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Gilbern Reviews

The Gilbern name is a combination of its two founders, Giles Smith and Bernard Friese, and it was the only car manufacturer to originate in Wales. While it was in business, it managed to make the leap from kit-car to production vehicles, and do so by offering a series of smart and desirable two-door coupes. They were all built using the same production method of a glass fibre body over a steel tube chassis.

Early GTs were based on BMC  mechanical parts, but over the years the company used more and more parts from Ford, starting with its V6 engines for the Genie and Invader models. By the Invader III all mechanical parts were stamped with the Ford logo. The energy crisis and VAT changes, (which upped the prices of kit cars) killed the company off in 1974, like so many other small specialist carmakers.

Good: Petite, nippy and a delight to drive on back road, tried and tested components
Bad: Rattly and crude build quality
Good: Good to drive, powerful with tight handling, good parts supply because it uses so many off-the-shelf components from BMC and Ford
Bad: Indifferent build quality, glass fibre finish doesn't age that well
 

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