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Gordon Keeble 1964 1966

by aboutweeks

Gordon Kible not only sounds like the perfect way of commercial success, but also is such: the creators of the car managed to very organically combine a cheap American V-shaped engine with excellent Italian design and traditional British technology for making chassis.

Tourist Gordon Keeble

Starting in November 1959 to develop the project, its creators John Gordon and Jim Keeble (Jim Keeble) wanted to create a new tourist car that was not inferior to Aston Martin in their characteristics, but could provide comfortable conditions for four passengers. They believed that such a car would find its place in the market, where double -seater cars of the GT class dominated. The chassis of an experimental copy was made in January 1960, after which it was sent to Turin, where specialists of the famous body company Bertone were supposed to design and make a body for it.

This responsible task was laid on the shoulders of a 21-year-old, few then a famous, beginning designer Georgetto Jujaro. He coped with his task brilliantly – the body developed by him looked amazing, all its lines were harmonious and self -sufficient, a distinctive feature of the new products were slightly inclined doubled headlights and a salon with a very large area of ​​glazing. Only 2.5 months after sending the chassis to Turin, in March 1960, the finished car made his debut at the Geneva Auto Show.

Gordon Keeble is released

Gordon Keeble was very warmly met by visitors to the exhibition and press. But from the catwalk Geneva, the car did not go to serial production, but was transferred into the hands of test drivers. In October of the same year, the tests ended. For that

time of the odometer of an experimental copy “wound” more than 23,000 kilometers. Many testers called him in their diaries “the best car on which we had to drive”.

But the path from the experimental to the industrial design turned out to be too long. The first serial car got out of the gates of the factory only in 1964. By the way, its production was mastered in the town of Eastlif, near Southampton, on the territory of the local airfield. The serial car differed little from the experimental copy presented in Geneva. It was based on a spatial frame welded from 2.5-centimeter square pipes, which provides high stiffness and stability of the car. Under the hood there was an eight-cylinder Chevrolet Corvette engine, aggregated with a 4-speed manual gearbox. In fact, the torque of the engine was so large that it was almost superfluous. This engine could develop power up to 300 liters. With. With it, the car accelerated from 0 to 96 km/h in 7.7 seconds, up to 160 km/h for 19.6. In the first gear, it accelerated to 112 km/h. Its maximum speed was 230 km/h.

Unusual Gordon Keeble Salon

To ensure the proper level of security, the car was equipped with a double -circuit brake system, and all its wheels had disc brakes. On the highway, he could compete with such “runners” as Ferrari 33gt, Jaguar Mk X, Mercedes 300se

. But its main difference from the pre -production sample was in the back. The first experienced copy had a steel body. But, given that the car will be made by a small series, it was decided to make a fiberglass body, which allowed to abandon expensive presses. Also, to reduce the cost of production, the salon and the armchairs of the car were not offended by natural, but artificial skin. As if remembering that Gordon Keeble is located on the airfield, the designers placed on the instrument panel such a huge number of devices and a wide variety of switches that, driving behind the wheel, it was possible to feel the reactive aircraft pilot.

By 1965, about 80 cars were produced. But the young, developing company encountered the problems of the supply of components, and strikes at the enterprises of the adjacent significantly undermined the trust of customers, since the orders received could not be timely completed. After the change of management in 1966, another 19 cars were assembled, and in 1968 the production was finally liquidated. Despite the fact that more than 30 years have passed since the termination of production, 90 Gordon Keeble cars are still wheel on the roads of the Old and New Worlds.

Photo by Gordon Keeble

Gordon Keeble video

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