1965 Gordon Keeble GK75£ 89,995
A supreme example of this rare, refined and quintessentially British sports touring car that has always attracted a fiercely loyal band of devotees. Designed by John Gordon, the man behind the Peerless GT and produced in collaboration with engineering ace and garage owner Jim Keeble, the car was designed without compromise featuring a space frame chassis, independent front suspension, de Dion rear axle and four-wheel disc brakes. Power came from the dependable 5.4 litre V8 engine from the Chevrolet Corvette with styling courtesy of a youthful Giorgetto Giugiaro, then at Bertone. The everlasting graceful body was manufactured in glass fibre by the highly respected British firm Williams and Pritchard. When launched, the Gordon Keeble was one of the fastest cars of the day, with a 0-60 mph time of 6 seconds and effortless cruising with a top speed of 140 mph.
This car, number GK 75, is from the second group of cars produced by Gordon Keeble Ltd in Eastleigh, Southampton. These featured a number of upgrades and modifications from the first series and car no 75 included the desirable power steering, manual gearbox and upgraded brake servos. The very extensive history file allows us a detailed insight into the cars life and from this we can see the arrival of the car into the workshop of Enotts Coachworks in May 1971 following an accident. Now, no history of Gordon Keeble would be complete without a mention of Ernie Knott, a complete GK enthusiast, he bought all of the parts from Gordon Keeble Ltd upon its sad but inevitable demise and did more than anyone to keep the GK marque alive, being Chairman of the GK club for many years, a regular contributor to the marque magazine “Keebling” and the engineer most responsible for ensuring that more than 95% of Gordon Keeble remain today.
As detailed in original invoicing on file following a full inspection, Ernie Knott in collaboration with the owner at the time decided that simple repairs were not the plan, instead GK75 was to be born again, possible due to the extensive factory parts purchased by Knott. To this end the unprotected and hence six-year-old corroded space frame was replaced with a new ex-factory item, this time correctly painted. The body shell was replaced or refinished as required as were all other components, this as new car being renumbered chassis C100 with every factory and Ernie Knott modification included.
The Winchester-based owner of GK 75 enjoyed the car for several more years and continued to use the esteemed Ernie Knott for upgrades and maintenance, again this is documented on file.
Four subsequent owners enjoyed GK75 up to 2013 and continued to look after it very carefully as documented in correspondence and invoicing on file and as recorded in the club magazine “Keebling” copious editions of which accompany the history file. In 2013 the car passed via Ernie Knott to an established GK enthusiast who immediately embarked upon a further full restoration to the highest standards and without compromise. This took seven years and countless hours of research and tracking down parts as fully detailed in the vast file for this period of the car’s life with invoicing, a photographic book and correspondence. Suffice to say, a restoration to this standard today would carry a six figure cost if indeed the parts could even be sourced.
The last owner, a regular Hairpin customer and collector of only the finest examples that must drive as well as they look searched high and low for a great Gordon Keeble before happening upon GK75. He loved the condition of the car, no compromise nature of the restoration and the retention of the original engine and impossible to find original seats. The original gearbox has been replaced with a much better five speed unit but the original box accompanies the car.
A great Gordon Keeble, indeed a very accomplished car full stop that remains so capable. One can only imagine how great this marque could have become with better financing.