Tuesday, June 30, 2015

Gordon-Keeble GT Coupé (1964-67)

Produced between 1964 and 1966, the Gordon-Keeble was one of a select band of 1960s Grandes Routières that combined British chassis engineering with American horsepower and Italian style. Designed by John Gordon, lately of Peerless, and produced in collaboration with garage owner Jim Keeble, the car featured a spaceframe chassis with independent front suspension, De Dion rear axle and four-wheel disc brakes. Styled by the youthful Giorgetto Giugiaro, then at Carrozzeria Bertone, its elegant glassfibre bodywork was manufactured in England by Williams & Pritchard, one of the foremost firms specialising in this form of construction. A 327ci (5.4-litre) Chevrolet V8 engine provided effortless cruising and a top speed in the region of 140mph.

The first Gordon GT prototype was presented on Bertone's stand at the Geneva Motor Show in 1960. With a 0-60mph time of six seconds and 'the ton' coming up just ten seconds later, the 140mph Gordon GT was one of the fastest road vehicles of its day. Nevertheless, these ingredients should have been the recipe for guaranteed success but the company failed to get its pricing right and production ceased after little more than a year. A prolonged strike at Adwest, makers of the steering box, and resulting delays in component deliveries was another contributing factor in Gordon-Keeble's demise. A brief revival saw a few more cars assembled by the successor company but when finally the end came, only 99 cars, all right-hand drive, had been produced. (A 100th was assembled from spares some time later). It is estimated that all but a tiny handful survive. (bonhams.com)

(Photos from bonhams.com, classicdriver.com, onlycarsandcars.blogspot.ca, 
commons.wikimedia.org, forum-auto.com, mocgb.net & flickr.com)

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