the cottage so far, but typically it wouldn’t be too far from the Jensen factory at West Bromwich.
Both CV8s were sporting their West Bromwich registered number plates starting ‘CEA’, but once at location the plates were removed, and so-called exhibition plates with ‘MK.III’ on, were put in their place for the photography.
With the shoot completed, the two cars headed back to the factory. Cooper’s work was far from finished, after heading back to his home near Guildford in Surrey, the rolls of film needed to be developed as quickly as possible and sent up to the factory.
1965 Earl’s Court Motor Show | Jensen Brochures & Photography | Publicity Photographs
As well as getting brochures underway, there were other publicity issues which had to be dealt with sooner rather than later. For a start, Autocar wanted to have a feature about the new Jensen FF in their magazine, which would be coming out in-line with the October 1965 Motor Show, as indeed did Motor magazine.
Good Relations needed to get the relevant facts to them, along with some photographs / diagrams, which they could use. Once again, without having an actual Jensen FF to photograph, they would have to work with what Cooper photographed.
Running through Cooper’s images, it was decided to use a couple of the shots of the Indigo blue CV8 MK.III. One taken from the front towards the rear, and one taken from the rear towards the front.
Both would need to convincingly retouched to make the car look like an FF. The retouched and finished images would be rushed over to both Autocar and Motor. The two completed features went out in October 1965 to link in with the Motor Show.
1965 Earl’s Court Motor Show | Jensen Brochures & Photography | Brochures
The three brochure were made ready in time for the October Motor Show. The brochure for the P66 (or Jensen Interceptor, as it was to be momentarily named), relied on an artist impression of the car. It was a lack lustre brochure, but since the car would be axed shortly after the Motor Show, this didn’t really matter.
The brochure for the CV8 MK.III came out very well. The indigo blue car looked good, and was certainly capable of enticing buyer’s back to the CV8 concept.
The Jensen FF brochure was another rushed affair. There wasn’t even time to retouch Cooper’s photographs. A standard image of the Oyster grey CV8 was used. Once again, this really didn’t matter too much. By the 1966 Motor Show all had changed – the CV8 was dead in the water, as was the P66.
In the end, everything changed for Jensen Motors between the 1965 and 1966 motor shows. 1965 was the last of the ‘old’ Jensen Motors, while 1966 was very much everything that was new. And the world couldn’t get enough of the ‘new’ Jensen Motors.
That said, there was one small piece of ‘old’ Jensen Motors that transcended across to the ‘new’ Jensen Motors, and that was their model name ‘Interceptor’. This name was re-used on the new Italian-designed CV8 replacement, and that car took the name as its own.
Few would even remember it had been used twice before.
1965 Earl’s Court Motor Show | Jensen Brochures & Photography
ASSISTANCE: Do you know the whereabouts of the thatched cottage used as the back-drop to this photoshoot. We would love to hear from you if you do.
ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS: Tony Marshall, former Sales Manager, Jensen Motors.
COPYRIGHTS: Jensen Museum
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