Jensen heritage for the next generation

Jensen Motors Personnel

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Jensen Motors Sales Department A-Z

From before the Second World War, and immediately after, Jensen Motors were producing so few vehicles that an extensive sales team wasn’t required. In fact it is more than likely the Jensen brothers were involved in much of the sales side themselves.

Former army major, Henry Weir, was employed by Jensen Motors from just before the Second World war. He is thought to have run the sales-side more or less single-handed.

It wasn’t until the launch of the Italian-designed Jensen Interceptor that a larger and more sophisticated sales team were required. By this time the factory had moved across to the new Kelvin Way site. With an ever increasing network of dealers and distributors, the sales department  became a lynch-pin for Jensen Motors.

 

CARTER’S GREEN

 

Major Weir

MAJOR HENRY WEIR – SALES MANAGER

Born on 8th November 1892. Weir was educated at Wolverhampton Grammar School,  and went on to study engineering at the Wolverhampton Technical College. In 1911 he became an apprentice motor mechanic at the Sunbeam factory, but left work in 1914 to serve in the British Army during World War One.

In 1916, Weir was awarded the Military Medal when serving  as  a Company Quarter Master Sergeant in the RASC. He was discharged to commission in the Royal Garrison Artillery in 1917, and was also Gazetted as a 2nd Lieutenant in that same year.  As a newly appointed officer, Weir served in Mesopotamia and India, but was invalided home in 1919. He married in 1917, and after being discharged from the army, Weir rejoined Sunbeam, and was appointed their Sales Manager in 1932. Two years later in 1934 he moved to Singer & Co as assistant to their Sales Director.

In 1937 Weir joined Jensen Motors as ‘Salesman & Traveller’. In essence this was the same position he had formerly held, that of Sales Manager. By this time Weir was known as Major Weir, although there is no record of subsequent promotions. The title of major may have been an honorary rank, if he retired from the forces with a substantive rank of captain.

 

Major Weir standing by the passenger side of the Jensen ‘S’ Type chassis 36. The photograph was taken in Blackpool at the 1938 RAC Rally, the driver of the car is Alan Hunt.

 

With the outbreak of World War Two, Weir was recalled to the army, and promoted to Lt.Colonel in the R.A.O.C.  At the end of the war, Weir re-joined Jensen Motors as their Sales Manager. He is believed to have retired in 1957 at the age of 65, at which time Jim Branson took over his position. Weir died on 8th March 1973.

 

Jim Branson

JAMES ‘JIM’ BRANSON – SALES MANAGER

Branson’s father was a partner with the law firm, Linklater & Paines, and wished his son to follow in his footsteps. Branson was articled at L & P, but left shortly after his father died.

After leaving the law firm, Branson joined Coombes of Guildford, before joining Jensen Motors Ltd in 1957 as Sales Manager

For a while he weekly commuted from Surrey to the Midlands, staying at the Station Hotel, Dudley. The family then moved into a house just outside Bromsgrove.

When Graves joined the company in 1966, one of his first jobs was to make Branson redundant. Branson returned to Jensen Motors in 1968 after seeing an advert Sales Administration Manager. When Graves saw the application, he asked Tony Marshall (then Sales Manager) if he would be happy for Branson to come back, since he had been made redundant from the position of Sales Manager.

Marshall had no problem with that, and Branson was accepted for the job. He remained with Jensen Motors until 1976 and then moved to International Motors as Administration Sales Manager.

 

KELVIN WAY

 

PAUL ARCHER – SALES ADMINISTRATOR

Joined around 1972. Worked on the sales administration side in an office alongside two secretaries. Left around 1975.

 

Jim Branson

JAMES ‘JIM’ BRANSON – SALES MANAGER

Branson’s father was a partner with the law firm, Linklater & Paines, and wished his son to follow in his footsteps. Branson was articled at L & P, but left shortly after his father died.

After leaving the law firm, Branson joined Coombes of Guildford, before joining Jensen Motors Ltd in 1957 as Sales Manager.

For a while he weekly commuted from Surrey to the Midlands, staying at the Station Hotel, Dudley. The family then moved into a house just outside Bromsgrove.

When Graves joined the company in 1966, one of his first jobs was to make Branson redundant. Branson returned to Jensen Motors in 1968 after seeing an advert for a Sales Administration Manager. When Graves saw the application, he asked Tony Marshall (then Sales Manager) if he would be happy for Branson to come back, since he had been made redundant from the position of Sales Manager.

Marshall had no problem with that, and Branson was accepted for the job. He remained with Jensen Motors until 1976 and then moved to International Motors as Administration Sales Manager.

 

Mike Chambers

MIKE CHAMBERS – SALES MANAGER

Mike Chambers was a Technical Service Representative within the Service Department, having joined Jensen Motors in the later 1960s. He had worked alongside the sales team on many occasions, particularly relating to European sales events.

This meant the team had a service engineer along in case anything went wrong with the cars. When Marshall became Marketing Manager, it was decided to bring Chambers into the Sales Department.

Chambers was given Marshall’s former title of Sales Manager, and worked directly under him. Chambers left Jensen Motors around 1975.

 

PETER CHILTON – SALES ASSISTANT

Son of a wealthy industrialist, he joined Jensen Motors in 1968 as a Sales Assistant. At some point in late 1969 , beginning of 1970, he had an accident in an Interceptor, and wrote the car off. According to Tony Marshall, Carl Duerr sacked him due to the circumstances of him using the Interceptor.

 

Richard Graves

RICHARD GRAVES – MARKETING DIRECTOR

Graves joined Jensen Motors in March 1966, having previously worked for Rolls Royce from 1959. Kevin Beattie persuaded Graves to come and work at Jensen Motors and help with the launch of the new Italian designed Jensen cars.

In July 1973, Graves became the unenviable Managing Director of Jensen Motors, after Kevin Beattie relinquished his role as Managing Director, and became Director of Engineering.

If the post of Managing Director was a formal title given to Graves, or if he was considered an acting Managing Director, isn’t known. However, the reality amounted to the same – Graves was running the Company (under the watchful eyes of Qvale). Graves remained with Jensen Motors until 1975, resigning after an argument with Qvale.

 BRENDA HARVEY – SECRETARY

Harvey took over as secretary to Richard Graves after Ann Nash left in 1972/73. She remained as his secretary until Graves left Jensen Motors. Tony Marshall believes she moved with Graves, continuing as his secretary after he left Jensen Motors.

JANE HOLDEN – SECRETARY

Holden became the secretary to Tony Marshall. She joined Jensen Motors  around 1970/71, and left 1975/76.

 

Tony Marshall

TONY MARSHALL – ASSISTANT SALES MANAGER, EXPORT SALES MANAGER, THEN SALES MANAGER, THEN MARKETING MANAGER

Marshall had been working at BMC undertaking marketing research. Having seen a small ad in Motor Magazine, Marshall applied for the position of Assistant Sales Manager with Jensen Motors.

Initially he was turned down by Richard Graves, based on Grave’s believing the position was too junior to what Marshall already held.   Further correspondence led to an interview, and finally to being offered the position in July 1967. Marshall’s starting salary was £1500 per annum, a slight increase on his salary at BMC. Initially working under Wyndham Powell, Marshall was later promoted to Export Manager.

After Powell resigned and moved to Aston Martin in 1970, Marshall  was promoted to Sales Manager. In, or around 1973, Marshall was given the title of Marketing Manager.

This was to justify a salary raise, at a time when salaries were capped. At the time Marshall was given the title Marketing manager, Mike Chambers was moved across from the Service Department  and worked under Marshall as Sales Manager (see Mike Chambers).

Marshall left in 1974 to become the Managing Director of Jensen Distributors, Wilmslow Motors.

 

ANN NASH – SECRETARY

Nash was the secretary to Richard Graves. Joined around 1966 and left around 1972/73. A new secretary, Brenda Harvey, took over as secretary to Richard Graves.

 

CAROL POWELL – SECRETARY

No relation to Wyndham Powell. Joined Jensen Motors around 1964 and left 1970/71. Jane Holden replaced Carol Powell.

 

Wyndham Powell

WYNDHAM POWELL – SALES MANAGER

Powell’s father, Air Commodore Griffith ‘Taffy’ Powell was Managing Director  of Silver City Airways. Michael Day, the Managing Director of Jensen Motors between 1963 and 1964 had previously been the Technical Director at Silver City Airways.

It was through this association that Wyndham Powell was offered the position of Assistant Sales Manager at Jensen Motors in 1964. When Branson was made redundant in 1966, Powell took over as Sales Manager.

During his time at Jensen Motors, Powell became known for his startlingly good memory. During 1970, Powell applied for a position as Sales Manager with Aston Martin (a position which was offering a far greater salary than Powell had at Jensen Motors).

Powell resigned from Jensen Motors during 1970. After only being at Aston Martin for a short while, he left them, and moved to Cox & Kings, the shipping/forwarding company.

 

Dick Thorogood

DICK THOROGOOD –  SALES PROMOTION MANAGER

Having released Wishlade from employment as Sales Promotion Manager at Jensen Motors, it wasn’t long before it was realised the position was still required.

Thorogood was brought in as the new Sales Promotion Manager around the beginning of 1969, and reported directly to Richard Graves. Apart of his job description was to liaise with Good Relations Ltd. Thorogood only remained at Jensen Motors for approximately two years.

According to Tony Marshall, Thorogood had (along with others) been mentioning that Duerr was unfit to carry on as Managing Director. These comments became known to Duerr, who instantly asked Graves to fire him. See also Elliott Wishlade.

 

Elliott Wishlade

ELLIOTT WISHLADE – SALES PROMOTION MANAGER

Wishlade had been with Rover in a public relations capacity before joining Jensen Motors Ltd in 1967. Wishlade had known Gethin Bradley from his time at Rover and in his capacity as Sales Promotion Manager would often be in contact with Good and Bradley at Good Relations Ltd.

It was Wishlades’ job to organise the motor shows and brochures etc. Duerr was told by Norcros to cut the sales force at Jensen Motors, eventually it was agreed that one member of the force would be made redundant, which was Wishlade.

Tony Marshall, former Sales Manager, believes Wishlade was made redundant around summer 1968. He emigrated to South Africa, where he later committed suicide. See also Dick Thorogood.

 

Jensen Motors Sales Department A-Z

 

ASSISTANCE: Did you, or a member of your family work with the Jensen Motors Sales Department, if so, we would love to hear from you.

ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS: Tony Branson, son of Jim Branson | Tony Marshall, former Sales Manager, Jensen Motors | John Staddon, Jensen CV8 Registrar, Jensen Owners’ Club.

COPYRIGHTS:  Jensen Museum

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

 

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