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Jowett Jupiter 1A Coupe.

The Story of Jowett Jupiter 1A Coupe chassis E1 SAL 500, registration B 55.

The Jowett Jupiter was produced from 1950-1954 with a total of about 825 made.  75 units were sold as chassis/cowl assemblies and were delivered for local bodies to be built by companies all around the world – to Switzerland, Italy, Australia, England, Sweden and Denmark.

Chassis E1 SAL 500 was ordered and delivered to the Danish Jowett importer Ole Sommer, a car dealer and car body builder, on 29 November 1951.

A Coupe body was constructed and built in aluminium by Ole Sommer.  A truly ambitious project in the tough postwar years, and it was very expensive for just that one body, with the cost too high to bring it into production.

Jowett Jupiter 1a Coupe

Figure 1: The body shape was made in welding wire.

It was delivered to the customer on November 12, 1952, with the registration number plate B 55.

Jowett Jupiter 1a Coupe

Figure 2: Sommers Jupiter in 1953.

The Jupiter was put up for sale on 12/11/1952 and bought by and registered under the number B 55 to Director E. Gran Jacobsen, in Horsholm, who only had the pleasure of keeping it for 9 months.  It was then sold to the watchmaker H.C. Knudsen, in Gentofte, who after 4 months sold it to auditor Kai Nielsen, in Hellerup, who was slightly more persistent and after 2 years and 9 months sold it to architect Kaj Andersen, in Alborg, when on 10/9/1956 the car was registered as U 10.581. It remained there for 4 years.

Then on 17/9/1960 it had No UH 26.188 still in Alborg.  On 23/8/1962 it was registered with UP 22.453 in Norresundby, 1/5/1963 as UP 22.499 in Nibe and 6/4/1964 was MH 21.168 in Odense.  Then it was sold to Hardy Nielsen in Årslev Fyn, who in turn sold to Reinhard Nielsen near Thyboron.  And with him the story could have stopped for E1 SAL 500, because the car now has no seats and no wheels, and what is left has been moved out to the west coast of Denmark.

But at that time the rescuer Willi Milan, from Ballerup enters the story.

On August 14, 1966 along comes Willi Milan, with his family, riding along the highway near Vrist and he slows down when he discovers the remains of a red sports car and turns his car round to see what he has found.  It ends with a trade, and for kr. 150 (the receipt still exists) Willi Milan is the new owner of the Jupiter.  Reinhard Nielsen promises to also give him the seats and wheels, which he does.

On 22/8/1966 the Jupiter arrives via a haulage firm at Ballerup, where Willi Milan lives.  Then the work starts.  The body is painted in British racing green, the upholstery is renewed and the mechanical parts overhauled.

Jowett Jupiter 1a Coupe

Figure 3: The car with Willi Milan.

Jowett Jupiter 1a Coupe

Figure 4: The car repainted by Willi Milan.

Milan did not register the car, but in October 1973 it is sold to Anders Ditlev Clausager, and registered in 1974 under DN 58.921.

Clausager went to England in October 1974 to study in London. In the summer of 1976 he returns home to Denmark and in 1977 Clausager became a designer at VW in Germany.  After that he moved to England as a designer and later historical expert and archivist at British Leyland.  The Jupiter was moved to Birmingham.

After 15 years of ownership the Jupiter was put on sale in February 1988 in the Veteran Journal.  The current owner was persuaded by several friends that it ought to be returned to Denmark.

So with a close friend the current owner went to London with SAS, taking the train to Birmingham, where Clausager welcomed them with Danish hospitality until dawn.

First thing the next morning, they are allowed to see the Jupiter, after Clausager all night had dimmed their expectations about the car's condition.  But they were pleasantly surprised by the body condition and totally loved the design, and so the Jupiter changed owner!  After the new owner had taken leave of an incredibly hospitable host, they returned to Denmark.

Jowett Jupiter 1a Coupe

Figure 5: The car in Birmingham.

Jowett Jupiter 1a Coupe

Figure 6: On the way from Harwich to Esbjerg (England to Denmark).

Once the car reached Denmark the owner starts to disassemble the body, which was in really good condition.  They had to resolve several small problems in the bodywork and change a piece of plate at 7 x 5 cm. in one door post.

Jowett Jupiter 1a Coupe

Figure 7: Bodywork in progress.

Jowett Jupiter 1a Coupe

Figure 8: The Chassis.

The engine was "new", - assembled from a stock of new parts, and the gearbox was also in fine condition.  The bodywork was painted in 10 layers of cellulose-paint in the colour of old English white; and the upholstery was taken care of.

Thom Bank Pedersen helped with wiring and the solving of a great many problems. On 19/4/2006 the Jupiter was registered under B 55 again - it took a long time because there were other projects in between.  Now, after driving the Jupiter the owner says that it is an incredibly good drive, where you really feel that you have total control over the car.

Jowett Jupiter 1a Coupe

Figure 9: The engine.

Jowett Jupiter 1a Coupe

Figure 10: The interior.

Jowett Jupiter 1a Coupe

Figure 11: The car now.

Additional comments from the owner following discussions with the builder:

A drawing of how the car was built was never made – it was all free-form and it was hard work to make the two sides exactly the same, but making the coupe shell of welding wire helped a lot, and the builder and his assistant had always been artists, having built many different body types on van and truck chassis.  The original instrument panel was used, but changed to left hand drive.  They cannot remember if the original windscreen was used.

The whole body was made from aluminium, which made it lighter than steel, and also easier to work on.  There is no outside access to the luggage compartment, and the filler cap is placed right in the middle below the rear window, which was made from Plexiglas, instead of real glass; again easier to handle, and lighter.  Original wheels and hubs were used, so were original front seats and door handles.  There were no front door vents because of the straight upper door line.  The original colour was black with red trim, and the hood ornament is also the original.  Dual tail lamps were fitted, which was done to meet Danish registration rules at that time.

The license plate in 1953 was B 55 when the car was registered, just like it is today, but now as veteran plates.

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