Tag Archives: Gordon Keeble

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: H is for Hybrids (the Euro/US Variety)!

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 Hybrids?

To my mind – there are hybrids and hybrids!

On the one hand – there are the modern internal combustion engine/battery powered vehicles built to save the planet and/or salve the collective consciences of automotive eco-warriors (isn’t that an oxymoron?).

On the other hand there are Euro/US Hybrids – sleek and elegant European styled cars with stonking great American V8s shoe-horned into their delicate chassis. These cars have a simple purpose in life – to tear-up roads and circuits at the fastest possible speed but in the best possible style and taste!

1) The special thing about petrol/electric hybrids is they’re NOT new. They were designed and driven donkey’s years ago thanks to Ferdinand Porsche.

2) The special thing about Euro/American hybrids is that they combine the best of European styling with the rugged power of American V8 engines. A number of specialist manufacturers have created beautiful and innovative sports cars, GTs and saloons that have graced the roads and race circuits of the world for years. Long may this Euro/US Hybrid cross-breeding programme continue.

Continue reading A-Z Of Car Stuff: H is for Hybrids (the Euro/US Variety)!

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

A-Z of Car Stuff

Intro

A-Z of Car Stuff provides links to a series of posts on cars,  drivers, designers etc. that have interested me over the years.

The posts attempt to distill what triggered my interest and why this has been maintained. I’ll add new posts and I’ll refine old ones with corrections and more information over time.

A number of the items are a work in progress and will become accessible as soon as I complete and publish them as posts with selection from the A-Z of Car Stuff page.

In essence – I’ve bored my friends and family with this stuff for years – now it’s your turn!

A-Z of Car Stuff:

A is for:-

Allard - Coming Soon
Allard – Coming Soon
Auto Union - Coming Soon
Auto Union – Coming Soon

B is for:-

Derek Bell & Stefan Bellof at Silverstone 1000kms - 13th May 1984
Bell & Bellof

 

Bizzarini Strada
Bizzarrini

BP is for:-

British Plastic – Part 1

 

TVR Griffith 200
British Plastic – Part 2

F is for:-

Facel Vega - Coming Soon
Facel Vega – Coming Soon

G is for:-

Gordon Keeble
Gordon Keeble

H is for:-

"Hybrid" - coming soon
Hybrids – the Euro/US Variety!

P is for:-

1970 Le Mans winning Porsche 917K
Porsche 917