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Gilbern GT (1959 - 1967)

Last updated 20 October 2013

 
4
Petite, nippy and a delight to drive on back road, tried and tested components
Rattly and crude build quality
166
were produced
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Introduction

Forever known as Wales’ only car, the Gilbern GT originated in Pontypridd. Originally available as a kit, the was sold in component form in order exploit a loophole which allowed potential owners to save money by avoiding paying purchase tax. Either way, it provided an affordable entry into the sports car market for many people. Underneath the glass fibre body was a tubular chassis and running gear taken from a combination of parts taken from the BMC Parts bin.

Despite its diminutive engine size, the Gilbern's performance was reasonably impressive thanks to the addition of an optional Shorrock supercharger to the standard Austin A-Series. That pushed power up from 42bhp in the standard car to 68bhp. Successive cars were sold with either the 1098cc Coventry Climax unit, or the 1588cc or 1622cc engine from the MGA. After 1963, the company offered the 1798cc engine from the MGB to offer a suitably torquey experience. Styling was neat and unpretentious, and the two wide-opening doors provided good access to a utilitarian bench seat in the back, enabling the GT claim it could seat four in reasonable comfort.

 

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