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Gordon-Keeble GK1 (1964 - 1966)

Last updated 29 June 2014

 
4
Gorgeous styling, fast and powerful, a proper Anglo-Italian GT car
Try finding one...
99
were produced
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Introduction

A short-lived but well-respected classic that combined the best of Britain, Italy and the USA is an apt description of the Gordon-Keeble GK1. Nicknamed 'The Growler', it was the brainchild of John Gordon and Jim Keeble, and first appeared as a steel-bodied prototype at the 1960 London Motor Show. However, it wasn't until 1964 that the car went into production, renamed GK1 but also known as the ‘International Tourer’. The car utilized inexpensive American V8 power and had blistering performance. Handling was very good, too, thanks to De Dion rear suspension and a complex square section space-frame chassis.

The styling was the work of 21-year-old Giorgetto Giugiaro, then chief stylist at Bertone, who later moved to Ghia before setting up his own studio. 'The car that was built to aircraft standards' was how the company from Eastleigh, England marketed its glass fibre-bodied, four-seater coupé. After a year, the company had produced just 80 cars and component supply problems and under-investment meant that Gordon-Keeble never realised its true potential. An additional 19 cars were built in 1966 under new management, but the company ceased trading later that year. Being made from glass fibre and therefore rust proof, the Gordon-Keeble GK1 has a very high survival rate. 80 of the original 99 are still on the road today, with a few more are awaiting restoration. At the 2014 Owners Club event, 49 owners showed up (and several of the original factory workers). 

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