Most people remember Jensen for its famous Interceptor, or maybe the Jensen-Healey roadster of the seventies, which was its best-selling model before it went bankrupt in 1976. But in the early 1960s, Jensen also came up with a Chrysler-powered, robustly built fiberglass four-seater that was just about the fastest and most unusual luxury car you could buy in Europe.
Jensen built 500 examples of the C-V8 between 1962 and 1966. That makes it as common as a LaFerrari coupe, but in reality, you have a much higher chance of seeing a whole fleet of LaFerraris than ever coming across a C-V8. Unless, of course, you end up wondering around in the parking lot of the Goodwood Revival, where you shall find at least two.
Jay Leno found a 1965 Series III in California, cosmetically restored and mechanically unmolested. It's got everything you want from a British-American gran tourer, including a 330-horsepower, 383ci Chrysler V-8 with a dependable Torqueflite automatic, and adjustable "SELECTARIDE" shocks that never worked. But with the C-V8, you also get a quality-made fiberglass body with steel doors, the world's most complicated hood mechanism, and a full leather interior with acres of high-gloss wood. The C-V8 also has a whole bunch of unique design features, including an integrated gas cap that will keep your hands clean, and a questionably safe seat-belt mounting system that could ruin your day.
Leno bough this car because, if you can ever find one, the Jensen costs a fraction of a now-astronomically expensive Aston Martin DB5. Not to mention that the C-V8 quirkier, faster, and with the Chrysler parts onboard, much more reliable as well. Leno says there's a reason why Sean Connery bought one of these, and that's because "he liked it better than the DB5." Sadly, we must add that since their chat on the Tonight Show, according to RM Sotheby's, the former Mr. Bond has , adding that they are "amazing." But so are these Jensens.