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Ginetta Cars History


The Ginetta logo (1990)

Ginetta Cars was founded in 1958 by the four Walklett brothers (Bob, Ivor, Trevers and Douglas) in Woodbridge, Suffolk, England.

Road Cars

The first car, the G2, was produced as a kit for enthusiasts and consisted of a tubular frame chassis to take Ford components and aluminium body. About 100 were made.The G3 was introduced with glass fibre body in 1959 to be followed by the G4 in 1961. The G4 used the new Ford 105E engine and had a glass fibre GT style body and the suspension was updated to coil springing at the front with Ford live axle at the rear. Where the G2 and G3 had been designed for competition the G4 was usable as an everyday car but still was very competitive in Motor Sport with numerous successes. Over 500 were made up to 1969 with a variety of Ford engines. In 1963 a coupe was introduced alongside the open car and a BMC axle replaced the Ford one at the rear. On test the car reached 120 mph with a 1500 cc engine. The series III version of 1966 added the then poular pop up headlights.

The G10 and G11 from 1964 were higher powered versions with Ford V8 and MGB engines respectively. The G12 was a mid-engined competition car.

In 1967 the G15 was launched with Hillman Imp engine. This two seater coupe had a glass fibre body bonded to a tube chassis and used Imp rear and Triumph front suspension. Over 800 were made up to 1974 and the car was fully type approved allowing for the first time complete Ginetta cars to be sold.

1967 Ginetta G15
1990 Ginetta G32
1990 Ginetta G33

 

In 1970 it was joined by the larger G21 available with 1725 cc Sunbeam Rapier or 3 litre Ford V6 engines. To cater for increased production the company moved to a new factory at Sudbury, Suffolk.

Following reorganisation the company moved to Scunthorpe and started making cars in kit form again in the 1980's starting with the G27, an update on the old G4, and the G26 and G31 using Ford parts. It was also decided to re-enter the complete car business with the mid engined G32 with a choice of 1.6 and 1.9 litre 4 cylinder engines available as a coupé or convertible and the G33 coupé with 3.9 litre V8 power capable of 145 mph and a 0-60 mph time of 5 seconds. In 1990 the G32 coupé cost £13700, the convertible £14600 and the G33 £17800.

Under the Walkletts, the company enjoyed 31 years of solvent trading without any Government handouts like British Leyland. However under the skilful leadership of Bob Walklett; the company always adapted to suit the economic conditions of the day.

Following the retirement of the Walkletts in 1989 the company was sold but failed and was then bought by an international group of enthusiasts and based in Sheffield and produces the G20 and G33.

In 1995 there was a company called Gin1 in Sweden that started producing a version of the Ginetta G34 but redesigned to use Volvo engines. The company managed to get a unique deal with Volvo so they were able to buy engines from Volvo. They also managed to get it type approved, but the project folded with only a few cars made.

1996 Ginetta G27 series 3
2005 Ginetta G20
1997 Ginetta G4R
2006 Ginetta G12 by DARE

 

Swedish G34 road testSwedish G34 photos

Confusingly there is another company producing an updated G4 in the shape of Dare (Design and Research Engineering) which was founded by two of the original brothers and Trever's son Mark in 1991. DARE came about because Martin Phaff sold the commercial rights for the G4 and G12 models to a Japanese company. Ginetta Cars continued to produce the G12 and G4 for Japan. However the importer and now the owner to the rights of the cars was unhappy about the quality. So the Walkletts were approached to build the cars to the correct standard. It took two years to develop new jigs and body work for the G4 and G12. Mark Walklett then raced a new G4R in the 750 motor club roadsports series with great success. DARE also went on to develop their own range of cars, the DZ and TG and both cars were received with great acclaim.

John Rose has written and published quite a few books on Ginetta and also a founder member of the Ginetta Owners Club.

In 2005 Martin Phaff sold the rights to the Ginetta G27 to GKD Sports Cars. The G27 has since been revamped and is now sold by GKD as the EVOLUTION. Although the GKD EVOLUTION had good reviews in the Kit Car magazines, it is not sold or marketed as a Ginetta. Therefore many would say that the G4 and G12 are still the most desired Ginetta badged cars and are still made by DARE.

Racing Cars

Ginetta has long been associated with motor racing, both contemporary and historic.

Tom Walklett, Ivor's son will race a "bike" engined G12 in the 750MC this year. DARE also have a G12 planned for the Avon British GT Championship.

The Ginetta Cars G20 race series has been a great success in recent years and was won in 2005 by Matt Nicholl-Jones driving for Academy Motorsport.

A Ginetta G20 GTR coupe is entered in the 2006 British GT championship, run by the Richmond Racing team.

There is now also a junior race championship set up for people between 14 and 17 years old.


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