Great Britain was once home to a great number of sports car manufacturers. At one point, the Brits even rivaled the Italians on both the streets and the race tracks, until several UK-based companies began going under and having their factories closed. Jensen Motors is one of these. Founded in 1934, it made a name for itself by building both commercial vehicles and light sports cars. It’s most iconic cars were the CV8, which used 5.9- and 6.3-liter, Chrysler V-8 engines, and the Interceptor. Sold between 1966 and 1976, the Interceptor also used Chrysler-sourced engines, including the massive 7.2-liter RB block, making it the most powerful "hybrid" to blend European styling with American oomph. Unfortunately, the Interceptor wasn’t successful enough to keep Jensen from going under in 1976 and joining the long list of British automakers that succumbed in the second half of the 20th century.
Fortunately, several Jensen cars became full-fledged classics as early as the 1990s, encouraging enthusiasts to buy and restore them, and parade them across Britain. One such car is the 541, a grand tourer that Jensen built only 127 of between 1960 and 1963. Manufactured only with right-hand drive, all 541 were sold in the United Kingdom and Ireland. Nowadays, however, a bunch of them have made it across the English Channel to other European countries. Interestingly enough. one even made it to Italy, a country otherwise known to favor local classics from the likes of Ferrari, Lamborghini, Maserati, Lancia and Alfa Romeo.
The owner of the blue coupe you’re about to see is Gianfranco Giovine, perhaps the only Italian to fall in love with the Jensen 541 and buy one, waiting no fewer than four weeks to have it shipped from Ireland in 2011. "I was awestruck by the beauty of this car, by its curves, by the sound of its engine," Giovine told Petrolicious, adding that the 541 was a car that put him in a position "to chase it as if it were a beautiful woman." I must admit I never thought an Italian could fall in love with a British car that’s not an Aston Martin or a Jaguar, but it seems love has its ways when it comes to automobiles too. Click the play button above to find out more about Gianfranco’s love affair with the Jensen 541.