Gordon-Keeble Reviews and Road Tests

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Gordon-Keeble

Gordon-Keeble rose from the collaboration of John Gordon (formerly of struggling Peerless) and Jim Keeble. The pair developed the Gordon GT in 1959, and like the Monterverdi and DeTomaso, they formula was to fit a large American V8 into a European sports saloon. The original engine chosen was the Buick 215 c.i. (3.5 litre) V8 engine (the engine which would later be developed and used by Rover), a Peerless chassis being used. During the development of the car, it was immediately evident that the chassis could (and deserved) more power. Next came the 4.6 litre Chevrolet (283 c.i.) V8.

The Peerless chassis used a square-tube steel spaceframe chassis, with independent front suspension and all-round disc brakes. The Peerless chassis was then taken to Turin, Italy, where a body made of aluminium panels designed by Giugiaro was built by Bertone. The car's four five-inch headlights were in the rare, slightly angled "Chinese eye" arrangement also used by a few other European marques, generally for high-speed cars such as Lagonda Rapide, Lancia Flaminia and Triumphs, as well as Rolls-Royce.

The Gordon GT appeared on the Bertone stand in March 1960, branded simply as a Gordon, at the Geneva Motor Show. At that time problems with component deliveries had delayed construction of the prototype, which had accordingly been built at breakneck speed by Bertone in precisely 27 days. After extensive road testing the car was shipped to Detroit and shown to Chevrolet management, who agreed to supply Corvette engines and gearboxes for a production run of the car.

The Gordon GT was readied for production with some alterations, the main ones being a larger 5.4 litre (327 c.i.) engine and a change from aluminium body to glass fibre. Problems with suppliers occurred and before many cars were made the money ran out and the company went into liquidation. About 90 cars had been sold at what turned out to be an unrealistic price of £2798.

In 1965 the company was bought by Harold Smith and Geoffrey West and was re-registered as Keeble Cars Ltd. Production resumed, but only for a short time, the last car of the main manufacturing run being made in 1966. A final example was actually produced in 1967 from spares, bringing the total made to exactly 100. The Gordon-Keeble Owners' Club claim that over 90 still exist. An attempt was made to restart production in 1968 when the rights to the car were bought by an American, John de Bruyne, but this came to nothing, although two cars badged as De Bruynes were shown at that year's New York Motor Show along with a new mid-engined coupé.
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Gordon-Keeble GK1

Gordon-Keeble GK1

1964 - 1966
The Gordon G.T. prototype was the brainchild of John S. Gordon. In October 1960, it was heralded as the fastest car in the world that had undergone a road test, and was not relying on manufacturers claims. The Gordon GT combined electrifying performance with elegance, having a four-seater body, including a big luggage boot. The only problem was, it seemed destined that the prototype would remain just that - many fearing it would never actually make serious production. More>>
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