1965 Jensen CV8 Mk 3


• Older restoration - still presents wonderfully
• One of only 181 MK3s built
• On the button
• Low ownership

The Background

Jensen have a history of producing record-breaking, unusual low-volume cars, and the CV8 is no different. Produced between 1962 and 1966, the CV8 was not only one of the fastest production four-seat vehicles of its era, but could also claim a one-up in performance terms over numerous supercars of the time, being able to sprint to 60 in just 6.7 seconds.

Constructed around a twin-tube frame with a fibreglass body shell and a controversially-designed front end, the CV8 employed two variants of Chevrolet’s ‘big block’ Golden Commando V8 engines, initially in 5.9-litre guise and later in 6.3-litre form. The majority of cars featured a three-speed Torqueflite transmission sourced from Chrysler, and in total only 500 were produced before the model was canned in 1966.

The History

This particular example was picked up by our vendor from a well-known family friend, who - despite having put a significant amount of time and effort into maintaining and lightly restoring this lovely CV8 - had to sell up due to changing circumstances.

Prior to coming into the hands of our vendor - a trade seller, meaning the car has not been put into their name - the car had been resprayed to a very high standard, with the paint still looking very good to this day. 

Having been kept in the same family between 1972 and 2021, this CV8 - an incredibly rare MK3, being one of only 181 built - has also benefitted from the following work during its previous ownership:

- Re-chromed bumpers
- Overhauled braking system including new pipes
- Engine, gearbox and carburettor overhaul
- New exhaust
- New springs

Whilst work has clearly been undertaken to bring this MK3 CV8 back to its best, the original has been left mercifully original and unrestored throughout, with only a period Alpine stereo having been fitted.

The Paperwork

Included with the vehicle is the V5 showing three former keepers, a HPI check sheet, MOT history sheets, an owners manual and numerous older invoices for work carried out to the vehicle.

The Interior

The wonderfully original interior has been left alone by the previous keepers, and we’d say it’s all the better for it - it retains that wonderful old car ‘leather smell’ and presents very well for its age.

The front seats, for example, remain in very good condition, though there is a very slight tear or deep crease noted to the passenger seat base. In the rear, both seats are in excellent shape, and up above there was no notable sagging from the headliner, though there are a few stains here-and-there from years of enjoyment.

Down below, the carpets look to be in good - if used - shape, with the only noteworthy wear being around the inner door edges. The door cards are also in very good order, though the driver’s window winder seems to ‘slip’ teeth when being wound up, and would not go up the entire way. 

The wooden dashboard is in excellent shape with no notable damage to the lacquer, whilst all of the gauges appear to be working as they should, other than the clock, which despite ticking did not seem to be functioning. 

The Exterior

Despite the older restoration to the bodywork, this MK3 CV8 presents wonderfully on the outside, and is a sure-fire head-turner even for those that may not appreciate just how rare and desirable this V8-engined GT car really is. 

Looking closer, there are a few marks here-and-there to the bodywork, such as on the upper rear wings, lower front wings and the odd stone chip here-and-there, but the worst of these are documented in the gallery below for you to make your own assessments. 

The chromed bumpers are still in great shape, though we did notice some very, very slight corrosion on the outside of the offside front corner.

Crucially, all of the light lenses seem to be free of damage, whilst the only area of bubbling we noted during our photo shoot was on the inner edge of the passenger door, which has also been shown in the gallery below.

The Mechanicals

During our photoshoot, the 6.3-litre V8 fired into life with ease, and settled into an impressively refined idle with no fuss. There were also no untoward noises that we noticed, nor any particularly excessive amount of smoke.

Underneath the bonnet - unlocked via the handle on the front edge of the bonnet - how typically Jensen - the V8 engine looks to be sound, though the engine bay would benefit from a significant clean-up and decontamination to assess the condition in more detail. 

Looking underneath the car, the good news continues, as the chassis appears to have been protected from the elements with a copious amount of under seal, and we could see nothing that set any alarm bells ringing.

Of course, the car is exempt from mandatory MOT testing on account of its age, meaning there is no current MOT certificate.

The Appeal

Exceedingly rare in any form, the MK3 CV8 is arguably the ‘cream of the crop’ for any Jensen or British classic car enthusiasts, representing both impressive mechanical development and the wonderfully quirky and unusual nature of the British motor industry in the 1960s.

This example has evidently been cherished by its previous owners and benefits from an older external restoration that still holds up well to this day, yet still offers scope for further improvements in the cabin and engine bay, should the next owner wish to undertake such work.

Usable and on-the-button, this is a wonderful example of an unusual, yet important classic from the much-lamented Jensen brand. 

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Vehicle specification
  • Year 1965
  • Make Jensen
  • Model CV8 Mk3
  • Colour Silver
  • Odometer 67,400 Miles
  • Engine size 6300
  • Location Gloucestershire
  • Country United Kingdom
Bidding history
28 bids
  • TO•••• £40,000 07/11/21
  • DC•••• £36,000 07/11/21
  • TO•••• £35,000 05/11/21
  • ma•••• £30,000 04/11/21
  • TO•••• £25,500 04/11/21
  • Sh•••• £25,250 04/11/21
  • TO•••• £25,000 04/11/21
  • Sh•••• £20,250 04/11/21
  • TO•••• £20,000 03/11/21
  • Sh•••• £15,250 03/11/21

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