Wed, 18th Oct 2006 0:00

Kempton Park Racecourse

  Lot 37
Lot 37 - 1964 Gordon-Keeble GK1

1964 Gordon-Keeble GK1

Sold for £20,250

(including buyers premium)

Lot details
Registration No: JJD 88K
Chassis No: C511F0511RD
Mot Expiry: Oct 2007

Despite the term's Italian origins, for many the archetypal GT or Gran Turismo was the 1952 Bentley R-type Continental. Able to seat four in comfort yet sustain dizzying three figure average speeds for hours at a time, its blend of elegance and exclusivity made it the equivalent of today's helicopters and private jets. Born of the same tradition, the Gordon Keeble was launched at the Savoy Hotel in 1964. Far rarer than its Ferrari and Aston Martin contemporaries, just ninety-nine examples were ever built (only the fabulous Maserati 5000GT was scarcer in period). Brainchild of British engineers John Gordon and Jim Keeble, its spaceframe chassis was fabricated from one-inch square tubular steel. Echoing contemporary racing car practice, it featured independent coil-and-wishbone front suspension, a de Dion rear axle and four-wheel disc brakes. Powered by a Chevrolet 5355cc V8 rated at 300bhp and 360lbft of torque, the GK1's handsome, lightweight fibreglass body was styled by the legendary Giorgetto Giugiaro (then at Bertone). A full four-seater, the model's distinctive quad headlamps were something of a necessity given its performance. Commenting in their February 1966 road test that "The acceleration makes most sports cars look pretty silly even when you aren't trying, and when you are trying, there's virtually nothing on the road apart from Cobras and things that will stay in front of you" Car & Car Conversions magazine found one capable of 0-60mph in 6.0 seconds, 0-100mph in 16.1 seconds and 145mph flat out.
Finished in silver with black upholstery, this particular example is said to have been "uprated for use in HSCC events or similar by famous ex-racer Robin Gray". To this end, it sports a full FIA roll cage, new competition front seats / harnesses and refurbished wheels. Fitted with polyurethane bushes and heavy-duty front springs as part of an extensive suspension rebuild, 'JJD 88K' has also benefited from a rack and pinion steering conversion, repositioned battery (now boot-mounted) and brake overhaul (new front discs, competition linings, rejuvenated callipers etc). Checked over and serviced, its 5355cc V8 engine boasts a Holley carburettor and tubular-header exhaust manifolds. Upgraded to 12-volt negative earth electrics complete with a new alternator, distributor and starter motor, the coupe is apparently "known to the HSCC who are excited by its prospective appearance". Potentially as competitive as its track-going forebears, 'JJD 88K' has been the subject of various magazine articles. Eligible for various historic events, this expensively modified Gordon Keeble is offered for sale with "bills for over £12,000" and MOT certificate valid until October 2007.

PLEASE NOTE: The vendor has informed us that there is a brand new boxed set of alloy racing wheels, the original front and rear seats and many original parts are available with the car.

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