Tag Archives: Beale

Another Napkin Job – Ginetta G33

By the mid 1980’s Ginetta were looking to return to their glory days of the G15 in terms of volume and they developed a mid engined vehicle known as the G32 and invested in type approval so that the car could be sold as a turn key model. The Walketts even sold out to a team led by Martin Phaff and Mike Modiri with Ivor Walkett remaining as Technical Director to secure the companies future in 1989.

Ginetta G.33, Beale, Gurston Down

The G32 was scheduled to be launched at the 1990 British International Motor Show at the NEC in Birmingham. A couple of months earlier Mark Warklett and Noel Palmer, a former TVR employee, were eating pizza in a restaurant when they hatched a plan to fit a ubiquitous all aluminium Rover 3.9 litre / 240 cui V8 developed from the 1960’s Buick 215 V8, into a 4 cylinder Ginetta G27, sketching out the idea on a napkin.

Ginetta G.33, Beale, Gurston Down

While preparing the G32 for it’s launch Ginetta managed to find the time to squeeze a Rover V8 into a G27 which became the prototype G33 that appeared next to the G32 on Ginetta’s stand at the 1990 International Motor Show. The Prototype G33 was tested by Tiff Needell on Top Gear and before they new what was happening Ginetta received a flood of enquiries about the G33 which could reach 60 mph from rest in 5 seconds and had a top speed of 150 mph from it’s standard Rover V8 which produced 205 hp.

Ginetta G.33, Beale, Gurston Down

To meet the unexpected demand Ginetta rushed the G33 into production with a steel space frame chassis and fibre glass body that was wider than the G27 to accommodate the V8. Not having the resources to get the car type approved the G33 was sold in virtually complete form, as was possible in those days, with instructions on how to finish the car off for the same price as a modest performance saloon/sedan.

Ginetta G.33, Beale, Gurston Down

It is thought 90 G33s were built, many with subtle differences due to the lack of time to develop the model properly, up until 1993 when the company had to be rescued from financial difficulties with insufficient resources to continue production of the G33. A prototype 4 cylinder Ford Cosworth powered example of the G33 was built but the car was stolen from the factory before it was developed.

Ginetta G.33, Gurston Down, Classic Motor Show, NEC, Birmingham,

To raise cash the rights to manufacture along with the G33 moulds were sold to a Swedish concern called Gin 1, pronounced Gin Ettain Swedish who manufactured the renamed G34 with a turbocharged 2 litre Volvo motor taken from the 900 Series.

Ginetta G.33, Gurston Down, Classic Motor Show, NEC, Birmingham,

16 Gin 1s were manufactured before they folded with the manufacturing rights and moulds returning to Ginetta who based their 1998 40th Anniversary G40 model on the G33. The #78 seen at Gurston Down is being driven by Graham Beale and according to the programme is fitted with a 1993 cc turbo charged motor, possibly a Ford YB RS Cosworth motor.

Thanks for joining me on this “Another Napkin Job” edition of “Gettin’ a li’l psycho on tyres” I hope you will join me again tomorrow when I’ll be looking at the very last complete car to leave the Bristol factory. Don’t forget to come back now !


5th Tony Marsh Memorial Weekend – Gurston Down

On Sunday I made the first of what I hope will be many visits to Gurston Down for the 5th Tony Marsh Memorial Weekend hillclimb. Gurston Down just west of Salisbury is set on a working farm and was devised by six time British Hillclimb champion Tony Marsh in 1965.

Gurston Down, Wiltshire

The course is just over a half a mile long and rises a total 140 feet, it is also the only Hillclimb in the UK that starts on a downward slope. As I found out on Sunday the facilities and viewing areas are excellent and it is no surprise to hear that Gurston Down has won the Norrie Galbraith Memorial Trophy for best organised British Hillclimb Championship event a record eight times.

Mortimer, Porsche 911, Gurston Down, Wiltshire

After a cup of tea and obligatory bacon and egg roll in the excellent restaurant on arrival I made my way up to the Ashes Bend towards the top of the hill during the opening practice runs arriving in time to observe the second practice runs. Above Bob Mortimer lifts an inside front wheel in his Porsche 911 at the apex of Ashes.

Gates, Force LM, Gurston Down, Wiltshire

On his second practice run Johnathon Gates was forced into a bit of lawn mowing at Ashes bend as the back of his car stepped out unexpectedly under braking. No damage was done and he ended the day with 8th fastest time.

Rudge, Westfield SEi, Gurston Down, Wiltshire

Mike Rudge is seen correcting oversteer / push coming out of Ashes in his Westfield SEi, he easily won his class by seven seconds more surprisingly to me he finished with 9th fastest time of the day beating a number of single seat open wheel cars in the process.

Stapely-Bealing, Formula 1300, Gurston Down, Wiltshire

During her second practice run Hannah Stapely-Bealing came by showing signs of contact with the Wiltshire scenery however the car was repaired and put in two timed runs, however the motor of her Formula 1300 Clubmans car was no longer running cleanly and she was around a second off her first practice run.

Bloody Mary, Gurston Down, Wiltshire

National Motor Museum Beaulieu kindly sent along former Autosport Technical Editor John Bolsters “Bloody Mary” Special for a welcome demonstration. The special started as a project for two teenagers to scare the cow’s in a nearby field and became a successful if by all accounts rather terrifying Brough Superior powered hill climb winner.

Penfound, Lester MG, Gurston Down, Wiltshire

I was introduced to another new, to me, manufacturer at Gurston namely Lester who built MG powered cars in the 1950’s. Stewart Penfound navigates the steep and tight Karousel in his example above.

Pamplin, MG XPAG Special, Gurston Down, Wiltshire

Another interesting MG was Chris Pamplin’s MG XPAG Special as listed in the programme and 1935 MG Magnette according to the registration plate.

Spicer, Ferrari 328 GTB, Gurston Down, Wiltshire

Standing out from an otherwise mostly red crowd of Ferrari’s was Mike Spicers Modena Yellow 328 GTB seen approaching Deer Leap which recorded 2nd fastest Ferrari time of the day.

Fanner, Subaru Impreza, Gurston Down, Wiltshire

Lewis Fanner will have given his wife with whom he shares their Subaru Impreza a scare as he spun the car going into Karousel. Fortunately he did not hit anything and returned to the paddock for his one remaining run.

Hadfield, Lotus 22, Gurston Down, Wiltshire

Simon Hadfield and Geoff Hunt shared this Lotus 22, originally designed for Formula Junior competition, and finished the faster of the two albiet second in class to the more modern Ensign LNF3 driven by Fyrth Crosse.

Beale, Ginetta G33, Gurston Down, Wiltshire

Over the past couple of months the lines of Graham Beales class winning Ginetta G33 have really grown on me, apparently the idea for the Rover V8 powered car was conceived on a table cloth in a pizzeria by Mark Warklett and Noel Palmer.

Street, Ford Escort XR31, Gurston Down, Wiltshire

Darren Street was another who found the entry to Karousel a bit tricky in his Ford Escort XR3i, here he is seen on his way to an appointment with the hay bales. Fortunately he suffered no injuries and he eventually drove to the top of the hill under his own steam.

Lewis, St Bruno Roughcutter,  Gurston Down, Wiltshire

Like the Bloody Mary Special Adrian Lewis’s St Bruno Roughcutter Clubman’s car has an Autosport connection it being the creation of Barry Foley, best known as Autosports ‘Catchpole’ cartoonist. Barry built the car in the early 1970’s crediting help from a variety of sources including design input from Maurice Phillipe himself a part time Clubmans racer when not busy designing Formula One cars.

Dent, Hornet F3,  Gurston Down, Wiltshire

On both of his timed runs Alistair Dent lost time when his tail got onto the grass on the exit of Karousel, which had the benefit of at least entertaining those of us watching, above Alistair is seen on his first run in the Hornet JAP powered 500 F3 car.

Chard, Mazda MX5, Gurston Down, Wiltshire

By for the most serious incident of the day was when Karl Chard left the road at Karousel and ended up going straight into the hay bales. Fortunately again Karl was unhurt which is more than can be said for the Mazda MX 5 which he shares with his brother Ian. At least all the wheels were still attached.

Flagg, Subaru Impreza STi, Gurston Down, Wiltshire

David Flagg lost 3/10ths of a second on his second timed run this display of wheel spin from his Subaru on the run to Deer Leap probably did not help his cause.

Hollier, Pilbeam MP62, Gurston Down, Wiltshire

Edward Hollier set best time of the day (BTD) running the course in 29.19 seconds in his Pilbeam MP62, both of his runs were quicker than the next fastest competitor Peter Smith who was driving a Force in the same class as Edward. Coincidentally Ed won last time that I saw him running at Wiscombe Park last month.

Another great day out at yet another great venue, if you have never been I doubt you will be disappointed.

Thanks for joining me on this “5th Tony Marsh Memorial Weekend” I hope you will join me again tomorrow. Don’t forget to come back now !

PS Shameless plug my British Grand Preview can be found at Motorsports Unplugged on this link.