Friday, 7 February 2014

Gordon-Keeble GT

Words & photos - Daniel Bevis

In a serpentine way, this is where it all began for me. My father, as a mischievous youth, was once playing on the private estate of a local nobleman when he was caught red-handed by the nob in question. His punishment? A high-octane thrill-ride in a brand new Gordon-Keeble! It ignited the petrolhead flame in my old man, permeating his very DNA, and that passed genetically down to me. My automotive obsession, when traced back to its roots, can all be attributed to the Gordon-Keeble GT.

So what is it? Well, it's basically a 327ci (5.4-litre) Corvette V8 sitting in a Peerless chassis, swathed in gorgeous Italian curves designed by Giugiaro. The interior took its styling cues from the aviation industry, with quilted aircraft-grade PVC seats, copious toggle switches and white-on-black gauges.
The company was sadly plagued by supplier issues, and went into liquidation when just ninety cars had been built; shortly after, in 1965, production resumed under the new name of Keeble Cars Ltd, although this venture was also doomed to failure - the total number of cars built came to exactly 100.
My dad was undoubtedly a very lucky boy to enjoy such a rare piece of exotica, and I owe much to that car. When I spotted this example at the Windsor Concours back in 2012, I sat down in the grass for a while and just basked in its glory. The Gordon-Keeble GT is SuckSqueezeBangBlow genesis.

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