Work on the original 541 began in early 1953 and the car appeared at that year's Earls Court show. The show prototype was aluminium but production 541s were built in glassfibre which was light and ideal for the car's rounded form and subtle detail. It covered a new chassis consisting of 5-in (12.7cm) tubes, braced by a blend of steel pressings and cross-members to make a platform. Suspension was modified Austin A70 with a live axle spring on half-elliptic at the back. The the steering a cam-and-roller system was used. There were big drum brakes all round.
The 541R of 1957 had the fittest DS7 version of the Sheerline four-litre engine, with twin carburettors on the right and a reworked cylinder-head. In conjunction with higher 7.6:1 compression and a 'long dwell' the power rose to 150bhp at 4100rpm with 210lb/fl (285.6 Nm) of torque at 2500 rpm. Only 53 cars had the DS7 engine. Practical Classics July 2009 - Featuring Buyers Guide Jensen 541 1954-1963. Click Here to view in our shop.