Museum’s Vignale Jensen FF goes under the knife.
Jason & Paul Lawrence, along with their team of ‘master trimmers’ from marque specialists, Rejen, undertake Male enhancement pills major surgery on the Museum’s earliest Vignale FF. Years of discussion and sourcing the correct leather leads to leather restoration Italian style.
At the heart of this mammoth undertaking is the Museum’s quest for originality
One of the Museum’s collection, is Vignale FF, 119/004, believed now to be the earliest surviving Jensen FF. The car was shipped to Jensen Motors from Italy in 1967, with a specification of charcoal grey paint, mist grey roof, and tan leather trim. The car was the first Jensen FF sold to a private customer, Clive Carr, the Chairman of the News Of The World.
Fast forward to 1990, and 119/004 was sold at auction. The new owner embarked on an epic restoration of the vehicle, placing the car with Jensen specialists, Cropredy Bridge Garage, in Oxfordshire. The owner didn’t like the tan leather trim, and asked for the car to have a complete re-trim in magnolia leather.
Eric Ward, who had formerly worked at the Jensen factory as a trimmer (later becoming Head of Trim Shop at Jensen Parts & Service), was given the job of re-trimming the interior, and the work was completed to a very high standard. The completed Vignale FF would go on to win the coveted President’s Cup at the Jensen Owners’ Club in 1995.
The Museum acquired 119/004 in 2006, and during the time the car has been in the Museum collection, ongoing work has been undertaken to bring back more elements of originality.
Inevitably, it was going to be the Museum’s quest to have the car re-trimmed back to its original tan leather, the issue was, since the original Italian interior had been discarded at the point of re-trim, nothing remained of the original trim to allow the Museum to match the materials.
Just one other Vignale manufactured FF was built up with Italian tan leather trim. That car was 119/007. Originally sent out to the USA for its customer, General Motors (who wanted the car for evaluation purposes), the car remained in the USA, until being imported into Australia.
The Museum had been contacted by the new owner in Australia, and this communication led; in 2008; to the Museum being sent an original section of the tan leather from underneath one of the seats, along with a small section of the vinyl edging of the carpets. In addition, the owner sent a large selection of close-up images of the interior.
Back in 2012, initial discussions took place between Jensen marque specialists, Rejen, and the Museum, in regard to re-trimming 119/004. This was not going to be an easy job. Firstly the Italian tan leather had to be matched perfectly, along with the carpet and edging materials.
However, even if these could be matched, the real work would be re-trimming the car in the way the Vignale trimmers undertook the work. Rejen accepted the challenge, and in 2015 had found a perfect match for the leather and other materials.
119/004 was transported to Rejen in May 2016, in preparation for the start of the work.
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