Moving on from the Sommer family’s cars, we meet Steen Volmer Jensen, who at age 19 decided he would build a car on his own. This car was never intended for mass production, but merely as a future engineer’s mad project. It took him more than five years and 5,000 hours before the SVJ 1000 GT was completed. SVJ are his initials.
The car sits on the chassis of an Auto Union 1000S and the body was built as a wooden frame to which he added clay. From that he molded an entire one-piece body in fiberglass. He then cut out doors, hood and trunk lid. This makes for a very snug fit for a homemade car created from scratch by a teenager.
The engine was originally a 57 horsepower Wartburg-sourced rotary engine, but during the build it was replaced with a 120 horsepower NSU Ro80 rotary – exactly what you would expect an overambitious and eccentric engineer-to-be to choose as a powerplant. With the Auto Union basis in mind it should come as no surprise that the car is front-wheel-drive, although its looks indicate rear-wheel-drive.
Weighing just short of 2,200 pounds the 171.7 inches long car would actually accelerate to 62mph in 9.6 seconds and continue all the way to 120. It looks much heavier than it is, but 120 horsepower go along way with a light fiberglass body. Jensen drove it for years and clocked more than 185,000 miles in it. Today, Jensen has passed away, and his car rests in Ole Sommer’s automobile museum north of Copenhagen.
But this is not the last we heard from Jensen. In the eighties he launched another project with an unconventional power plant, this time intended for a much larger audience. More on that next week.