Gilbern car logos adn Gilbern history
Ginetta Cars was founded in 1958 by the four Walklett brothers (Bob, Ivor, Trevers and Douglas) in Woodbridge, Suffolk, England. The cars are currently (2008) made in Leeds, West Yorkshire.
The first car, not destined for production, which subsequently became known as the G1 was based on a pre war Wolseley Hornet. From their original base, the company moved to Witham, Essex in 1962 and between 1972 and 1974 operated from larger premises in Sudbury, Suffolk before returning to Witham where they remained until 1989.
Under the Walkletts, Trevers was mainly responsible for styling, Ivor for engineering, Douglas, management and Bob sales. The company enjoyed 31 years of solvent trading without any Government handouts and under the skilful leadership of Bob Walklett the company always adapted to suit the economic conditions of the day.
Following the retirement of the Walkletts in 1989 the company was sold but failed and was then bought by an international group of enthusiasts and based in Sheffield and run by managing director Martin Phaff producing the G20 and G33.
In late 2005 Ginetta was acquired by LNT Automotive, a company run by Yorkshire businessman and racing car driver Lawrence Tomlinson and in mid 2007 Ginetta moved to an enlarged factory near Leeds to replace the Sheffield works with a target to sell 300 cars a year.
The first car, the G2, was produced as a kit for enthusiasts and consisted of a tubular frame chassis to take Ford components and aluminium body. About 100 were made. The G3 was introduced with glass fibre body in 1959 to be followed by the G4 in 1961.
The G4 used the new Ford 105E engine and had a glass fibre GT style body and the suspension was updated to coil springing at the front with Ford live axle at the rear. Whereas the G2 and G3 had been designed for competition the G4 was usable as an everyday car but still was very competitive in Motor Sport with numerous successes. Over 500 were made up to 1969 with a variety of Ford engines. In 1963 a coupé was introduced alongside the open car and a BMC axle replaced the Ford one at the rear. On test the car reached 120 mph (190 km/h) with a 1500 cc engine. The series III version of 1966 added the then popular pop up headlights. Production stopped in 1968 but was revived in 1981 with the Series IV which was two inches wider and three inches (76 mm) longer than the III.
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