Tag Archives: Gordon GT

A-Z of Car Stuff: BP is for British Plastic – Part 1

A-Z of Car Stuff

This is one in a series of posts on cars, drivers, designers etc. that have interested me over the years. I’ve bored my family and friends with this stuff for years – now it’s your turn!

See A-Z of Car Stuff page for more posts in this series.

So, what’s so special about British Plastic?

A while back I bumped into a very nice chap at Donington Historic Festival who wanted to have a chat about our respective 911s. In the course of the conversation he almost guiltily confessed that although he really liked his 911 – his main passion was for “British Plastic”. His definition of “British Plastic”  was British cars with Glass Reinforced Plastic (GRP) bodywork built during the ’50s, ’60s and ’70s.

In a scene reminiscent of an Alcoholics Anonymous meeting – I had to own-up to having had a previous predilection for British Plastic myself through brief ownership of a TVR Vixen.  I obviously stressed that I had successfully overcome this problem and had since moved firmly into German metal.

The term “British Plastic” stuck in my head as it reminded me of the interesting cars that were around or on my potential shopping list during my “plastic period” in the late ’70s and I thought it merited a post or even two posts under my A to Z of Car Stuff page:-

British Plastic – Part 1 covers the following marques:-

  • Ashley, Berkely, Caterham, Clan, Costin, Daimler Davrian/Darrian, Elva, Fairthorpe, Falcon, Gilbern, Ginetta, Gordon Keeble & Jensen

British Plastic – Part 2 continues with:-

  • Kougar, Lenham, Lotus, Ogle, Marcos, Ogle, Peerless, Piper,  Reliant, RGS, Rochdale, Tornado, Turner, TVR, Unipower, Warwick and WSM

Read on……………….

Continue reading A-Z of Car Stuff: BP is for British Plastic – Part 1

A-Z of Car Stuff: B is for Bizzarrini

A-Z of Car Stuff

This is one in a series of posts on cars, drivers, designers etc. that have interested me over the years. I’ve bored my family and friends with this stuff for years – now it’s your turn!

See A-Z of Car Stuff page for more posts in this series.

So, what’s so special about Bizzarrini?

Well it depends if you’re talking about the designer or the car!

Starting with The Designer:-

1) Giotto Bizzarrini designed/developed some truly iconic sports cars. These included the Ferrari 250 Testa Rossa, Ferrari 250 GT SWB, Ferrari 250 GTO, Ferrari 250 Drogo Breadvan, Iso Rivolta GT, Iso Grifo and the Bizzarrini 5300 GT Strada & Corsa.

2) He created one of the most fantastic and enduring V12 engines. The V12 engine created for Ferruccio Lamborghini was an up-scaled version of Bizzarrini’s design for an unused ATS engine. The Lamborghini V12 remained in production from 1964 (when it initially powered the Lamborghini 350GT) until 2010 (when in much expanded and highly developed form it powered the Lamborghini Murcielago).

3) He was a brilliant hands-on development engineer. Bizzarrini masterfully combined insightful test driving technique with his engineering skills to effectively and directly convert issues into engineering development solutions. This approach was epitomised in his rapid development of the Ferrari 250 GTO and he subsequently applied the same principles to other cars he created and developed.

Moving onto The Car:-

4) The wonderful Bizzarrini 5300 GT Strada/Corsa. This Livorno (Bizzarrini’s hometown) manufactured car was built for an all too brief period between 1965 and 1969 resulting in just 133 examples. This beautiful car was a wonderful amalgam of Italian style, inspired engineering and reliable/powerful Chevrolet grunt. Thankfully many survive and some are still enthusiastically raced at historic events.

Continue reading A-Z of Car Stuff: B is for Bizzarrini